WHAT IS GAME FITNESS ?
I founded Game Fitness in 2018 with the objective of inspiring clients to set and achieve personal fitness goals. What started as a personal journey toward health and wellness has become a true calling and life’s work to help others. With mounting health issues and fatigue in my 40’s, I made physical fitness a priority in my life. This commitment resulted in regained health and energy and a newfound joy in keeping up with my active family. After revitalizing my own health, I became motivated to support others with their transformations.
My unique approach to fitness classes draws on my experience as a certified trainer and my background as a comedic actor and entertainer. Exercise should never be boring and I strive to put a smile on every client’s face each and every session. I believe your fitness routine shouldn’t be routine at all--it should be a blast! When exercise and wellness feel less like a chore and more like a game, you are more likely to consistently stick with your fitness program and see lasting results.
Game Fitness is on a mission to help clients make physical fitness an essential and enjoyable part of their life. We believe it’s never too late (or too early!) for a health transformation and are passionate about making fitness fun, maintainable, and accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Game Fitness exercise programs are gamified, so while your mind is entertained, your body is getting a great workout.
I am a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer, ACE Group Fitness Trainer and Youth Fitness Specialist. I am an avid cyclist and compete in numerous obstacle course races each year. During my downtime I enjoy photography and traveling with my wife and two daughters.
GAME FITNESS IN THE NEWS
(VoyageATL magazine interview)
Leonard, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
“Mind always fails first, not the body. The secret is to make your mind work for you, not against you” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Although I was fairly active my entire life, I only began taking physical fitness seriously once I turned 45. Some folks have a midlife crisis at that age, but I had more of a midlife fitness awakening. Not only did I get in the best physical shape of my life, but I also grew strong emotionally, which spilled over into family life, my career, and in just about every facet of my life. It’s been an incredible and eye-opening journey.
I was born in the former Soviet Union and sport was an integral part of my childhood, ranging from competitive track & field to earning a place in a badminton varsity team of Moscow University. It taught me discipline, teamwork, and self-reliance. When my family immigrated to the United States, priorities changed drastically as I built a new life for myself from the ground up. My immediate attention shifted first to college, then career, and then raising a family. I was rolling full steam ahead tending to these external responsibilities while not carving out much time for my personal health. Besides an occasional hike or dance class, I wasn’t doing much to stay active. I stopped being physically active completely when my kids were born. I gained weight and gradually, my energy level decreased. My health deteriorated and I found that I was getting sick more often and had a tough time bouncing back from multiple knee injuries. I came up with excuses why I couldn’t be physically active again – “I can’t do any sports because of my injuries…”, “I just don’t have time”, etc. I didn’t have enough energy to play with my kids, be effective at work, and have great joy in life. It was depressing. My personal health and fitness journey started nine years ago when I realized I had to change something in my life to regain my health and energy. I strived to enjoy my family and be able to do what I wanted with my life.
The spark which ignited it all was the understanding that it was up to me to change the course of my life. I needed to find the will power and devote myself fully to the mission of personal health and I could only achieve my goals if and only if I treated my well-being as top priority. I started taking steps toward building my physical strength and endurance. I joined my friend’s cycling group and established a regular physical exercise regiment in my life. I participated in three cycling races in a year and worked my way up to doing five obstacle course races like Spartan and ToughMudder. My health improved so much that year that doctors found it hard to believe – my cholesterol level dropped dramatically, body fat dropped significantly, and most importantly, I felt so much lighter, energized, and happier.
It’s ironic that something so precious as our health can be ignored so easily. It is up to each one of us to take responsibility for our own health. The silver bullet is your mind – the sooner you realize this, the sooner you can climb up to be more able to live your life to the fullest. I’m so grateful for having come to this realization!
I love helping others and decided to make it my life’s purpose to help transform other people’s lives toward greater health. I became a Beachbody coach and ran fitness challenge groups for friends and family to help them achieve their fitness goals. I volunteered at UFirstFitness with Leander DeShay Murphy, conditioning youth athletes. I brought my newfound passion home by encouraging my kids to eat healthy and educating them on proper nutrition. My kids proudly pack nutritious school lunches for themselves and take great pride in setting and reaching their own fitness goals.
Three years ago, I became a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer and also received an ACE Group Fitness Trainer certificate. I drew on my background as a comic actor and entertainer to develop workouts that are full of fun and energy. Workouts shouldn’t ever feel like a chore, they should be something we all look forward to
In 2018, I founded Game Fitness company, where the focus is helping clients gain an appreciation of physical fitness and educating folks about sustainable, healthy lifestyles, all while having a blast in the process. It makes me truly happy to see my clients get back on their right footing with their health and fitness journeys! I currently run online Bootcamps (circuit-based fitness training) for a number of clients to help them get back in shape and feeling great!
I also coach kids’ fitness, where we do physical conditioning and play fitness games in every class. I love helping people of all ages to get motivated through engaging and fun custom-built physical fitness programs and providing education on healthy, sustainable lifestyles. I tell everyone that I have the best job in the world because I know people leave my classes happier and more determined to live healthier lives.
We’d love to hear more about Game Fitness.
I consider myself a healthy lifestyle influencer. I help people gain an appreciation for physical fitness, healthier nutrition, and free them up to live more fulfilled lives as a result!
Our Live online Bootcamp program is perfect for beginner to intermediate levels candidates who want to get fit, leaner, and stronger while having fun in a class filled with high-energy music. Unlike any other program in the market that has unique workouts every session – you get to try different formats of workouts Tabata (Japanese-based high-intensity interval training), resistance supersets to functional fitness circuits filled with fun music, fitness games, and pop quizzes. I watch for proper movement and educate on optimal nutrition.
Our Youth fitness program teaches kids Agility and Quickness based on professional athletic training and helps them gain Healthier Habits at a younger age as well as self-confidence.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My mentors: Paul Serrete from uFirstFitness (Johns Creek, GA) who offered me a volunteering position. He believed in me and encouraged me to get a fitness instructor certification and helped me with business advice. We continue having a really good working relationship.
Coach Murphy (Leander DeShay Murphy) is a fantastic mentor and absolutely the best coach who dedicated his life to coaching athlete kids in any sport from lacrosse to football. His infectious positivity, focus on hard-work, discipline with generous kindness and sense of humor. He’s been such a momentous influence on jump-starting me as a fitness coach.
Katya Cooper, the ballroom dance studio owner (Balrrom Impact Atlanta) and a dance instructor, sponsored my kid’s fitness program from earlier days and encouraged me to continue pursuing my passion. She graciously allowed me to use space in her studio.