Meet The Team
Owner, Fitness Coach, Weight Loss Specialist
@jessecodd / Coming from a family ridden with diabetes, weight issues, poor eating habits, and a multitude of other health issues, as well as coping with his own weight issues, and eating disorders, Jesse’s desire to work with “regular” people, and not just athletes and fitness competitors has paved the road of his Fitness Coaching career.
Jesse stepped into the fitness world at the age of 13 in the small town of Fort Sumner, New Mexico, where a local natural body builder, and manager of the teen rec center took Jesse under his wing to help him gain strength for high school sports. During high school Jesse realized that it was the “training” for the sports that was his true passion, so instead of playing college football he began competing as a Natural Bodybuilder. While attending Eastern New Mexico University Jesse worked at both the ENMU Fitness Center, and Bodies In Motion, a small fitness center in Clovis, NM. While attending college Jesse became a Certified Fitness Trainer through the International Sports Science Association.
Read More About Jesse
After finishing college, Jesse packed up his belongings and headed to Glendale, Arizona to propose to the love of his life, Mandy, and take his first personal training job at Bally Total Fitness. Through hard work and building authentic relationships with his clients, Jesse became one of the “Top 3 Personal Trainers for Bally Total Fitness” in the state of Arizona. Although Ballys was a great experience for Jesse, he knew it was time for him to venture out on his own, and so began New Roots Personal Training in 2008.
People that train with Jesse tend to recapture their lives. No longer do they dread dropping their keys and having to bend over to pick them up. No longer do they have to try and convince themselves to start “dieting” next Monday. One particular client of Jesse’s was ecstatic after 3 months of working with Jesse, when she was able to wrap her towel all the way around her body for the first time in years. Another touching weight loss story involves a client being able to wear her wedding ring again after years of it not fitting.
Jesse has coached many of his clients to lose 30, 50, 100, and even 150 lbs!
BS Exercise Science, Fitness Coach, MMA/BOXING/MUI TAI/KICKBOXING Coach, KRAV MAGA Instructor
@benledvina_coach / Ben Ledvina is a Flagstaff local and became interested in athletics at an early age, training as both a competitive swimmer and martial artist. He earned his degree in Exercise Science from NAU while working as a trainer for the university and local gyms. Ben has an extensive background in fight training (boxing, mma, self defense, Krav Maga) and has a passion for empowering others to defend themselves. Since finishing his career in swimming, Ben found a home and an outlet in weightlifting and loved being in the gym. “I love the physical challenge of course, but even more powerful is what weightlifting does mentally. It teaches us discipline, persistence, and shows us in a very tangible way that we can achieve our goals and that we alone are responsible for the outcome. One of my favorite things is providing a platform for people overcome their trepidation of lifting and find their healthy life style. I am recently married to the most amazing woman and hope to live in Flagstaff for a long time. In my time away from the gym I enjoy reading, writing, and trying to grow a full beard.”
Fitness Coach, BS Fitness Wellness
@nmendezfitness / Natalie’s fitness journey has been a rough one. Negative body image took control of her and she began starving herself at 10 years old. What started off with throwing her school lunches away turned into years of eating one small meal a day. Once she got to college she finally had the freedom of eating as little as she wanted and for the first time in her life she had access to a gym. Cardio felt like her only answer for weight loss at the time, it was what she saw every other girl doing at the gym. She became addicted to cardio, running 3 times a day, climbing endless flights of stairs on the Stairmaster, and pushing off eating as much as her body could handle. One day her body gave in, she passed out in class, the embarrassment snapped her out of it. She confided in a friend who was going through the same struggle and together got help. During her recovery she was forced to eat 5 times a day and was no longer allowed to exercise until her relationship with it was healthy rather than abusive. This rekindled relationship with food, and her body ignited her desire to learn more about fitness and nutrition, as well as help others who might be going through what she went through.
Read More About Natalie
Natalie started her New Roots journey in August 2017 with an internship that wrapped up her degree in Fitness Wellness at NAU. This internship changed her mentality with exercise in so many ways. Before New Roots she avoided weights in fear of getting big, now she was being pushed by Jesse and the other trainers to keep going heavier. She started craving getting stronger and noticed a new level of confidence that feeling stronger gave her. As the months went on she realized strength has another level of beauty that body size cannot compare to.
Natalie graduated from NAU in December of 2017 and was offered a Fitness Coach position. Leading Group Classes and coaching one-on-ones allowed her to teach other women confidence in healthy bodies. Nothing brings her more happiness than a client finding confidence in themselves, whether it be because they’re one step closer to their weight goal, a new personal record, being able to do something they’ve never been able to do/haven’t done in years, or being taken off their prediabetic medications.
“Being a Fitness Coach has given me the opportunity to help others take control of their lives the way New Roots helped me take control of mine.” – Nat
BS, CSCS, Fitness Coach, Powerlifting Coach
@strongbellysully / Born and raised in The Valley of the Sun, Solomon began his fitness career in 2012 when he attended Arizona State University’s Exercise Science program while minoring in Nutrition. While enrolled in the program, Solomon worked at Gold’s Gym in the heart of Downtown Phoenix as an entry-level Personal Trainer. Along with working at Gold’s Gym, Solomon engaged in various internships, including interning for Foothill’s Acceleration and Sports Training where he took on one-on-one clients, ran group fitness classes, and even ran a chair-aerobics class at a local senior center. As his capstone for his degree, Solomon interned with the Arizona State University’s Sport Performance program, where he facilitated the training for the Division 1 football, swim, tennis, track, and water polo teams.
Read More About Solomon
After completing his Bachelor’s degree in three years, Solomon continued to work at the now EOS Fitness (previously Gold’s Gym) while he attained his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification. Sometime after receiving his CSCS, Solomon accepted a position at The Center for Athletic Performance and Physical Therapy, where he worked as both a Strength and Conditioning Coach, and a Physical Therapy Tech. During his time at CAPPT, he contributed to the training of the Youth SC Del Sol and Junior Coyote’s AAA teams, the Phoenix Rising Soccer Club, as well as a variety of individual athletes from a multitude of different sports.
At the tail-end of 2017, Solomon moved to Flagstaff (more specifically: Bellemont) with his spouse, per her acceptance of a nursing position at Flagstaff Medical Center. Solomon received his Emergency Medical Technician license, and recently began working in the FMC Emergency Department as an EMT. Unable to let go of his passion for training people of all walks of life, Solomon joined the New Roots team to be a part of the extraordinary vision they have of making fitness people-centered, individualized, and above all, enjoyable.
When not working at either the FMC ED, or New Roots, Solomon can be found running the programming for a local powerlifting team dubbed the Power Sloths, competing in Powerlifting or Strongman competitions, or more commonly, enjoying long walks in the woods with his pups, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, or showers with the lights off.
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! Stay motivated with monthly workout tips, healthy recipes, and fitness hacks.