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Q&A with Acacia-TV Personal Trainer and International Group Fitness Instructor Deazie Gibson



Deazie Gibson, fitness, black women fitness, black women personal trainers, acacia

Having earned a corporate communications degree, how did you get involved in the fitness industry?

I grew up as an athlete; gymnastics, track and field, cheerleading and dance. So I have always been involved and had a natural gravitation to the fitness world one way or another whether it was teaching, working out, competing or eating healthy.

Sometime trainers – in an attempt to gain exposure – can appear unprofessional in what they choose to show on social media. Having worked with brands such as Nike, Reebok, NFL, Glamour magazine, and made national television appearances. How big of a role does maintaining a professional image play in getting and staying aligned with major brands?

First, I have to thank my parents for my strict, humble and supportive upbringing which I respect more now that I’m older, of course. I was taught old school southern manners from the get go so that set me straight. Lol. I think a professional image plays a huge role when representing a product or brand. These company’s have chosen and trust that you will represent there brand to the best of your ability and that you are the right fit for the product. Maintaining a professional image comes easy and natural for me. I’m honest, I try and do the right thing and I stay true to who I am. If I ever start to get to big for my britches my parents are always there to keep me grounded. I also think of what my Grandma would say as I see her with her hand on her hip, shaking her head with that look on her face, ‘I know I taught you better than that’! “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If I ever have to question myself or think twice about it, I already know the answer.

From New York to Istanbul, Turkey, describe what it’s like working with different cultures. In what ways is the idea of being fit different from America?

My experience in Turkey was amazing! I would do it all over again! Working with different cultures was so enlightening and intriguing. The Turkish were warm and inviting and truly just good people. The language barrier was a challenge but I love challenges. It was good to actually be the foreigner for once and know what it feels like to be on the other side. I now have a whole new respect for foreigners. I learned a lot about myself and others. Exercise for them was more like recreation and enjoyable than a goal of always needing to lose weight or be skinny. No one was over weight but of course it helps that all the food was extremely fresh and that they eat more of a Mediterranean diet. I also noticed that no one ran on the treadmills and that I was the only crazy person that did, lol…clearly, I was an American, lol! We did have a lot of athletes from all over the world come to the gym to workout in between layovers or transition time between training and beginning the new season. I learned not to obsess about time and to have fun! Actually, I was forced to when they took my watch as a joke for 2 weeks. Although I was there to work I quickly learned that play time was just as equally important If not more, in there culture. They work hard but definitely play even harder. I learned to really enjoy lunch and dinner and to eat slow and truly enjoy my food because that was considered family time and a time out for the entire city to just kick back and relax. The music and night life was amazing. I have to give it to the Turkish, they really know how to have a good time! I met some really great people and the food was excellent! Did I say that already, lol!

D3 (Drive, Discipline, Determination) is a huge part of your fitness brand and something that you instill in your clients. We want to know yours!

  • What drives you?

That burning desire to make a difference. Being challenged. Doing something I’m not great at. Good strong friends and supportive friends and family. Friends that are also driven is inspiring. Creative people. Competing with myself to always be and do better because I’m my own worst critic.

  • In what area do you struggle to stay disciplined?

I’m a pretty disciplined person but I’m a foodie. I love and crave good healthy foods. But I have a weakness for healthy warm (fresh out of the oven) peanut butter cookies, OMG. I know, your thinking healthy peanut butter cookies, WHAT?! But the problem is how many I can eat at one time, lol!!!

  • What are you determined to accomplish next?

 Learn to play the acoustic guitar. Starting a little business but I haven’t quite figured out what it will be. Lol. Creating my own food bag for the airline industry. I am particular about my food and a good sturdy, well made, perfect sized food bag is in desperate need to be created! Investing in some property. Rock climbing is going to be my next adventure. I went skiing this past winter and it was awesome so I’d like to better that skill then learn to snowboard! Grow my own garden with fresh vegetables. Travel internationally and explore more countries and cultures. Tango in Argentina.

