Trainer Keith Hodges uncovers the evolution of his brand

Photo Credit: Stan Evans

As an advocate of healthy living, Keith Hodges believes in creating healthier habits to achieve long-term health and wellness. He services individuals through education along with utilizing multiple aspects of fitness in order to reach the desired goal. This varied approach shocks the body, creating muscle confusion, and providing an avenue to break through plateaus. He believes it’s what helps keep his workouts both fun and challenging.

How do you utilize your knowledge to benefit and inspire others?

I utilize my knowledge to benefit and inspire others by sharing my life experiences and what I learned from these experiences. My mother used to always tell me, my story isn’t for me. It’s to inspire others. I used to be ashamed of situations I had been through or was presently going through. When I matured enough to ask for help and talk about what I was going through, I learned that people I looked up to had been through some of the same things. Once I saw they could relate, I didn’t feel alone and I felt understood. So, I try to do the same thing. I’m still a work in progress and the more I grow, I suppose I will become a bigger inspiration.

When it comes to fitness, I utilize my knowledge to benefit others for several reasons. The first is keeping people safe. I utilize my knowledge to teach proper mechanics of a movement. If you’re not careful or tedious when it comes to forming, someone can really injure themselves. It’s far more detailed than someone watching you doing an exercise, especially if they don’t understand the mechanics of a movement. Everyone isn’t on the same level. so I have to regress exercises for some individuals and progress exercises to challenge individuals. Being able to educate while I coach is a huge reason. The questions of why and what’s the goal are so important. With social media being so prevalent in the fitness industry, you will find a lot of people doing exercises because it looks cool but has no concrete reason behind it. So, I separate myself by having a method to my madness — being able to educate on why we are performing an exercise or why they need to eat certain foods in regards to the goal they want to reach. Being able to apply what I read is very important to me. I’m always trying to come up with new ways to challenge myself and the individuals I coach. I think I inspire most people because they can feed off my energy.

If you were to give a speech to young men, what would you title your speech and why?

 The title of my speech will be The Natural High. Nowadays, pill usage has become a trend and being glorified in hip-hop influencing young men to think it’s “cool,” and as a result, more and more young men are overdosing. Young men are also using pills as an escape and I believe that if they knew the endorphins they release through exercise provide the same positive feeling as those produced by opioids, I believe it would combat the war against prescription drugs.

What two quotes do you use to motivate yourself and others?

 This is a tough question because of there a lot of quotes that I love. If I had to pick two, it would have to be “Life is hard, easy is not an option, so if it’s hard, do it hard.” -Les Brown This quote is a favorite quote of mine because it motivates myself and others to step up to the plate and meet the challenge head-on. My second quote is “ I will not lose, for even in defeat, there’s a valuable lesson learned, so it evens up for me.” -Jay Z. A lot of people are afraid to try their hardest or pursue their dreams because they are afraid of the feeling they might experience if they don’t succeed. If a lot of people had a different perspective on losing, or not succeeding at first, there will be a lot more people living up to their fullest potential.

Photo provided by Keith Hodges

Please share the evolution for your brand and purpose.

Mind Muscle connection is my favorite fitness principle because it focuses on directing your focus to the muscles you are working on, forcing the muscle to recruit more fibers during contraction. This applies to life as well. Your brain can be the strongest or weakest muscle depending on how you condition it to be. The purpose of the Mind In Muscle coaching brand is to remove the limitations we place on ourselves in and out of the gym by conditioning our minds that we are stronger than our struggles.

How do you build your network up for success?

By having resources I can refer to that are wiser, more educated, and further ahead in life than myself. I love information and I love being a fly on a wall and soak up as much knowledge as they can give me. I have grown to be more careful with my energy and whom and what I give my energy to.

What two moments in your life changed you the most? 

Losing my brother and my job and my final year of school. I was a general manager of a fitness facility and came to work one day to learn that the owner sold the company overnight. I had no source of income and was forced to rely on training as a means to survive. Had it not been for that, I wouldn’t have made it through my toughest times in Los Angeles. The situation forced me to access instincts that I had not used before. Losing my brother was my biggest struggle and it changed me the most because he had never known me to be a quitter. Not wanting to let him down, I’ve learned not to quit or give up.

What piece of advice would you tell your teenage self? 

Remember that some of the advice that you are going to be given will come from people who did not pursue their dreams.

What advice would you give to young men who are dealing with their emotions? 

Asking for help does not make you weak. Don’t keep things bottled up, be slow to anger, and do not allow your environmental constraints and present circumstances to dictate your future path. “It is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” Don’t let nearsightedness dictate your actions, especially when those actions can alter your future success.

What do you define as #blackmanmagic? 

I define #blackmanmagic as being educated and being a success story to those who have seen you struggle and seen you evolve to a higher level and being a positive influence in the Black community and representing our ancestry well.

What are the three values that you govern and live your life by? 

Gratitude. Being grateful and thanking God in spite of the hard times. Being grateful for what I have so that I could be blessed with more. Integrity: I have never gotten anywhere in life by being a “snake” or doing bad business. I have nothing to gain by cheating people and I do not feel right because it is not a part of my character. Everything I have gotten or earned has been through the right way. Patience: I have grown to learn that things don’t just happen when I want them to or when I feel they should and once I gave up that sense of entitlement, I began to enjoy the process more.

How do you deal with obstacles and setbacks?

 I deal with obstacles and setbacks by staying positive and being grateful for the pros instead of dwelling on the cons, also trying to find the reason behind the setback, that way I can come up with the best possible solution.

What is one indispensable book that all Black males need to read at least once in their lifetime?

The Mis-education of the Negro.

Nakita Nicci
Nakita Nicci

Nakita Nicci is a Television personality, award winning author, lupus survivor, lifestyle expert and writer covering all things business and beauty