Asset 19 angle-down-bold angle-left-bold angle-right-bold angle-up-bold Asset 10 certifications Asset 14 close-bold close Asset 8 Asset 12 menu Asset 18 Asset 17 Asset 6 Asset 16 Asset 9 Asset 15 Asset 11 Asset 13

Brian Luu

ACE Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer


ACE Profiles |  Brian Luu

While I was a fairly active youth, physical activity was not a big emphasis on my life growing up. It wasn't anyone's fault; it just was what it was. This was not an issue until I entered adolescence and started seeing a lot of my friends actively involved in organized sports and developing "nicer" bodies, the stuff I saw in media. Body image was a huge struggle for me growing up. I started actively exercising at age 14. However, my relationship with exercise was not positive. It was something I "had" to do. Long story short, my choices led me to develop an extreme eating disorder by the time I was 17, which almost cost me my life. My recovery was a quiet, slow, and rocky journey. I left for college, made a fresh start and made an effort to start over and reinvent myself. However, in the midst of that, I realized that I wasn't any further than I was at the beginning. I had a negative relationship with food, my body and exercise. Every choice I made just felt like a bad one. One thing I did develop though, was a strong support network. I slowly began opening up to friends who did not judge me and loved me for who I am and for what I went through. In 2008, I went to my first group exercise class with a friend. It was indoor cycling. I was overwhelmed by the positive, supportive environment. I felt empowered, happy and most importantly, I just had fun! Plus, at the end, the instructor said the workout was over and it was time to go home and rest -- such a beautiful sense of balance.

From there, I continued to attend more classes of various formats. Slowly, my mindset began turning around. I enjoyed these activities and began taking care of my body more. I befriended instructors who inspired and supported me. Before long, I had a crazy thought: "Maybe I can become an instructor? Maybe I can use my journey to potentially help others in my position?" In 2009, I began working with the director of the program I attended to prepare for the ACE GFI exam. I was certified by 2010. Developing my skills as an instructor was another challenging journey in and of itself. But the director, Elisabeth, never gave up on me. She was an amazing mentor. She knew of my journey and saw a new dream of my developing, even before I saw it. Before I knew it, I went from teaching one format to two formats to a myriad of formats on our schedules. This journey went from 2010 to 2012. In June of 2012, the director left her position to attend nursing school and I received a call asking if I wanted to move into a position overseeing the program. And the rest is history. Today, I currently serve as the Interim Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness at UC Davis. I work with students, helping them become certified and develop their skills. We run a very holistic program that promotes positive body image and exercising for healthy reasons. To this day, I am still learning. But I can finally say that a new journey is beginning ... and it's going to be a good one!


Learn More About Brian Luu »

ACE Recommends

Check out related ACE articles designed to help you on your journey to health and fitness.

Zumba Fitness: Sure It’s Fun But Is it Effective?

Zumba Fitness: Sure It’s Fun But Is it Effective?

Zumba fitness has quickly grown to one of the most popular group exercise classes on the planet. In fact, the Latin-dance ins... continue »

Function Follows Fitness

Function Follows Fitness

Many fitness professionals have been promoting functional fitness programs as a way for older adults to remain active and ind... continue »

3 Simple Steps to Creating Healthier Habits

3 Simple Steps to Creating Healthier Habits

Let’s face it: Good habits can be as hard to develop, as bad habits are to shake. But it isn’t impossible. Dr. Michael Mantel... continue »

Get More from ACE

Sign up to receive fitness tips, workouts, healthy recipes and other wellness resources.