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Welcome to Racked LA's search for our city's Hottest Trainer 2014. Over the coming weeks, we'll profile sixteen smoking locals—fitness experts who not only look hot in spandex, but can make you look amazing, too. Once you've gotten to know everyone, we'll host a March Madness-style showdown in which readers vote for their favorites. Let the games begin!

Photos by Elizabeth Daniels

PJ Stahl is the co-owner, head coach and fitness performance manager at Lockbox LA. A daredevil at heart (doing a handstand on the edge of the Grand Canyon and snorkeling with wild sharks are just a few of the adrenaline-rushing activities he's accomplished), Stahl's coaching career began at just 15 years old when he was a competitive gymnast. Now at 32, he teaches a variety of sweat-inducing classes, but one is his specialty. "My favorite class to teach is CrossFit," he tells us. "There are many different training components in a CrossFit class and it takes focus and strategy as a coach to lead a class of all different levels safely and effectively through their workout. I particularly love it when I teach a client a new skill. It's like the first time someone rides a bike without training wheels—everyone is excited and cheering them on. Inspiring people to achieve new accomplishments and reach their goals every day fuels my passion for fitness!"

Stahl's fitness focus dates back even before his teen training years. "I always played sports as a child; gymnastics, football, baseball, basketball and track were some of the sports I played and competed in throughout my childhood," he reveals. "I remember thinking how amazing the human body was when it came to athletes and the physical feats we could accomplish. I also recall being a sophomore in high school and taking Anatomy for the first time and wanting to learn as much as I could about the muscles and their functions. At that point I realized that this was my passion and I wanted to learn as much about physical fitness as possible."

In addition to his fascination with the human body, Stahl's motivation to stay in shape is also fueled by music. "This is going to sound really cheesy, but I really like Snoop Dogg and David Guetta's "Sweat" remix, he admits. "It says 'I just want to make you sweat' during the chorus of the song and it makes me want to work harder every time I hear it!"
· Lockbox LA [Official Site]
· All Hottest Trainer 2014 Coverage [Racked]