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Coaches Coach Brendon Ayanbadejo is the Drill Sergeant You Need in Your Life

coach brendon ayanbadejo stands in front of tonal

Coach Brendon’s motivation used to come from competing with himself and racing against the clock of life, but recently, the source of his drive has shifted. “Getting better is staying the same. Staying the same is defying age,” he says. “There are ways I could improve, but that might come at the detriment of injury.” 

Born in Chicago, Coach Brendon went on to live in Lagos, Nigeria for a few years before spending half of his childhood back in Chicago. When he was 10, his family moved to Santa Cruz, California. “I consider myself a Californian at heart,” he says. 

As a child growing up in a low-income community, Coach Brendon took advantage of free sports programs from the local city parks and recreation as a young kid, he says. “Athletics kept us off the streets as kids growing up in the inner-city of Chicago. I always wanted to be the fastest and strongest kid on the block or in the park.” 

He went on to become a professional American linebacker who played football worldwide. While Coach Brendan is no longer a paid pro athlete, he continues to be actively involved in the world of fitness, except now he is paid with health and a higher quality of life. As a coach, he hopes to help others find the same meaning in their movement. “Using my vast fitness experience and education to help others reach their fitness goals gives me purpose and fuels my passion,” he says. 

Coach Brendon offers three strength-based workouts for you on Tonal (with more to come). 

  • Balanced Burn: What’s great about this 16-minute, full-body strength workout is that you can adapt it to your fitness level — go as hard as you feel comfortable. 
  • Strength for Life: Supercharge your metabolism, increase your mobility, and boost your strength in under 20 minutes with this athletic core burner. 
  • Core Challenge: Learn how to move like an athlete by challenging your entire core from your shoulders through your hips, while also testing your stability and rotation.

Here, get to know Coach Brendon a little better in his own words.  

Coaching Style: Drill sergeant. “I really want you to understand what you are doing and then give your best effort. I’m a teacher first, and then I like to crack the whip.” 

Morning Routine: “Take the kids to school and then meditate. My mediation comes in the form of a 35-minute dog walk with no music or podcasts — just me and my dog in nature.” 

Benefits of Strength Training: “In my world, three days a week of full-body hard training is ideal. Pushing, pulling, twisting, stabilizing, running, jumping, bending, twisting. Playing with tempo, reps, weight, and length of workouts are all very important. To solidify this, what you do on recovery days [is] just as important.” 

Workout Advice: “If you’re feeling it, I want you to have the ability to just go for it or the option to back down. [Even] I have to back down from some of the workouts…You have to learn when you can and can’t push it to the next level. So check your ego at the door, and let’s go for it!”