Business Administration Alumnus Promotes Healthy Habits Through Personal Training

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Nigel Feliz ’20 a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, is kickstarting an online and in-person personal training business for individuals of all ages to fulfill his passion for both business and fitness.

While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Feliz, a business administration alumnus, was a well-known campus community mentor and friend. Helping others become the best version of themselves came naturally to him, and he continues to follow his passion for doing so through physical training, a field he always had an interest in, but never pictured himself pursuing after college.

As an undergrad, Feliz completed his Experience360 at an accounting firm, with the goal of becoming an accountant. He specifically enjoyed doing taxes, because he was able to meet with individuals and make topics like spending habits, income, and investing, comfortable for his clients to talk to about. It was more than just arithmetic for Feliz, it was meaningful to him to learn how to make life easier for others.

“Like fitness, you must open yourself from a financial standpoint and be vulnerable. I did my absolute best to get to know them and to make that experience as comfortable and as enjoyable as possible,” explained Feliz. “It's the same with fitness, right? I don't really know you that well, and you're telling me about your health, your weight, and your eating habits.”

Dr. William Viel, assistant professor and department co-chair of business and information management, was a mentor to Feliz.

“I’m hoping that I can get close to being half the man he is both professionally and also in my personal life,” said Feliz. “Dr. Viel has helped me astronomically, and I don't think I could begin to thank him enough for what he has done intentionally and unintentionally for me.”

Following graduation, Feliz joined the team at Crunch Fitness and gained insight in business operations. He quickly became the number one trainer within his first two months of employment, and later became the number one selling trainer for an entire year. With a newfound confidence in personal training, and the business skills he gained at DelVal, Feliz felt equipped to start his own business in fitness.

Currently, Feliz works directly with clients through a privately-owned company called Refined Fitness and Nutrition, located in Whippany, New Jersey. Typically, when someone works for a large fitness company, the company takes a certain dollar amount per hour from the employee. Refined is different, because Nigel rents space and equipment for his service, and takes a unique approach to the transaction between himself and the client.

Feliz creates individualized programs to help trainees accomplish their goals, including build muscle, lose weight, or prepare for a competition. These programs also have an accountability check-in and nutritional guidance. Additionally, Feliz completes training with The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) to learn the psychological aspect of how clients may be feeling through their fitness journey. Feliz describes his work as a mutual connection. As he provides the service, his clients provide him with career fulfillment. Most of his clients reach out through social media or have learned about his services by word of mouth, however, with the knowledge and hands-on experience that Feliz gained at DelVal, he feels confident to begin marketing his business more heavily.

“I try to be as authentic as possible, and get to know my clients,” said Feliz. “When it comes to fitness-related endeavors, there’s a level of insecurity that most people have that they are trying to work through to better themselves. I like to help bridge the gap with resources and information, and just be an ear because fitness is therapeutic for some people. I’m not here to judge you, I’m here to get you where you want to be.”

Social media, editing apps, filters, and photoshop, can trigger obsessive thoughts about appearance. Feliz mentions that everyone deals with feelings of inadequacy to a certain degree or has questioned how they look compared to their counterparts. He notes that it’s important to find the source of those feelings. Nigel makes informative posts that include tips and techniques for a healthy lifestyle at @officialfeliz_fit on Instagram.

Nigel Feliz wearing a delval tshirt and cap standing on the quad.