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Mission Statement

"I am a lifelong advocate for functional training, now serving as a dedicated strength and conditioning coach. My approach centers on evidence-based program design tailored to individual needs and preferences. During my adolescent years, I became acutely aware of the pervasive misinformation surrounding health and fitness, a vulnerability I too experienced. While taking it upon myself to train my high school teammates, I uncovered significant gaps in my knowledge. Realizing that to genuinely assist others, I needed to acquire accurate information from reputable sources. My aspiration is to democratize collegiate and professional-level sports science, making it accessible to all. Motivated by a desire to become a beacon, delivering trustworthy insights to those passionate about human performance, I embarked on the journey to become the well-informed CSCS I wish I had encountered in my youth."

“Intelligence is not the ability to store information, but to know where to find it.”

— Albert Einstein

Full body image of Ripper Performance Training strength coach, James Gonzalez.

"While I may live and breathe strength and conditioning, I do have interests outside of my profession. I have a secondary passion for boxing, having practiced since childhood. I'm also a huge geek for gaming, anime, and all things tech related.


James Gonzalez, a local, grew up in rural North-East Arizona, where he excelled in both academics and sports. During his formative years, James found inspiration in iconic figures like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, captivated by their portrayal of strength and resilience on the silver screen. This early fascination ignited his passion for weightlifting, football, and boxing.


As he progressed through high school, James's dedication shifted towards American football, fueled by the ambition to pursue a professional career in the sport. Determined to lead his team to success during his senior year, he took it upon himself to assume the role of a training mentor. In the six months leading up to his final season, he rallied his teammates into the weight room after school, guiding them through rigorous workouts. His unwavering efforts yielded remarkable results as he was recognized as the Most Valuable Player and earned a spot on the All-Region 1st Team Defense.


Recognizing his natural aptitude for coaching, even in the face of limited personal knowledge, James decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Exercise at Arizona State University. Upon graduation, he set his sights on obtaining the prestigious CSCS certification, a significant milestone for any aspiring strength coach. After months of rigorous study, he achieved certification in March of 2022, equipped with a wealth of newfound knowledge.


With this expertise in hand, James embarked on a journey to gain practical experience by working as a personal trainer at various commercial gyms in Phoenix. Here, he delved into corrective exercise techniques and applied the principles he had diligently absorbed. However, he encountered several frustrations in the commercial gym environment, including management issues, limited equipment, and little autonomy in decision-making.


Determined to offer a superior training experience, James decided to establish his private training studio. Faced with the challenges of expensive rental spaces, non-conducive commercial gyms, and the sweltering Arizona climate, he turned to an underutilized space within his garage, combined with his collection of gym equipment. Thus, Ripper Performance Training was born, providing a dedicated and private training option where James works tirelessly to empower individuals seeking high-quality personal training.

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