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Longview trainer teaches actor to safely play football for upcoming film

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 12:10 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 9:07 AM CST
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - It’s not every day that a given career path can lead you to Hollywood, but that’s just what happened to an East Texas personal trainer. And it was what he knew, and who he knows, that led him to train actor Michael Chiklis, star of The Shield, Sons of Anarchy, and other TV dramas and movies.

Josh Gonzalez owns Athletic Performance of Texas in Longview, where he sometimes trains his wife Holly, as well as many others. But recently he was hired to do some training in Fort Worth with an actor you may have heard of.

“Michael Chiklis on his upcoming movie The Senior,” Gonzalez said.

He’s never trained an actor of that caliber before, so how did that happen?

“I work for a company called the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I’m one of their national teaching instructors. And I’m fortunate to be friends with one of my colleagues called Brian Nguyen, and he’s from California,” Gonzalez said.

And, yes, Nguyen trains actors.

“He trains Mark Wahlberg, he trained Kate Hudson, and he was helping Michael Chiklis train for this role. But the majority of the movie was set here in Texas, in Fort Worth,” Gonzalez said.

Since Nguyen couldn’t make it, he called Gonzalez.

“I am a corrective specialist so I can go in and determine what problems the body might have, and what we would need to fix to make him move better,” Gonzalez said.

And that’s what he did for a few weeks in October.

“And if there was a type of injury that may have come up, I would be there on site to handle it,” Gonzalez said.

He says they trained in Fort Worth, and The Senior was shot at Birdville Stadium in Halton, Texas, where Chiklis did have a few problems.

“Luckily, it was all muscular,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez was able to use techniques to help him..

“Trigger point therapy and massage work and lengthening work and activation work,” Gonzalez said.

He helped get Chiklis back in the game, as seen on video shot by his wife.

“So do you have a surgical knife in your pocket or...” I asked him.

“Somewhat; it’s called an elbow,” Gonzalez said.

And he says those filmmakers felt his therapy was so efficient, they may just make him their Texas Athletic Specialist.

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