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Photos by Yan Pekar
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Off a quiet street in Poblenou, on the ground floor of an old sugar factory, there is an apartment that houses the most impressive home gym you will probably ever see. With professional equipment worth a total cost of €50,000, a wall of full-length mirrors next to a wall of double-height windows that flood the space with natural light, and air-conditioning—a prerequisite for working out during summer—this gym is Jorge Gutiérrez’s pride and joy. “As far back as I can remember, I have wanted a gym in my home,” he said. “It was my childhood dream and now it has come true.”
Jorge, 34, from Oviedo in the province of Asturias, is one of Spain’s best-known personal trainers, with a clientele that includes singers, TV personalities, football players and Victoria’s Secret models. He moved to Barcelona for love—his ex-girlfriend is from here—but he stayed for his work, the weather, the parties and the city. The only thing he truly misses from his hometown are his friends and family.
After a bumpy road to success, Jorge has now been a personal trainer for five years. Looking at him today—strong, healthy and enthusiastic—you would never know that he has struggled with his weight for most of his life. He has distinct memories of being bullied by his fellow classmates around the age of 13, which made him determined to lead a fitter life. “Living a healthy lifestyle makes me feel better. It’s not just about looks,” Jorge clarified. This plan was going well until he spent three years working as an engineer. “I was bored and overweight,” Jorge confessed. He openly tells people that at that point in his life he weighed 130 kilogrammes.
Now, 40 kilos lighter, and pledging each day to be happy and healthy, he shows his clients before and after pictures of himself. “I do this not to impress them, not to receive praise, but to motivate them,” said Jorge. “It’s my way of saying, ‘If I can do it, you can do it. Be better with me.’” His current regime is eight hours of sleep every night, seven meals a day every two hours, very little alcohol and a daily 45-minute workout. The same approach he uses for training his own body, he uses with his clients. It’s a method that produces quick results. “Clients see changes in no time, inspiring them to keep at it and never give up on their goals,” he said.
There’s no denying that Jorge works hard. He works hard at his job and himself, which allows him to live well. His high-end lifestyle is evident in his apartment. He moved into this gorgeous loft apartment a year ago, liking the layout because it reminded him of where he lived in New York City for a year.
Downstairs, a stainless steel kitchen with a rectangular, smooth, blonde wood table, which seats 15 people comfortably, was designed for the apartment before Jorge started renting. At one end, there are piles of magazines: some that he reads for new ideas and tips, others that he has been mentioned in, such as Muscle & Fitness, and a copy of the June issue of Sport Life where he is featured on the cover. “That is one of my proudest achievements,” he said.
Away from the kitchen, on built-in bookshelves next to his flatscreen TV in the living room, sit giant, plastic canisters, the labels of which display Jorge’s sponsor, PowerFit Nutrition, and his portrait. Then, of course, there’s the gym befitting megastars, which takes up the remainder of the space, and is for Jorge’s personal use only.
Upstairs, the luxurious amenities continue. There’s a guest bedroom with two twin beds covered in white linens and a private bathroom. Just outside this room, Jorge has set up a manicure station and massage table. “My sister is an aesthetician and massage therapist,” he said. So she comes to visit every so often and gives Jorge the full treatment. His bedroom is located off this area, which overlooks the gym downstairs and has views of the paved courtyard outside the living room windows. This sizable space includes a long shoe rack that holds his many pairs of trainers in a variety of colours and styles, a walk-in closet and a modern, shiny bathroom.
It’s not these details that make Jorge feel at home, however. It’s the positive energy flowing through the apartment. “Every day, when I open my eyes, beams of sunlight are streaming through the open air of the apartment, and I’m immediately excited to begin my day,” he said. “That is what’s important to me; why I’m so lucky to have found this place.”
For more on Jorge’s story, training techniques and nutrition tips, visit his website: jorgegutierrezfitness.com.