Project Evolve: A Lifestyle Change
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Project Evolve: A Lifestyle Change

Project Evolve is about more than losing weight and getting fit, it's a lifestyle change.

Project Evolve: A Lifestyle Change

Jake Raleigh, a 20-year-old fitness enthusiast, started Project Evolve with a friend. It originally started as a clothing line that the two promoted while Raleigh was working as a personal trainer.

After being promoted to assistant personal training director at the gym, L.A. Fitness, Raleigh started to learn the skills necessary — sales, marketing, etc. — to start his own fitness program, and so he did. About a year ago, Raleigh took over the brand, Project Evolve and evolved it into something more than a clothing line — a fitness program with boot camps in the morning and evening Monday through Thursday and a morning class on Sundays at the North Collier Regional Park, Naples.

"Honesty I feel as if it's my purpose to serve these people every single day. There's nights where I can't sleep because I'm always thinking of new ideas to improve their experience," Raleigh said. "As we grow as a company, I will never forget the people who helped build this brand and the idea that fitness can be fun and can actually change your entire life."

And soon, Raleigh will be launching a special program (more information at the bottom of article).

But he couldn't do it all alone. Raleigh recruited his close friend, and fellow fitness-enthusiast, Chris Kelly as well as a mutual friend, Tatiana Ortega, to be coaches. This way, Raleigh could focus more on one-on-one check-ins, management and nutrition coaching for the clients as well as time to work on sales and marketing.

Kelly, who was attending college at the time, has a strong passion for physical fitness and fitness training. In fact, his passion is so strong that he quit school to focus on his new position at Project Evolve.

"So many people put this mental barrier in place and say they can't do things. I strive to just get you to try because you never know what could happen," Kelly said.

As a team, Raleigh, Kelly and Ortega encourage their clients to push themselves as hard as they can.

"Everyone who comes out to Project Evolve is looking for a change," Ortega said, "Whether it be weight loss, or a new challenge! The second that they leave Project Evolve, we make sure that they are leaving with a whole new mentality."

Part of this process includes monthly one-on-one check-ins, where the client is tested on various tasks such as push-ups, wall-sits and holding plank pose, to name a few. These results are recorded along with measurements and more.

When I first arrived to North Collier Regional Park, a few minutes before the boot camp officially started, Raleigh was working one-on-one with Monica Triana. Triana is a 52-year-old client who was doing her monthly check-in with Raleigh. Occasionally, Coach Ortega would chime in, cheering Triana on in Spanish.

Monica Triana laughed as Jake Raleigh took her waist measurements.

At Project Evolve the team records the monthly progress of their clients.

Jake Raleigh takes measurements of Monica Triana's thighs, along with other areas that may be effected from the lifestyle change brought on at Project Evolve.

Jake Raleigh times Monica Triana while counting the push-ups she can do in said time.

Tatiana Ortega, coach, steps in to help Monica Triana with her plank position. The coaches at Project Evolve are quick to step in and show the proper procedures to ensure maximum results.

Jake Raleigh times Monica Triana as she holds a plank pose.

The coaches all gather around for the monthly check in, Jake Raleigh helps Monica Triana to her feet.

The Project Evolve Team doesn't lean on the high tech equipment found at a standard gym. Instead, they utilize items such as large tires, kegs and weighted balls.

Jake Raleigh demonstrates the proper squat position.

Elaine Neal serves as an example for her peers when she executes a perfect squat.

Jake Raleigh stands on a tire shouting instructions while also encouraging the team to keep going.

Water intake is an important part of staying fit and changing your lifestyle, at Project Evolve they take timely water breaks--which is essential.

The team gathers in a circle around Coach Tatiana Ortega, passing a medicine ball around the circle in a team-oriented exercise.

Monica Triana and Damaris Ramos sit and wait for the ball to get to them.

On another water break, Teddy Marshall skips a cup and drinks straight from the cooler. Remember, hydration is key.

Damaris Ramos carries a keg in a relay-style team exercise.

Coach Chris Kellly stands overlooking the team as they line up for yet another team-building exercise.

Ever the motivator, Coach Tatiana Ortega high-fives the team for their hard work. "Knowing that I am impacting their life and helping them make a change--that right there is what keeps me going as a coach," Ortega said, "Each step of the way, we'll be there to help you."

At the end of the night, Jake Raleigh, along with the coaches, gave the team encouraging parting statements and spoke one-on-one with some of the members. "I can't be more thankful for all the support we have gotten since day one," Raleigh said.

Coach Chris Kelly stands proudly at the end, chatting with the team and offering advice and praise. "When someone prevails... that face they make is what I live for," Kelly said. "Even if they don't that day, it's never 'just give up,' it's 'let's try again tomorrow.'"

Project Evolve boot camps are usually Monday through Thursday at 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., as well as on Sundays at 10 a.m. If you wish to try, Raleigh offers a free week trial to everyone.

Recently, Raleigh has come out with "21 Day Rapid Fat Loss" program for only 39$ starting Monday, Oct. 10 at North Collier Regional Park at 8:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the Project Evolve website, or Facebook page.

"It's a family out there on the field and anybody is welcome because the clients are so supportive that it feels like you are all friends," Raleigh said.

This article was originally posted on

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