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Shamik Perry pushing weights in a health club.

In any fitness journey, it’s crucial to work with a coach who can empathize with overcoming challenges — Shamik Perry is one of those trainers.

As a former full-scholarship track and football athlete at Merrimack College near Boston, Perry experienced trials firsthand. During his collegiate athletic career, he experienced SLAP (superior labrum from anterior to posterior) tears on both shoulders, which required two surgeries that sidelined him for three years.

But Perry pressed on. As a senior, he not only overcame his shoulder injuries but was able to dominate on the football field. He led the team in rushing yards and the whole division in rushing yards per attempt.

After his shoulder popped again and derailed his fifth year, Perry decided to shift his energy and focus to his career in an effort to help others avoid and overcome the frustration that can result from unexpected injuries. He was recently featured in NOBULL’s #IAMNOBULL campaign to highlight his perseverance and inspiration as a trainer and athlete.

Shamik Perry

Shamik Perry, NASM-CPT, BS in Sports Medicine

Meet Shamik Perry, a talented fitness professional, trainer, and small group training and GameFace Sport coach at Life Time’s Northshore location in Massachusetts. There, he works with a wide range of clients — everyone from sedentary individuals who are new to exercise to those who are pursuing athletic performance, Olympic lifting, and training with explosive movements.

As the youngest of eight boys and a new father to an 8-month-old son, Perry is passionate about helping others overcome lingering injuries while infusing fun and laughter into his clients’ experiences.

NO BULL | What’s been your proudest moment as a trainer?

Shamik Perry | I recently had a 22-year-old client who was dealing with shoulder instability and frustrating back tension. He stuck with his program consistently and worked hard in twice weekly sessions with me, plus joined a group Alpha class I was instructing. He kept at it with a willingness to modify the movements to adjust to what he needed to do to see progress as an individual. Within just one month, he had some jaw-dropping performance results and was able to complete 10 pull-ups.

While the pullups were a physical feat, this accomplishment also symbolized him rising above his injuries and shoulder trauma. As someone who had been in a similar situation, it was an awesome transformation to watch.

NB | What’s your favorite mantra?

SP | When my athletic career was unexpectedly sidelined in college from cartilage tears in my shoulders, I had a coach remind me, “Whatever adds adversity is worth trying to get.”

It really stuck with me and reminded me that I could either feel sorry for myself or keep pushing forward. That mantra helped me during the recovery process to succeed on the football field my senior year.

Today, I apply it to other parts of my life. I trust that in every adverse situation, there’s something good waiting for me on the other side, and I remind myself to put my head down and keep moving forward.

NB | What does your morning routine look like?

SP | It’s pretty consistent. I work the morning shift as a trainer at Life Time, so my alarm gets me going at 4:30 a.m., to make it to work by 5:45 a.m. I have a 5-year-old pit bull-bull mastiff mix named Rocko who gets me outside, up, and moving on a walk first thing in the morning.

After the walk, I get ready and start the day with a shake to keep things simple: I blend Life Time vanilla whey protein with a half scoop of Life Time fiber powder, Greek yogurt, coconut water, and a fruit mix with strawberries, pineapple, mango, and banana. It holds me over until noon.

Shamik’s Go-To Warmup

These are total-body dynamic movements to prime your body for whatever the day brings.

Required equipment:  Resistance bands

  Repetitions/time to hold  Sets
Alternating Knees to Chest 30 seconds each side 2
Supine Twist 5–8 deep breaths each side 2
Supine Psoas Knee Drive 12 reps total 2
Dynamic Supine Floor Angel 12 reps 2

Breaking Down the Movements

Alternating Knees to Chest

Note: Avoid movement if it causes or increases back or leg pain.

Benefits: Stretches the glutes, low back, and hips; improves spinal mobility and can aid digestion.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Bring one knee to your chest (or both knees for individuals without low-back pain), keeping the other foot flat on the floor (or the other leg straight, whichever feels better on your low back).
  • Keep your low back pressed to the floor. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
  • Relax and lower the knee to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

Supine Twist

Benefits: Stretches the glutes, chest, and obliques; counteracts some of the detriments from slouching or poor posture when sitting.

  • While lying on your back, bring your right knee to your chest while your left leg is against the floor and your right arm is stretched out directly on your side.
  • Grab right knee with left hand and pull it toward your left side, while gazing over your right shoulder. (Make sure your right shoulder is against the ground and does not lift up.)
  • Hold the stretch for five to eight deep breaths, then switch sides.

Supine Psoas Knee Drive

Benefits: Helps prep the psoas muscle deep in the hips for movement, and can help engage the glutes.

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and a mini band/glute band around the middle of your feet
  • Begin movement by keeping one leg bent at 90 degrees while straightening the other leg to hover over the floor by about 2 inches. Strive to hold the bent leg still
  • Hold for three seconds, return straight leg to bent position
  • Repeat with other leg
  • Complete 12 alternating repetitions.

Dynamic Supine Floor Angel

Benefits: Dynamically stretches and opens up your chest and engages your core and back for overhead movements.

  • Lie on your back with your arms out to the side and elbows bent at 90 degrees so that the back of your hands and elbows are against the ground in a goal-post position.
  • Slide arms up above your head while maintaining contact with the floor through the full range of motion, until arms are straight above your head.
  • Return to starting position.

Complete 12 reps.

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