We had the good fortune of connecting with T. Juwon Nichols and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi T. Juwon, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have been training for over 15 years and I noticed that there are various underserved populations that many professionals within the fitness industry steer clear of or simply do not have the proper education and/or experience to serve them. That is the disabled population and those in the contemplation/precontemplation stages of starting a fitness regime.

I have been blessed to work with these populations and have been successful in providing proper fitness instruction, motivation, and healthy lifestyle change recommendations.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am the founder of Gymdorks Fitness where I provide fitness instruction and healthy lifestyle change coaching to the general population as well as to people with medically-controlled conditions. As a young Airman with the United States Air National Guard, I always worked out and exercised, but professionally, I started as a Fitness Attendant at my college campus Student Recreation Center. Although I provided fitness tips and recommendations to family, friends, and colleagues, I later became certified as a Personal Trainer with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) before working at a local commercial fitness gym in Atlanta, GA.

After working in the commercial fitness industry for years, I applied to Georgia State University’s school of Kinesiology where I later earned a Master of Science in Exercise Science with an emphasis on fitness and health promotion. It was there where I was able to study, learn about, and work with people with various mental disabilities. From there I chose to primarily work with the disabled population and to be involved with disabilities advocacy groups. With being associated with Military/Veteran communities as a Service Member and a Civil Servant, I have been able to utilize my experience in many locations such as Washington DC, Japan, and now Los Angeles to name a few.

There are many ebbs and flows when working in the fitness industry- specifically in Personal Training. Since Personal Training is not a regulated field, we do not have access to health insurance funds so we have to rely on education, experience, and business sense. After the honeymoon phase of being a personal trainer dies out and at certain times of the year clients are not flowing in – this can be overwhelming and discouraging to the “unseasoned” trainer. Luckily by having a niched within the saturated fitness industry, as well as having access to various networks, I have been able to whether the storms that come each year.

I know that the Universe has provided me with tremendous opportunities while working in the fitness industry. Gymdorks Fitness is ALL ABOUT SUPER HEROES! We promote tremendous overall health and the inclusion of individuals/groups that have different physical and mental abilities to make a fit super hero force to be reckoned with.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well after our first workout session in my home fitness studio, we would go catch a run/hike at Runyon Canyon.

On anther day, we would get a workout in at Gold’s Gym Venice – the Mecca, then go to the Venice Beach Boardwalk. I absolutely love it there… the people, the music, the artists, the beach, etc…

Preferably my best friend will visit during the week of the USC vs UCLA football game, so we can go watch the Trojans stomp on the Bruins. Yes, I am a Trojan – FIGHT ON!

Of course we will have to do the Hollywood Sign hike, go to LA Live- specifically Yard House (my favorite bar/restaurant), walk around in the downtown/Little Tokyo area, then go hang out in Long Beach!

Last but not least, go visit some of my Active Duty Service/Veterans Brothers and Sisters!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to send the utmost shoutout to my Super Heroes (disabled population: people with “Special Abilities”)! In my journey of assisting these people, they have also helped me and provided valuable wisdom that they received during persevering through their life’s journeys with their disabilities. I have been able to transfer that energy and wisdom from the gym to various situations in my journey.

I also would like to give a shoutout to United States Armed Forces and Veteran communities.

Instagram: @gymdorks

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/terrancejnicholsms/

Facebook: Gym Dorks

Image Credits
Photo Credit(s): Royal Coalition; Justin White

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.