Gideon Akande: Men’s Health Next Top Trainer

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Something my Dad always preached to me growing up (and, truthfully, to this day) is “Strong Body, Strong Mind”- the mental and physical are beyond connected and you have to take care of one if you want to take care of the other.

This is Gideon Akande and he is my Chicago manifestation of Strong Body/Strong Mind. An instructor at both Flywheel and Shred415, he leads some of the sweatiest, most fun, most ass-kicking classes I have ever taken and he motivates from a place of drive and determination, a commitment to your goals. I mean, his arms alone are inspiring- I am constantly thinking that if I am around him enough, maybe my pipes could be that baller- but real talk, Gideon as a person and instructor is the real deal. I am constantly inspired to go harder, go faster, be stronger.

And I am not the only person to think Gideon is the best thing since sliced bread protein: he is in the running to be Men’s Health Magazine’s Next Top Trainer! While us Chicagoans are lucky to have him at our fingertips for an elite level fitness push, Gideon’s contagious energy deserves go to global so everyone can “Get Fit with Giddy”. Check out his video for a few great workout moves, vote for him here and if you have a chance to grab a class of his at Flywheel or Shred, trust me…you don’t be disappointed.


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The yoga kick I have been on has been all consuming but it was time to mix it up. When a friend was going to Shred 415, I figured that it was a perfect opportunity to tag along and spice my sweating up.

No lie, I will probably be sore for the rest of my life.

Here’s the deal: for an hour, you do interval training between a treadmill and weights/bench. The idea is that interval training is the best way to burn calories and tone. It changes every day but we did 9 minutes on the treadmill, 9 on the weights, back and forth for an hour…so hard, so sweaty, so awesome. Running at a massive incline at a sprint pace, hopping off to do squats and curls, back on to run up another hill, all while a very nice (full disclosure: also very cute) trainer told us “I know it hurts but don’t stop. The worst that could happen is you get better.” True in treadmills, true in life, wise trainer man.

Shred 415 pushed me to just the right edge. You adjust your own speed and weight so it’s never more than you can handle and I found myself wanting to go harder because I was seeing that I could.

Despite being sore today, I seriously cannot wait to go back. Mentally, it made me feel like a bad ass and physically, I felt like I was capable of anything. Not bad for an hour’s work.