I have created this site to help you evolve into the strongest version of yourself.
Hi! Welcome to my site, I’m thrilled you made it here. My name is Leor Giladi and I am a north NJ native. I grew up in West Orange, NJ and I graduated in 2009 from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Biotechnology, focusing on animal biology and biochemistry. I transitioned from a career in research to a career in coaching, and later pursued a doctoral physical therapy degree, which I obtained from the University of Michigan – Flint. How did I get from biotechnology to fitness, and finally physical therapy? I’m glad you asked…
Starting in middle school, and progressing through adolescence, I steadily gained weight, reaching a top weight of 325 pounds. In college I would get sweaty and out of breath walking to class, I had trouble buying clothes, and the social anxiety stimulated by my extra weight made making friends a challenge (and forget about meeting girls – yikes!). I dreamed of change and started reading health and fitness magazines but never followed through or utilized what I learned. My “ah ha” moment came in the spring of 2007. All geared up for vacation, I got on the plane ready for adventure, only to find that I was too large for the seatbelt to buckle. At 20 years old I found this horrifying and made a pledge then and there to finally get a handle on my health.
Beginning that summer I made small changes which had a big impact: I drove less, walked more, rode my bike to class and work, refused to take an elevator if I was going less than 5 stories, and started watching my food intake, although I had limited nutritional knowledge. With just those few small changes, I lost 20 pounds in the first 6 months and started getting stronger and more conditioned. While I had studied various martial arts in my youth, I entered a gym for the first time on February 9, 2008. The process was slow, but as the weight continued falling off my body and my strength skyrocketed, I became hooked. To further motivate myself I signed up for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Bike MS City to Shore Century and completed, barely, the 100-mile ride in September 2008 at 280 pounds.
As my knowledge base grew my training became more athletically inspired, scientifically backed, and performance driven. I primarily utilize classic gymnastics, high tension calisthenics, olympic weightlifting, and compound movements using barbells, kettlebells, and dumbbells. Fast forward to 2010 and I had lost over 100 pounds of body fat, gained over 25 pounds of muscle, and completely transformed my life.
This was the first time I ever set and accomplished a long-term goal, especially one that seemed so impossible at the beginning, and it built a confidence in me that I was unable to obtain anywhere else. It was at this point that I realized fitness is more to me than just health, it is an avenue to improving the self. Without hesitation I changed my career path to suit my new passion for helping others to achieve the same success that I did, both in and out of the gym
After a few years of coaching, I started to feel like I could do more. When you work with people long enough you’ll run into some issues, such as questions you can’t answer and clients with nagging pains. We only have one body and I strongly believe it should never be something that restricts people from doing what they want and love. While I had pursued a dizzying amount of continuing education, I didn’t know how to help the people who were relying on me and I found that unacceptable, so I decided to pursue a career as a physical therapist.
I am now employed full time as a sports physical therapist at Next Level Physical Therapy in Hamilton, NJ. Throughout my career I have worked with everyone from weekend warriors to Olympic athletes. I am passionate about optimizing the health and performance of CrossFitters, weightlifters, powerlifters, martial artists, and dancers, although I have broad experience with different sports. My passion is to create self-sufficient athletes who are skilled in their own care, so that they can continue to do what they love without restriction.