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We want to recognize the fitness instructors who don’t just look great on Instagram—but actually inspire us to be better. So together with ReebokONE, we asked you to nominate trainers for the second annual America’s Most Inspiring Trainer search. After over a thousand amazing stories, we’ve narrowed it down to 12 finalists—which means it’s time for you to choose a winner! Learn more about Jacob Ross below, and cast your vote by November 26.

Jacob Ross, Chicago, Illiniois and Los Angeles, California

Personal trainer at Barbell Brigade 

His personal mantra

You will become what you consistently do.

Favorite song on his workout playlist

“Ojuelegba” by WizKid. That song pushes me more than anything.

What inspired you to become a trainer?

When I had to quit football because of concussions, I decided if I can’t play at an elite level than I was going to learn as much as I could and train people who want to put an elite-level of effort into improving themselves.

“[Fitness] is a never ending passion in the pursuit of progress over perfection.”

What’s your fitness philosophy?

It’s important to decide what your desired outcome is and then train optimally to achieve it. For me, optimally is a combination of effectiveness and efficiency. A training regimen should be decided on these qualities, not on what’s convenient or comfortable for me as a coach. It forces me, as a coach, to continue to push my knowledge and experience.

What’s your favorite success story as a personal trainer?

My goal has always been to help anyone who wants to put in the work, and I felt like that’s really happened in the past couple of years thanks to training Luol Deng in his first and second NBA All Star appearances, helping Aja Evans prepare for his bronze Olympic medal in bobsled, and creating an on-site corporate training program that helped a lot of non-athletes lose weight and increase their fitness levels.

What’s the most surprising thing you discovered about being a fitness pro?

There’s always room to improve. This is a field that truly has no line you can cross and say “I made it!” When you think you’re close, you meet an elite fitness professional and it broadens your mindset even more. It’s a never ending passion in the pursuit of progress over perfection.

The winner of America’s Most Inspiring Trainer will score a one-year contract with Reebok and major coverage on Well+Good. Cast your vote now!

In partnership with ReebokONE

Photo: Jacob Ross