Milo Bryant's goal is "to reach 200 million" in fighting obesity.
May 24, 2022

After years of covering athletes, SJI alum Bryant is now training them

Alberto Camargo

For many sportswriters, covering the Olympics is a dream come true, a culmination of years of hard — and, at times, thankless — work. The Games are considered the peak of athletics, with billions of eyes watching and reading coverage.

The 2008 Summer Games would come to be known for Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and the “Redeem Team.” But at the time, then-Colorado Springs Gazette reporter and columnist Milo Bryant found his thoughts wandering.

“I started thinking about [a career change] in 2006; 2007 was when I made the decision,” said Bryant, who stepped away from a full-time role at the Gazette shortly after returning from Beijing.

He moved his family of four from the Rockies to sunny San Diego to start anew as a personal trainer, but his move came at an inopportune time.

“Who knew that the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression would happen? So it was like ‘Oh my goodness,’” he said. “I moved out here with zero clients. … I just hustled my ass off.”

Milo Bryant (right) during some down time watches instructor Eric Pugh chow down during first boot camp in 1993.

Bryant started the Coalition for Launching Active Youth (CLAY) in 2012, an 18-year-long fitness curriculum aiming to curb obesity and create great athletes. The idea was sparked by data and observations showing that children were not as active as they should be.

“We had 3-year-olds coming in who had never crawled before,” he said. “People are carrying these kids around all the time, not allowing them to develop muscle … not allowing them to do all the stuff that the human body is supposed to do.”

A decade after establishing CLAY, Bryant said his 5- and 10-year goals were met well in advance. The next mountain to climb is his 20-year goal of making a mark on a worldwide problem.

“I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to quantify it,” he said. “But [the goal] is just knowing that the program that I have in place is making a dent in the obesity issue.”

His goal is bigger still. “I don’t want to talk to 20 people here, 200 people there. I want to reach 200 million,” he said.

If CLAY’s mission sounds ambitious, it is. And so is Bryant. He left an award-winning journalism career to become a fitness and life coach, an author and international lecturer.

Bryant has broken down 600-plus sports into four basic categories of movement — running/jumping, acrobatic/combative, throwing/striking and dynamic force stabilization. The labels allow coaches to focus on those areas for each athlete’s sports and goals.

CLAY has more than 100 certified trainers spreading Bryant’s methods around the world to over 4,000 students, and counting.

The next phase for CLAY is completing the transition to fully remote seminars to train new coaches, which Bryant plans to start this spring. He says that “creating a connection” with the athletes will be more challenging online, but he remains confident.

“I’m a coach,” he said, “but ultimately, I’m someone who brings people joy — joy in the ability to move.”

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