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Inspiring Conversations with Delroy McDonald of Elite Madness 617

Today we’d like to introduce you to Delroy McDonald. 

Hi Delroy, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My name is Delroy McDonald and I am a certified personal trainer based out of San Diego! I started training shortly after I graduated from college in 2013. I started training inner-city athletes in Boston, Massachusetts. When we first started, our main focus was helping inner-city, student-athletes translate their success on the field into success in academics and life beyond high school sports. Long story short, EM617 uses its year-round sports training camp as a springboard to help get our participants thinking about college. Through sports, we have connected over 200 participants with college and preparatory school scouts & admissions administration throughout the country. As Em617 became more known throughout the city, we decided to not just train athletes. I began 1on1 and group training sessions out of driveway. Business was doing extremely well in Boston that I decided to also train clients in San Diego. I considered San Diego the mecca of fitness throughout the world. I was still able to virtually train my clients in Boston was building a cliental in San Diego. After only a year and five months, I was able to open my own fitness studio in North Park, San Diego. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road to get where I am at now. Every day there is a new challenge or obstacle. 

The biggest challenge I faced when starting out as a personal trainer was realizing that everyone is different and has very different fitness capabilities. After realizing that, it made me become a much better trainer. Due to this learning experience, I am able to train anyone. It doesn’t matter what previous injuries you have now, I promise you I will be able to come up with a great program that will still meet your fitness goals. 

One of the biggest obstacles I face was getting a studio in Boston and in San Diego. There was a time when I was searching for a studio in Boston. But none of the relators wanted to rent out the space to me. Mainly I believe it’s because of the color of my skin. To be an African American in America is already a daily struggle because I am not viewed equally as others. Although I had financial records that showed I can support making rent payments on time, realtors would not even give me an opportunity to view the properties. 

Another challenge I faced was getting clients. Many people did not believe I can be a great trainer and I would constantly have people doubting my capabilities. Eventually, after working at Orange Theory in Boston, people realized that I actually know what I am talking about and noticed that my clients were raving about their results which then made people a lot more comfortable to train with me. 

One of the biggest challenges I always faced when I was working for someone else, was the music I played. I love to play ratchet hip-hop music. I also noticed that majority of the clients I train, also loves listening to that same music. There have been so many times where I would be pulled aside because corporate believed the music being played isn’t appropriate. Well fortunately members would tell management that I actually have the best workout playlist and many members would train with me because of the music. 

Now that I do have a studio, I am still facing many new and unexpected challenges. However, I feel that without being challenged, then I would be able to grow into the trainer that I am now. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Elite Madness 617?
I offer 30-minute personal training sessions, small group training sessions, bootcamp, and virtual training sessions. You can get more information and easily book any of my services by going onto my website,, or by clicking this link. I customize each workout to fit my clients’ individual needs. My workouts are designed to be intense, but they are modified for all fitness levels. When you come into the studio, you are going to feel very special. I will give you my undivided attention for the next 30 minutes. I come with 1000% of fun energy that will make pushups not as bad. To top it off, I let the clients choose the music or the workout playlist. We all know that the right music can either break or make your workout session great! 

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
To be honest, what really put me on the map to others is covid. Due to covid, during the pandemic when all of the gyms were closed, I was one of the few personal trainers offering my services. I would have clients meet me in my driveway and we would practice safe social distancing while being able to effectively train clients. This started with me averaging only 20 sessions a week to averaging over 80 sessions a week. Even when the gyms opened back up, many of the clients I was training didn’t feel comfortable training inside. If I didn’t train clients in person, I was training them virtually as well. 

This made the transition of moving to San Diego from Boston amazing. Fortunately, I was already training clients virtually so when I moved to San Diego, I was still able to train my clients from Boston. And that gave me the opportunity to find clients in person in San Diego. 


  • 1on1 Personal training sessions $45 per session
  • Small Group Training $25 per person
  • Virtual Training $30 per person
  • Bootcamp Training $15 per session
  • First Three Sessions are $35 each.

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