3 Tips for Workouts You Can Stick to: Winston Duke’s Personal Trainer

  • Getting good results from training is all about being consistent and sustainable, says personal trainer Winston Duke.
  • A mix of cardio and strength training is ideal, even if it’s just walking and bodyweight exercises.
  • Be skeptical of fad diets or expensive products, and find what you like best.

If you’re trying to get fit for the New Year, forget the trendy Instagram routine and focus on sustainable tips you can do all year round, according to personal trainer Winston Duke.

Consistency is the key to good results, says Percell Dugger, a NYC-based strength and running coach who works with the “Wakanda Forever” star.

Dugger’s work is focused on making fitness more accessible – she launched a health creative agency, Fit For Us, working with Black health professionals to address health disparities and efforts to increase health access, including community workshops as well as partnerships with national brands like KIND Snacks and Classpass.

“I think it’s really important to point out that the health and fitness industry has not been fair or designed to support the health of black and brown people,” Dugger said.

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He said working with Duke was important because the actor, as a Black man of larger stature, portrayed a strong representation of a man who is not often celebrated for his portrayal of superheroes or leading roles.

“My role as a coach is to make everyone visible, especially invisible people, who are not often seen when we see characters on screen,” Dugger said. “He is a great reflection and the beauty of it is that he does it without having to try to do it.”

He said working out with Duke doesn’t involve unusual exercises or techniques, but rather basic fitness basics, such as consistent effort and strength training. That’s the approach I recommend to anyone, rather than trying to copy the exact moves that helped build M’Baku, the character Duke portrays, or the training of other superheroes or influencers.

“Trying to train like a celebrity is a great way to get disappointed,” he says. “If I’m so sick and beat tomorrow I can’t get up and go to the gym again, is it worth it?”

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Avoid fads

Many fitness products and services are more interested in taking your money than helping you achieve lasting results, Dugger says.

While social media doesn’t always tell the whole story, one red flag is when an influencer or service shows a trainer ripping or doing a fun routine, but doesn’t let you see the workout.

“Do you see them in the gym with people who train people, correct their technique and help them move well?” Dugger said.

It is also worth reaching out to potential coaches to see if they are responsive, supportive, and otherwise feel like they are suitable for your goals, he said.

Try walking apart

An easy way to start improving your fitness is to think about how often you are active on a typical day.

“The first step is to check, ask yourself, how often do I move, and when I move, how do I feel?” Dugger said.

To add more movement to your routine, walking is a great and accessible place for most people, according to Dugger.

“I like to encourage people to get out and get a few miles or even a half mile,” he said. “Anything that moves people and strengthens the heart is good.”

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Aerobic exercise like walking and running is associated with evidence-based benefits such as lower disease risk, more energy, and improved mood. Even just adding 2,000 steps a day can help, research suggests.

Add some strength training, even if you’re not lifting weights

For even more benefits to your mental and physical health, try incorporating resistance training into your workouts, whether it’s learning to lift weights or trying bodyweight exercises.

“Strength is probably the most underrated element of long-term sustainable health,” says Dugger. “I will definitely make a connection with strength training but not necessarily barbells, kettlebells and dumbbells.”

Exercises that can be done with minimal equipment include squats, lunges, wall sits, and push-ups. More challenging bodyweight exercises like pull-ups can even be added for beginners.

Regardless of the specific exercise you’re doing, consistency is key, so explore moves you enjoy to continue long-term, according to Dugger.

“Whatever you love, do it and do it often,” he said. “The most revolutionary thing you can do for yourself is prioritize your relationship with movement in whatever way brings you the most happiness.”


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