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Black History Month – Health & Fitness Achievements Pt. II



We continue our celebration of Black History Month, recognizing individuals making strides in health and fitness! Last week, we celebrated Donna Richardson-Joyner. This week, we celebrate the accomplishments of three living legends that broke down barriers to become “firsts” as African-Americans in the athletic training field.

According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), only two percent of athletic trainers are African-American. Not only do we recognize them for breaking barriers, we also recognize them for being some of the most respected professionals in the athletic training career field!


Dr. Marsha Grant-Ford – First African-American woman to become a Certified Athletic Trainer. Dr. Grant-Ford has published numerous articles and held various positions to include currently serving as an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science and Physical Education at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. (Photo courtesy of Montclair State University)


Keith Jones – First African-American and youngest head athletic trainer in the NBA when he joined the Clippers’ in 1990, at age 28. Jones has over 20 years of experience as an NBA Athletic Trainer and was named the 2001 NBA Trainer of the Year. He has served as an athletic trainer on six USA Basketball teams; 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Jones currently works as the Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations/Head Athletic Trainer for the Houston Rockets. (Photo courtesy of

Ronnie_Barnes_NFLRonnie Barnes – First African-American NFL Athletic Trainer. Barnes has been a member of the New York Giants sports medicine staff for over 30 years. He now serves as Head Athletic Trainer and VP for medical services. He has earned numerous awards including the 1996 National Athletic Trainers’ Association Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award, a 1999 National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame inductee, two-time National Professional Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society, the 1999 March of Dimes Man of the Year and the Ed Block Courage Award as a member of the NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year in 1999. (Photo courtesy of

Thank you to Dr. Marsha Grant-Ford, Ronnie Barnes, and Keith Jones for your accomplishments and for becoming pioneers in field of Athletic Training.

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Ilen & Lauren Bell are the husband and wife team behind Black Fitness Today, born, in 2011, out of their motivation to change culture, build a platform and lead the charge. Their purpose is to help change the culture towards health and fitness in the African-American community, showcase those who are making an impact, and promote healthier living. They also aim to serve as a platform for African-American fitness and health professionals and enthusiasts who are otherwise overlooked in traditional fitness media.

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How To Do The Barbell Hip Thrust…



Are you struggling to build bigger glutes?

Check out my video to learn about the 4 cues you must use with the barbell hip thrust in order to perform them with excellent form and maximize your gains.

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Michael B. Jordan Gained 15 Pounds of Muscle for Killmonger Role

Wallace Has Come A Mighty Long Way!



Killmonger, Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan

Erik Killmonger is a very powerful character in Marvel’s Black Panther. The supervillain, played by Michael B. Jordan, along with his dominating spirit and his pain, was just as important to the story line as the evolution of T’Challa. While there’s generally an antagonist in films (spoiler alert coming if you haven’t seen the film) – we didn’t find Killmonger to be so much of a villain after all.

Corey Calliet is the man behind Michael B. Jordan’s gains, and arguably another person who contributed the overwhelming success of the movie. The celebrity trainer, seen now on Revenge Body on E! helped Jordan bulk up, as well as help other stars like Angela Bassett, be at peak physical condition for Black Panther. Calliet has worked with Jordan in the past, most notably for Creed and the Fantastic Four reboot.

Michael B. Jordan, Killmonger, Black Panther

Photo: Men’s Fitness

“When you see him, you need to be scared, you need to be intimidated. We don’t want the nice, young-looking Michael,” Calliet said in an interview with Men’s Health Mag. He also describes his training style to that of an artist taking a chisel to a block of marble. “I’m talking about sculpting a body, not just conditioning it to be fast…I wanted to make his shoulders look better. I needed his upper chest to pop. I needed his back to tell a story. I wanted his back to look like a globe, like a map.”

So how did Jordan get his gains? Calliet trained the actor two to three times a daily and Jordan ate six meals per day. Get more details on Calliet’s training with details with Jordan here .



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5 Reasons People Quit Going To The Gym



1)  I don’t have time to workout

It takes 21 days to develop a habit. Diligently plan out the next 3 weeks, incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise into your daily regimen for 3-4 times a week. Make having an active life intentional. Put it on the same level as having lunch or getting sleep. As you work-out, it will soon become a non-negotiable, similar to eating and sleeping.

2)  It’s Too Crowded And People Watch Me

The gym isn’t the only option that will help you reach your body goals. There are various in-home regimens that you can following YouTube or your favorite social media fitness professionals. Fitness is doing more movement than you did the day before. Lunch break walks, morning workout routines, and bike rides all support your desire to have an active (and private) lifestyle.

3)  I’m Not Losing Any Weight

Getting the body you desire requires a lifestyle change. Oftentimes we believe workouts are enough, but eating and sleeping are also main components for weight-loss. Fat is burned during your body’s recovery stage and muscle building process. As you work out, obtain 6-8 hours of sleep to maximize gains. Clean eating cannot be overlooked, a high protein-low carb diet is key. We have to break our traditional mindsets of consuming 3 meals a day and get accustomed to eating 6 times a day. Eating 6 times includes 3 meals along with 3 snacks, which can also include smoothies and shakes.

4)  No One Will Know If I Quit 

Accountability is vital to starting a new workout routine. Identify a workout partner. If you can’t find one, write a contract with yourself. Sign your contract and hang it somewhere so you can see it everyday. Knowing you have a commitment to yourself or your partner will help you form healthy, weight-loss habits.

5)  I Just Hate Working Out!!!

You may hate the gym, but everyone loves a good reflection in the mirror. Everyone wants to add years to their life and working out does just that. You have to ask yourself every day, “does my lifestyle add years to my life or subtract them?”Medications and hospital bills can become very expensive so prevention has to be the focus. Remember: the healthier we are, the better the reflection we have in the mirror.

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Karen Civil, Live Civil, Black Fitness Today





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