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Tony Deakin has always been a sports and fitness enthusiast. He grew up playing soccer (or “football,” we should say) in Manchester, England, and moved to Grand Rapids in 2005 to attend Davenport University and play at the college level. He is currently part of Grand Rapids FC, which is part of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). When he’s not kicking a ball around and inspiring his teammates to victory, he leads our early birds during the weekday 5:30 a.m. classes.

How did you hear about CKO Grand Rapids?

I was referred to CKO from a friend and former colleague. She put me in contact with Shelby.

What about CKO stood out to you the most?

CKO has high-energy and motivating workouts. I love kickboxing and believe it’s one of the most fun and beneficial workouts for clients and helps them achieve quick results.

How did your fitness career begin?

I have played soccer my since I was 6 years old, and it has provided me with so many opportunities. I played soccer in college while I studied for my bachelor’s degree in sports management. After graduation, I was given the opportunity to play soccer in Australia for two years semi-professionally. That’s where my fitness career really took off. I worked for Fitness First as a membership consultant, sales manager and assistant club manager. I learned a lot about the industry while there, and I was able to transition into a sales and retention manager position when I moved back to England. I spent two more years back in my home country and married my wife, Amanda, and got into the fitness component of running a facility. We moved back to Grand Rapids in 2014 and I became certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a personal trainer. I worked at MVP for a nearly a year before transitioning to teaching group exercise and personal training at the Salvation Army Kroc Center. I am now currently the fitness manager at Kroc and absolutely love my new role helping people in our community achieve their health and wellness goals. I also currently coach youth soccer for Midwest United FC and play semi-professionally for Grand Rapids FC in the NPSL. My schedule is really hectic, but I love everything I do. I am really glad CKO is part of that!

What is your regular fitness routine?

Like most people, the biggest challenge for me is fitting in my own workout. Most of my fitness comes from teaching classes; I also train three times a week with Grand Rapids FC and like to lift on my off days. My workout routine normally consists of lots of functional movements.

What is your favorite part about being a trainer at CKO?

Working with our awesome members. They work so hard in class and bring so much energy! Watching members achieve their personal health and fitness goals and knowing I play a small part in helping is the most rewarding thing for me.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love to travel. I have been lucky enough to travel to some awesome locales. I want to continue to visit and see new places and experience new things.

How do you motivate others to reach their fitness goals?

I have a ton of energy and I try to bring that energy every day to try to help motivate others. Building relationships with our members is the most important thing because then I learn what motivates them. Once I know “the why” to a person’s health and fitness goal, I can use that as a driving force to help motivate the member achieve what they envision.

Soccer is such an important part of your life. What has the sport given you over the years?

Soccer has made me in to the person I am today. It has given me so many opportunities and taught me so many life lessons.  Because of soccer I have been able to travel the world, get an education, meet so many awesome people, build a career that I love, and most importantly, gave me the opportunity to meet my beautiful wife. Without soccer, none of this would have been possible.

You teach some early classes! What is some advice for getting out of bed early to get a good workout in?

There are a few tips I recommend to help people fit in their early workouts:

  • Get to bed early. Strive for seven-to-eight hours of sleep, so you can rise early and feel ready to work out.
  • Get into a routine so your body can adjust.
  • Set your alarm.
  • Most importantly, know your goals. It’s tough to get out of bed in the morning, so define your health and fitness goals and remember “the why.” Use it to drive your motivation!