Tell us about your fitness project with Acacia TV, a company founded by Bob Johnson of BET?

It’s been a dream come true for me to be able to do what I love, fitness! Acacia TV is up and coming and I love being on the brink of something new and exciting! I get to really be involved and watch it grow! It is streaming fitness workouts that offer a little something for everybody which means there are no excuses! I looooove that there is diversity amongst the 5 of us leading the videos. I’m able to be myself (athletic, silly and creative) and be who I am and I am so grateful for that! I have been waiting for this moment for 14 years and it’s finally happening. At times, I have to pinch myself because I can’t believe I’m really doing this! I’m the strength girl even though I love it all (dance, interval training, power, kettlebell, jump rope, CrossFit, etc…) strength training is my focus out of the 5 of us. I get to be creative and create my own workouts, how awesome is that! We are involved in social media and market Acacia and ourselves with Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc. I’ve had the opportunity to write fitness articles, demo exercises and write workouts for The Examiner, Spark People blog site and for Fitness and Oxygen magazine. I’ve appeared on several blog sites such as Two Classy Chics and Trainer T Fitness and hopefully more to come!

If you had to choose, which would it be, squat or deadlift?

Hmmm…Squat and Deadlift! Both are essential to life. But if I had to pick just one, squat is the ultimate exercise that can be done anywhere, anytime. A squat builds your entire lower body, core and back. If you have a strong squat you can do anything because you have built a strong foundation to live a active healthy lifestyle.

What was your biggest fear in beginning your career in fitness?

I didn’t really have any fears because I had faith. Once I started my career in fitness, I knew this was it. I met such great people along the way. Mentors that were kind, thoughtful and helpful and I still talk to them to this day. One thing I knew for sure, I could not do a 9-5, it just wasn’t for me. Then I thought about it and realized I never grew up in a household where a regular 9-5 job was the norm. My mom is a flight attendant and my dad is a businessman but always had his own schedule and traveled a lot. So my career in the fitness field was spot on!

As a competitor what is it like stepping onto a stage and being judged?

I love it! I feel comfortable on stage. I’m a competitor and love to compete so to me I see it as it’s my time to shine! However, I don’t always love being judged by someone’s else’s definition of what perfect is or what they think it is because I know how much hard work truly goes into it and I know how much I put into it. When I go for something it’s 110%! I put my heart and soul into it and giving up is not an option.

What is one thing that you have overcome that people can benefit from reading?

I have over come failing. I’ve come to realize that without my failures and disappointments I wouldn’t be fulfilling my dreams right now with Acacia TV! It was in the plans all along although it’s a hard lesson to learn at the moment in time. If you fail at something it’s ok to be upset and down about it for a bit, we’re only human, but you have to get over and let it go so that you can keep your path clear and able to be receptive for the next blessing.

Stay connected with Deazie and workout with her online by visiting AcaciaTV!

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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2Chainz Pretty Girls Fit Fest: Pretty Girls Like Trap Music



Atlanta’s Hottest Fitness Trainers Missy Mostrom, Stephanie LeBeau, DaShaun “Guru” Johnson & Lana Ector Whipped Over 200 Pretty Girls into Shape at Center Stage for the Release of 2Chainz “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music” Album  

This past Thursday, June 15th over 200 of Atlanta’s prettiest girls showed up to the Loft at Center Stage in athletic gear for one reason…because they love trap music! Event attendees were excited and ready to sweat it out to 2Chainz new album “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music” with a few of Atlanta’s hottest fitness trainers and were surprised to receive an official “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music” pink yoga mat which came in handy during the three 45-minute workout sessions.

