What It's Like to Be Black in Fitness Today
2024/02/13

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I have authored a book with Men’s Health titled "Unstoppable After 40" and co-authored the fitness text "Movement". Since 2020, I have been a contributing editor at Men’s Health, covering topics such as rucking, landmine training, and Olympic sprinter Noah Lyles. I have also taught clinics on long-term athletic development to Olympic committees and sports governing bodies. Additionally, I own Milo Limitless Fitness, a gym that has trained thousands of young athletes. However, despite my accomplishments, I still face challenges as a Black man in the fitness industry. Diversity and understanding are areas where the industry has a lot of room for improvement. While there has been progress, I remain skeptical of the predominantly white gatekeepers' ability to acknowledge their biases and the impact they have on people who look like me. I am 53 years old and have struggled to attain positions of authority. This is not an isolated experience; many other Black fitness professionals face similar obstacles. For example, when researching Black-owned fitness equipment companies, I found only six in existence. Discrimination is also prevalent in the industry, as evidenced by the discrimination lawsuit against Equinox gym and the experiences of powerlifter Julius Maddox. Unfortunately, these issues persist, and I am uncertain if the current landscape will change. It is worth noting that this article is being published during Black History Month, a time when gatekeepers feel more comfortable discussing the Black experience. It is also notable that the editing team responsible for my words primarily consists of white men. This reality puts additional pressure on me to be flawless, and even then, it may not be enough to gain recognition. Trainers of color often do not have the opportunity to speak at prominent fitness events, further perpetuating the lack of diversity in the industry. Despite these challenges, Black fitness experts like myself have found ways to make a difference and achieve success. I have become a respected speaker at the Titleist Performance Institute and was recently invited to speak at the National Strength and Conditioning Association's Personal Trainers Conference. This invitation marked a breakthrough, as my discussion on training children was the first lecture at the conference to use live clients for demonstration. The positive response has led the NSCA to consider incorporating live clients in future events. Other Black fitness professionals, such as Sika Henry, Alonzo Wilson, Jay Jordan, and Joe Seeley, have also made significant contributions to the industry. We continue to overcome obstacles and improve our resumes, hoping that one day our qualifications will be the sole criteria for success.

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