Gideon Akande is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer who left his job in corporate America when he realized he wasn’t fulfilled. Fitness was always something he loved, so he leveraged that into a career. Lively caught up with Akande to learn more about his fitness journey and the story behind the creation of his own fitness app and community, Get Fit With Giddy.
Lively: How did you get started in fitness?
Gideon Akande: I grew up playing sports and I was a D1 athlete at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. I loved sports—fitness was my world. After college, I came back to Chicago for a job in sales, but I wasn’t fulfilled. I knew I had to find something I wouldn’t mind doing all day, every day. I knew someone who had been a personal trainer for over 10 years, and I missed that world, so I picked her brain. Soon after, I got a certification and started working at a box gym, teaching classes and training and I loved it.
L: What is your favorite thing about being a trainer?
GA: There are so many things that I love about it. I do one-on-one personal training, teach classes and work to bring brand partnerships to life through fitness. I love the fact that what I do has so much variety. One day I could be hosting a fitness event in a park with a DJ and 500 people and then I could teach a virtual class.
I love spreading my joy of fitness and the fact that I can affect the lives of so many people, even if I’m not on the same city or block, but I can still share my energy and passion.
L: How do form connections with your clients, since some are virtual and some are in-person.
GA: I box competitively, and am a two-time Golden Glove champion, but when I started, I had a lot to learn. So, I know what it’s like to start at something and not be good at it, and I can speak that language to my clients.
I show them I get it. I’ll put in the work and make mistakes and that helps them to trust me even more. I love when I get feedback that I’ve changed my clients’ lives, everything from “I’ve gained confidence” to “I can play with my kids.” It further confirms I’m doing the right thing.
L: What inspired you to create your own fitness app?
GA: There are many reasons why I did it, but after gaining experience in the fitness industry, I wanted to be my own boss. I know what does and doesn’t work and I feel that people want to see consistent content from me. I wanted to create a way for people have the opportunity to work out with me from anywhere.
I wanted to build a way that I can share energy with people who want to work out with me and give them the tools and confidence they need for results.
L: Walk us through your app!
GA: My app is multi-faceted. The whole idea behind my Get Fit With Giddy platform is to have both live and on-demand workouts. I film every live workout I do, so if you miss a live workout or really liked one you can return to the app and do it when it’s convenient for you.
I have an extensive fitness background and I offer it all on the platform. You’ll get everything from bodyweight workouts, dumbbell strength workouts and resistance band workouts to cycling and boxing workouts.
I also provide meal plans and tips and tactics, plus you get access to a private Facebook community where we share successes in fitness and in life. It’s important to remember that fitness is great, but it’s a really small part of what we do.
L: How have you overcome obstacles in your career path?
GA: Fitness is an ever-changing ever evolving landscape. I was teaching classes at a boxing studio in downtown Chicago before the pandemic, and the studio suddenly had to shut down. Your livelihood can vanish but no one can take away what you have. I realized that most people have a cell phone, which is how I decided to create my app. I’ve seen what fitness can do for people and I want to continue to help people.
I always want things to be lined up perfectly, but I need to remind myself to take the first step. People are very forgiving and they want you to do a good job, you just have to understand your own value and worth.
Wherever I go, whether I’m home in Chicago or elsewhere, I immerse myself in the local fitness community. There are so many great people in the fitness industry, and I don’t hesitate to sync up with like-minded people when I find myself in a new city.
L: Do you work with any local organizations?
GA: I try to work with local, Chicago-based charities whenever I can. With my boxing background, I work with The Bloc, an organization that provides boxing clinics and mentoring for underprivileged youth. I also do a lot of mentoring with an organization called Youth Guidance that helps young adults making a transition out of high school to understand who they are and what they want to do. My experience leaving corporate America and finding ways to flourish in fitness helps me mentor others to think outside the box and find success in their passions.
L: What are your favorite Vital Proteins products?
GA: I use Collagen Peptides and I also enjoy the Collagen Gummies and the Immune Support** Gummies. I also take Vital Performance™ PRE about an hour or so before my workouts if I’m filming a lot of live workouts. Then, when I’m stretching and cooling down after, I’ll have Vital Performance™ RECOVER.