Session 1 featured trainers Stephanie LeBeau and Missy Mostrom of VESTA who opened the night with kickboxing moves and rotational exercises that increased heartbeats and spirits. Then the Guru of Abs himself, Dashaun Johnson, took the stage for Session 2 and after a quick warm up he turned it up and took it off! Always one to focus on breathing during his workouts, you could hear the ladies calling out the numbers of their sets throughout the entire venue. To close out the night in Session 3, Lana Ector came to represent that Black Women Workout Too and showed all the pretty girls that a little twerking can be considered a workout too.

Throughout the evening attendees were able to relax in the Pretty Girls lounge wherein they previewed the “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music” album and refreshed themselves with Propel Electrolyte Water.The next stop on the Trap Fitness tour will be….well you just have to stay tuned to find out.

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Fantasia’s ‘Journey to Fit’ – See the Exercises that Helped Refine Her Sexy



fantasia, black fitness today,

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Leading Online Retailer CEO Dishes on Best Swimwear For You and Trends for 2017



Elise Neal, Black Fitness Today, Yandy, Summer, Swimwear

We think it’s fair to assume that our January cover feature, Elise Neal, can rock anything and make it look awesome – especially swimwear. In fact, her black and white mod one-piece suit from Yandy sold out soon after our cover release. 

So, but what about the rest of us (lol)? The summer season is fast approaching, and we’re all working hard to get our bodies ready. However, no physique is the same, so what swimwear works best for different body types? What are the hottest trends we can also look for? 

Black Fitness Today chatted with Yandy CEO Thom Brodeur to answer these questions and more. Beginning as a small, start-up business in 2005, has become the leading online retailer of sexy women’s specialty apparel. offers thousands of stylish items in everyday intimates, lingerie, swimwear and costumes for millions of women around the world, of all shapes and sizes. 

Thom, how is Yandy making a splash in the world of fashion?

Yandy’s goal is to make our mark by transforming the business from a marketplace of 10s of thousands of SKUs across a dozen+ categories to a fashion brand with a sharp eye for on-trend, fashion forward design, quality construction and materials, and the right fit for real women. Our objective is to provide a wide-but-manageable variety of sexy lingerie, everyday intimates (bra & panty), swimwear, active and loungewear to every woman in every shape, size and ethnicity all underscored by our core mission…to help every woman find and own her own brand of sexy.

The brand’s mission is to help every woman discover or re-discover her own brand of sexy. Whether a celebrity like Elise Neal or an everyday woman, how does Yandy swimwear cater to women of varying body types, and what styles/pieces are best for different body types (i.e., athletic, curvy, petite, etc.)? 
Our styles were designed with a wide range of tastes and requirements in mind. Our sporty high neck styles accentuate an athletic physique. Our sexy one piece suits with high cut legs look great on a petite frame, and our high waisted silhouettes hug a curvier figure in all the right places. If you saw the Yandy Swim 2017 Collection that debuted recently at New York Fashion Week; you would have seen models ranging from 5’7 to 6’, size 0 and up, body types from athletic to curvy and full figured, and a range in ethnicities to represent our perspective on what sexy swim is… on a global level. The ideal woman’s look, figure, shape and size is different any and everywhere in the world you go. Yandy wants to continue to bring more of that to the forefront.

summer, swimwear, Yandy, Black Fitness Today, Elise Neal

What are the biggest trends in swimwear for summer 2017?
We’ve designed and put a lot of high necklines, long sleeves, high cut hips, low plunging necklines, chic off-the-shoulder looks and high waisted styles into our latest swim collection, and so far, have seen very favorable customer response. We’re excited for swim season to kick into full gear. It’s always great to let the market pick your winners, and then refine your design efforts for future cycles based on real customer feedback.

The suit worn by Elise Neal on our Jan. cover was immediately highly sought after. What can a buyer expect when they receive their Yandy swimwear? 
Yandy customers can expect sophisticated, on-trend swimwear with unrivaled fit and quality, that when worn, will make them feel confident and sexy. 

Browse Yandy’s vast array of swimwear and specialty apparel, and keep up with the brand: 

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