Exercise Man is on a Mission to Make His Community Healthier
| 4 min read
Editor’s Note: Burrell Solomon (aka “Exercise Man”) is a paid spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
When it comes to starting a new workout regimen, there’s one thing Exercise Man says is key to getting started on the right path: “Don’t be intimidated by what you can’t do.”
Burrell Solomon, otherwise known as “Exercise Man,” is a 46-year old native Detroiter, self-employed fitness instructor and motivational speaker who has been helping people get in shape for nearly 20 years.
After completing the fitness training program at the Professional Career Development Institute in Georgia, Solomon went on to design his own specialty boot camps and group exercise training classes. His classes became so successful they caught the attention of organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and the Internal Revenue Service Crime Investigation Unit that partnered with him to provide adult exercise classes for employees.
Today, Exercise Man offers his boot camp classes at McDonald Square Park near downtown Detroit to help improve the physical health of the community. He spends his mornings teaching children’s kickboxing classes to at-risk youth as a subcontractor through the local Y.M.C.A.
He’s worked with clients of all shapes, sizes and ages. He takes pride in making his community healthier by helping others work to achieve their fitness goals– no matter how big or small.
“It’s all about building up people’s self-esteem and helping people at the level they’re at,” says Solomon.
Hailing from southeast Detroit near Jefferson St., Solomon remembers going to his father’s house and staying active by chopping wood and play-boxing with his brothers.
His father was an avid boxing fan and Solomon says this passion was passed down to him. He was as an amateur boxer for almost 10 years and attributes this to being the start of his passion for physical fitness. Getting fit for his time in the ring, he picked up many of the techniques he now teaches his clients. Even during the off season Solomon would follow a strict training routine featuring strength training exercises and running.
BECOMING EXERCISE MAN
Fitness can be a fun family affair. After all, experts say working out with a friend or relative can increase accountability and help improve results.
Such was the case for Solomon’s sister, who lost nearly 40 pounds after undergoing one of his training programs. It was this ability to help others transform that led to the name, “Exercise Man.”
She [his sister] said, “Boy you so good, you need to call yourself the Exercise Man!'” Burrell explains. After that he says the name “just stuck.”
BOOT CAMP HERO
His most popular program is his week-long boot camp where students learn the basics of simple exercises like shuttle runs and pull-ups.
The class is designed to encourage each participant to work out to their own strength abilities. Solomon says while some students may be discouraged at first, it’s important to remember everyone has to start somewhere.
He says recently one young man who wasn’t able to perform push-ups was able to find success by focusing on cardio exercises, specifically Solomon’s shuttle runs.
“He felt that was what he could do, that it was his strength, because he had played basketball,” Solomon said.
Ultimately, Exercise Man says his role is simple — to motivate people to believe in themselves.
“If I can motivate you to get up, eat an apple or an orange, walk two or three miles or ride a bike, that’s what makes me feel good.”
Watch the video below to see him in action, and stay tuned to A Healthier Michigan.org for more tips from Exercise Man.
Do you have a fitness question for Exercise Man? Leave us a comment below and we may feature your fitness topic in a future blog post!
Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan
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