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What's Your Why? Meet Brenna Cliver

What's Your Why? Meet Brenna Cliver

By Brenna Cliver

I was born in a tiny Alaskan town with no access to organized sports, unless you count dog mushing (seriously). When I was 13, I saw our neighbor out for a run and wanted to try it too. So, I borrowed my mom’s tennis shoes and from that day forward, I rarely missed a day of running and I still love running half marathons.

After high school, my only goal was I wanted to make it out of the rural obscurity instead of getting stuck. I’ve never been one for mediocrity, even though I was short on tangible goals. This concept of excellence came from my grandfather, a stoic man who served our country in the Army. He said, “Work hard every chance you get.”

At 18, I put myself through culinary school. But shortly after graduation, it became clear that simply being a good cook wouldn’t get me to the dreams of greatness I had, so I enrolled in college.

I had no financial resources, so I worked more than 40 hours a week to pay for classes. I loved entrepreneurship and I pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, graduating with honors.

Being a runner, I used to cling to the cardio machines at the gym until I started preparing for the Marine Corps. The most basic exercises kicked my cardio butt. I was hooked, though, and I spent countless hours researching training programs online. I also established a more healthy way of eating.

My time of military service influenced my training style to become what I currently represent: a hybrid model that builds strength, power and endurance. This approach creates athletes with stellar physiques and exceptional functionality. The Marine Corps also taught me leadership, discipline, and resilience. Those values influence decisions in my life and my business to this day. I was stubborn and my Marine family instilled these ideals in my bones.

After leaving the Marine Corps, it became clear I had two passions now, one for fitness and the other for entrepreneurship. I pursued both; relocating from my last duty station in Virginia across the country to Southern California.

I didn’t have a job lined up, but I always had people -friends, peers, strangers- asking me for training programs, so I knew I had something valuable. I started writing programs, and resumes, to pay the bills.

I was fortunate and landed my first personal training job at an elite gym, the Renaissance ClubSport, in Aliso Viejo. The trainers were experienced and top notch. It was a gold mine of expertise and some of the best leaders I have ever worked with. The members of the gym are professionals: business men and women, specialists in the fields of medicine, law, and politics. I knew that if I wanted to be successful, I needed to surround myself with winners.

One of the winners that I met was Patrick Gamboa. ISSA was the first training program I was introduced to, years before I ever committed to becoming certified. When given the opportunity, I jumped to complete their comprehensive Strength and Conditioning Certification. The number of experts in the industry that ISSA brings together is amazing, and I am proud to have their name backing some small part of my professional experience.

Shortly after the New Year, I founded my first company, Victoriam Performance LLC, with the mission of providing comprehensive training programs to those who have a desire to be elite, and not just in fitness. Sticking to and completing a challenging training program builds character, requires honesty, and roots value in setting and accomplishing improbable goals.

The secondary mission is to support our Veterans by bringing visibility to their unique business ideas and values. When featured apparel or supplements are purchased with a training program from Victoriam Performance, veteran entrepreneurs across our nation are directly benefitted.

As I’ve continued my business and constant pursuit of elite fitness, I have found myself competing for Ms. Health & Fitness. Right now I’m #1 in West Group 16 and hoping to continue the challenge. But now it’s up to the voters! ISSA community, if you value fitness and working hard every chance you get, please vote for me by following this link:

If there’s one piece of wisdom I could pass on to anyone who is hesitating in their journey towards strength and health, it is this: “Action is not a result of motivation; motivation is a direct result of action.” And, excellence is always a standard to live by.


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