Personal trainer Akuda Esin knows that, at the beginning of a new year, people flock to the gym. But people don’t always know how to start a new fitness routine. He’s here to help.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m 22 years old, originally from Dallas, TX and moved out here for school a few years ago. I’m of Nigerian descent (hence the name), and I’m planning on graduating from LSU in the spring.
I’ve been a personal trainer in [Baton Rouge] for about three years. About a year ago I started doing calisthenics, or bodyweight workouts, while at the same time consuming more of a whole foods plant-based diet.
Recently, two friends of mine and I started our calisthenics group Dirty South Bars.
As a personal trainer, do you see a lot of people including fitness into their New Years resolutions?
Oh yes. I’ll put it like this: January 1st. is like a 2nd Christmas for gyms selling memberships.
What’s the No.1 tip you have for people who want to get fit in the New Year?
The short answer is: Don’t talk about it. Just DO it.
What’s the one thing people should avoid?
For those just getting started, comparing yourself, or competing with anyone or anything but yourself.
Do you have any motivational tips for people who want to lose weight in 2017?
Whenever you feel like stopping, and trust me, you will, think about why you started.
What’s the best way to ease into a healthy lifestyle?
Do something you know you’ll enjoy. For some people, that means working out with friends. Others, it means playing basketball, Frisbee, riding bikes, etc. Whatever it is, make it FUN.
You’re more likely to continue doing something if it’s something you actually like.
What are your top 3 healthy snacks?
Bananas, Apples, and Trail Mix (nuts, seeds, dried fruit) etc.
Do you have a favorite workout?
I like to do a lot of static holds at the end of my sets. For example, I’ll do 10 pushups and hold at the bottom for 30 seconds.
I also like to use the landscape to work out, so light posts, guard rails, stairs, anything I can use and turn it into a workout.
How did you get involved in the fitness world?
I was chubby and tubby growing up, and then I got into playing sports and started exercising consistently (emphasis on consistency) and saw my body evolve and get stronger right before my eyes.
After high school, I wanted to keep it going so I found a job a local gym in town, and things just kind of took off from there.
What makes you different from other trainers in the Baton Rouge area?
Everyone offers their own unique perspective, and I offer one that most people haven’t really been exposed to, and that’s what makes me stand out.
Anything else readers would like to know about you or your job?
If you are interested in calisthenics and want to join us, you can find Blake, Kace or myself at Milford Wampold Memorial Park on Stanford most days during the week, or at the bars at University Terrace middle school across the street from the WCA parking lot on the weekends. You can also find us on facebook and Instagram @DirtySouthBars
Photos by Sean Gasser.