Reebok celebrates the trainers that help us reach our goals. While you’ve been hunkered down and need to sweat, Abeni Pierson has been just a click away. We say thank you with a spotlight here.
Name Abeni Pierson
Who are you in 90 characters or less? I'm a 5'2 ball of energy & muscle with a 6'7 personality typically sporting matching workout sets & a blue
Social Handles and/or Website Instagram: @pahpah_smurf
Why do you teach/train?
Cultivating a space for people to feel safe, important, and valuable is the reason I teach. It's crucial for every client in my class to have the support they need & my clients make my job a million times easier by encouraging one another. Strangers moving their bodies in unison is beautiful to watch. The competitive clients are driven by the athletes, the first-timers are encouraged by veterans, the injured inspire the strong, the eldest are goals for the youngsters, and pregnant women push the whole damn room. Nobody works harder than the moms who miraculously find the time to pencil me into their busy schedules. No lie, it's inspiring. The clients uplift me too. I know how hard it is to find the motivation to come to class, especially considering all the challenges we face in life. Not only do they show up, but they also show out! It makes waking up at 4 am worth it.
What classes do you normally teach / what is your training expertise?
I specialize in TRX training and it's my absolute favorite apparatus! It’s for everyone, athletes, first timers, pregnant women, and even those with injuries. The classes I teach at Equinox are BEST BUTT EVER, BEST ABS EVER, TRX MAX, and BOOTCAMP. My classes at Ride Oakland are H.I.I.T., TRX Strength, TRX H.I.I.T., and TRX TWERK. TRX Twerk is a workshop that I’ve run periodically. The twerkshop combines suspension training with intense cardio strengthening. It's hella empowering and safer than the club! I could go on forever about my love of TRX but I’ve taught everything from Flexline, yoga, circuit styled bootcamps, core conditioning, and mobility-focused workouts.
How have you adapted your business to still inspire people at home?
Usually I teach group fitness classes with anywhere from 20 to 30 people in a room. That type of environment does not allow for clients to go beyond surface level conversations. Now I’m virtually training those same clients and getting to know more about their lives.
Are you currently offering virtual classes? If so, when and how can people join?
Yes, I am. You can access my HIIT workouts on Ride Oakland’s website. Details of other classes will be posted on my instagram: @pahpah_smurf. Stay tuned.
What advice would you give to other fitness professionals to get through these times?
In order to lift each other up, we need to be real with ourselves. Our lives have been shifted, plans rerouted, and goals delayed. Now is the time to focus on building stronger bonds with coworkers, friends, & family. Sharing my worries and concerns with fellow instructors has been very therapeutic. I encourage you all to do the same. Usually when something tragic happens, it's not easy for the rest of the world to understand one's pain. Now we all can to a certain degree. Please, have real conversations and listen to the needs of those around you. Although the circumstances vary from person to person, we are all affected. Work hard to be kind and make your love for those around you obvious.
How can fitness professionals lift each other up right now?
Before the Stay at Home Order initially started, several other instructors and I banded together to help protect our community. We spent hours removing spin bikes from the studio to help enforce the 6ft safety policy. It was a real bonding experience for all of us. We all love the studio owner so much and wanted to support the space that brought us all together. I've also been using the HouseParty app to knock out several conversations at a time & texting less because it's impersonal. After the order was put in place, I participated in every Instagram workout that involved tagging your friends. Now I feel more confident calling and FaceTiming them and I know they appreciate the love.
What is your favorite non-fitness outlet to cope with the current stress of the world?
Binge-watching documentaries & docuseries has been my saving grace. They unveil so many perspectives and it's hard for me not to spend hours immersed in the different concepts. I've also been practicing self-care to the max! Spa days at home have been turned up a notch. I purchased an at-home wax kit. And all I have to say is, I've faced my biggest fear.
How are you giving yourself #permissiontopause?
Every other week, I allow myself an Instagram break. It's my most used social media platform. Whenever I take a break from Instagram, I remove myself from expectations and comparisons that aren't always positive or healthy. The break allows me to focus on what I truly want for myself.