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Rashaad Slowley’s Rise from NFL Prospect to Fitness Guru & Social Media Stardom

South Florida’s Rashaad Slowley is a bona fide fitness influencer with nearly 150,000 followers on Instagram. He shares workouts, positivity and the latest performance and training tips regularly with his fans. But his career as a trainer and social media star wasn’t launched in a green room in front of the camera; it started on the green grass of a football field.

Slowley’s athletic career began as a high school athlete at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York. The school is famous for its often nationally-ranked football program that acts as a feeder system to some of the best college football programs across the country.

“My high school was one of the top three in football in New York state every year,” Slowley says. “I played with and trained with many older guys who made it to the NFL. That kind of work ethic was instilled in me when I was a teenager.”

After a standout career on the high school gridiron, Slowley played four years of football at Southern Connecticut State University, setting single-season records rushing for 29 touchdowns and scoring 174 points as a running back. His performance was good enough to think about a career in professional football, so following graduation, he trained for the NFL Combine at the renowned DeFranco’s Gym.

Though he didn’t get drafted, he played on the practice squad for the New York Giants and in Calgary, Canada briefly.

Unsure of what to do with his football career behind him, he tried a few things before settling on the idea of getting into the fitness industry.

“Once I decided to go the fitness route, I got certified as a trainer in four months and started at Equinox in late December of 2017,” Slowley says.

During his time at Equinox, Slowley learned the finer points of training, working with people, and helping them reach their goals. But it wasn’t until he moved to Performix House, a high-end, private gym with notable clients, that a grand vision for his career came together.

“Performix House taught me how to sell my brand and be on social media,” he says. “They had a full-time cameraman, and everyone did content every day. They gave me the blueprint for [integrating] content creation with workouts.”

After starting at zero followers like everyone else, the enthusiasm, energy, and excellent advice in Slowley’s posts on Instagram began to get traction. First, he hit a few hundred followers; then he hit a few thousand, then tens of thousands.

Today, Slowley has been featured in Men’s Health magazine and has over 139,000 followers on his Instagram account @shaadiefit.

“I grew because I started to use my network from football,” he says. “I reached out to my friends who were in the NFL and asked if I could train them. They helped me elevate my brand, and it escalated.”

In the beginning, Slowley’s goal was to just train athletes, and that’s what he did 90% of the time. During the pandemic, he moved to South Florida because there were more professional athletes living here full time whom he could work with. He trained Robert Woods, Chris Olave, Sam Williams, and other NFL players and prepared men for their own NFL combine workouts and draft tryouts.

“We had 26 guys training with us and 16 got drafted,” he said.

At one point he was training the whole Cleveland Browns defense.

Then more work came in, and he was training high school baseball players, volleyball players, basketball players, and more.

From the players came inquiries about training parents and whole families. And what started as an experiment initially, with Slowley training one family in Boca Raton at their house, became an entirely new business.

Pretty soon, he was waking up at 4:30 AM every day and driving to Boca Raton to train moms, dads, and kids in their home gyms.

Within six months, he’d completely revamped his business, moving away from professional athletes to focus on helping entire families get healthier and hit their fitness goals.

Now, his day looks a little different than before.

Rather than pushing pro athlete prospects to up their bench press reps or helping them with their form to quicken their 40-yard dash, he’s transforming families into fitness powerhouses.

His mornings are spent at people’s home gyms in the Boca Raton area, and in the afternoons, he has clients come to his home gym in Parkland to train.

“I became the family fitness guru of South Florida,” he says.

In addition to training, he advises his clients on the best recovery processes, often recommending many of the modalities featured at PUR-FORM: cold plunges, infrared saunas, and Normatec Boots.

“A lot of people put in really high-end home gyms,” he says.”They want the cutting-edge performance and recovery gear the pros use.”

You can follow Rashaad Slowley on Instagram here.
If you enjoyed this story, check out our profile on FAU’s Strength and Conditioning Coach Joey Guarascio.

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