BY: Lively Staff

April 10, 2017

Gideon Akande: My Go-To Exercises

Personal trainer Gideon Akande shares his top exercises for overall wellness

Gideon Akande

Chicago-based personal trainer, Gideon Akande, knows a thing or two about the importance of staying motivated to achieve goals and maintaining optimal health–he has the accolades to prove it.  Named 2015 Men’s Health Next Top Trainer and Chicago Golden Gloves Champion in 2013 and 2014, Gideon is known for his ability to execute corporate wellness programs, high-intensity classes, and individualized training sessions that motivate and inspire.  In this Q&A, gain insight into Gideon’s day-to-day workout regimen, his tips for achieving the most efficient workout, and tips for refueling and recovery.

If you were stuck on an island with a pair of gym shoes and not one piece of equipment, what 5 exercises would you do to stay in shape?

  • Squat Jacks
  • Spider Lunge to Push Up
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • Skaters
  • Burpees

Don’t know what these exercises are or how to do them? Watch the video above. 

How often does someone really need to workout to stay fit?
Many factors would determine what your overall target should be (goals, exercise experience, medical history, etc), but generally 3-4 days of moderate intensity exercise will improve your
overall health and help you remain in shape.
Why is recovering from a workout important?
Efficiency! During exercise, muscles are broken down in order to grow stronger. Recovery is
important because it speeds up the healing process allowing you to hit your fitness goals faster.
Recovery also soothes the aches and soreness from your last workout. It increases
flexibility, promotes mobility, and ensures the athlete is able to attack their next fitness challenge!
When you finish a hard workout, what do you eat to refuel?
I enjoy a good workout first thing in the morning. I refuel with steel cut oatmeal mixed with
Vital Proteins Collagen Whey, bananas and a side of almonds.
Try this tasty and protein-packed Vitamin C Smoothie Bowl for a delicious post-workout meal.
What are a few common exercise related mistakes others should be careful to avoid to reduce their risk of injury?
Some of the most common mistakes I see made by well-intentioned exercisers is to have the
heels leave the ground while performing a squat. Most people are quad dominant to begin with
and to elevate the heels in the squat further develops the quads while taking away from
utilization of the glutes, the muscle group you’re trying to target in the exercise. Overuse of the
quads will cause those muscles to pull at the knee with greater force, creating a muscular imbalance which will eventually lead to injury.  Keep the heels on the ground and your
bodyweight centered to get the most out of this effective leg strengthening exercise.  Another exercise that is often improperly executed is the plank. It is possible to hold a plank and pass the look test. However, the plank should feel like a total body exercise when you consciously engage the proper muscles. Keeping the glutes tight, core engaged, and hands pushing against the ground will generate more muscle activation throughout the entire body, making it more effective.
If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who wants to get into better shape, what would it be?
When it comes to exercise, don’t be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone! Try new exercises and workouts to keep things fresh! Plateaus are unavoidable, but cross-training and
venturing out into new fitness worlds may help strengthen your game, all while exposing you to
new and enjoyable modes of staying healthy!  When it comes to nutrition- You’re less likely to succeed if you completely overhaul your meal plan. Make sustainable healthy adjustments to your intake over time. You’ll accomplish so much more with much less stress.


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