Feel-Good Friday: Sam Akoidu Shares the Motivation and Inspiration That Helped Him Move From Felon to Fitness Entrepreneur

Fox26 vIdeo, interview with Sam Akoidu of Iron Bird Fitness, screenshot.

Happy New Year! How does one go from limitation to freedom? Sam Akoidu has 5 Rules that he lives by that helped him to get there.

Akoidu’s story is very inspirational, and perfect for this Feel-Good Friday for the first week of 2022.


His story starts in prison, where he was being visited his family. Akoidu’s son wanted to be held by his father, but because of the visitation restrictions, Akoidu could not hold him.

“When we were in visitation, I wasn’t able to hold him. So he was going super crazy – you know what I mean? So that was basically the worst thing that ever happened to me, and it just made me really committed to not going back again,” explained Akoidu.

Akoidu said he began to focus on his own development: mentally, physically, and spiritually.

“While I was locked up, I was just thinking to myself, How do I get my life back together? I have to work on myself physically, mentally, and spiritually, and so I would spend my time working out, reading books, studying the Bible,” Akoidu said.

“I kept it going, and then I started training people.”

His first “client” was actually while he was still in prison.

“The first person I trained was when I was locked up and I saw I could actually help somebody. So I thought, ‘Let’s keep this going,’ and since I got out, that’s what I’ve been doing.”

Once Akoidu was released, he continued to do the work, and built a business first as a personal trainer at GB3 and MetalMark. In 2020 he decided to opened his own fitness center, appropriately titled, “Iron Bird Fitness.”


“The name Iron Bird, it just symbolized being free, but through being strong.”

The fact that Akoidu has exemplified this transformation in his own life, and is also still doing business in California after this pandemic, is a testament to the impervious freedom embodied in the name of his business.

Akoidu’s training objectives are centered around those 5 Rules, which are prominently placed at the entrance of his gym:

  1. Action Habit: Don’t just talk about your goals – be about them.
  2. Positive Self-Talk: ALWAYS speak positively about yourself.
  3. Move in Silence: Your goals are like your children – don’t place them in just anyone’ hands.
  4. Keep Moving Forward: No matter what, pick yourself up and keep moving.
  5. Fight: Fight for your dreams like your life depends on it.

“We try to focus more on actual overall health as opposed to just like, ‘Hey, I want to have bigger biceps.’ Bigger biceps are good! Everyone loves bigger biceps. But bigger biceps, plus emotionally stable – that would be good too,” laughed Akoidu. “We really try to focus not just on the physical aspect of growth, but then what it takes to grow mentally and emotionally and incorporate that into workouts.”


It is these elements that give the program staying power, and allows the client to meet their goals, whether that be to lose weight, build strength, or just feel better about themselves and their world.

Akoidu’s final words of motivation are ones to live by:

“I feel like there’s this thing where everyone thinks, that, Oh, well, I came from such and such, so I can only go this far or only do that. When really, like, if you accept responsibility for your life, you can pretty much do whatever you want, Akoidu explained.

“But it first starts with you accepting responsibility, like, Hey, I do really play a role in wherever I’m at. If I do something about myself, maybe life will be different to.”

Powerful words of wisdom to jump start your resolutions.

The full interview with Sam Akoidu can be found on the Fox26 News site here.



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