Neal grew up in San Jose, California and attended Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. As a college athlete, Neal held most of the weightlifting records at the school; so naturally, others would seek him out for advice in the gym. This is where he developed a passion for training and helping others. As a college intern, Neal began his personal training career working with individuals with disabilities, including people with Down Syndrome and Multiple Sclerosis. Neal also assisted in developing a Physical Education curriculum for multiple elementary schools in McMinnvile, Oregon. He graduated from Linfield College in 1999, with a B.S. in Exercise Science, and began to pursue a career in the NFL.