theGrio’s 100: Shaun T., fitness video mogul behind the INSANITY

theGRIO'S 100 - Shaun T., fitness video mogul, teaches men, women and kids how to shed pounds and burn fat in his videos INSANITY, Hip Hop Abs and Shaun T's Fit Kids Club...

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Who is Shaun T.?

Shaun T., 35, is an actor, dancer and choreographer who is best known as the creator of the INSANITY fitness video programs.

A track and field athlete in high school, the New Jersey native stopped running during his first year of college and gained 50 pounds. Shocked, he changed his major to sports science and started working out to drop the weight. As part of his new major, he was assigned to teach a hip-hop aerobics class and he found a new love.

“I can’t even put into words how amazing the experience of teaching was to me,” he says. Shaun then ventured into dance, kickboxing, step classes and boot-camp classes. “I started to realize I could do this for a living,” he recalls.

Why is he on theGrio’s 100?

When a producer took one of his fitness classes, it led to the creation of Hip Hop Abs. Then came Rockin’ Body and INSANITY.

Shaun aimed to help people shed fat and build strong abs with dance routines in Hip Hop Abs before debuting INSANITY in 2009, which showcases 60 days of Shaun’s proprietary Max Interval Training. To help combat childhood obesity, Shaun also created two new workouts for children and preteens.

What’s next for Shaun T.?

Shaun is headlining a three-city tour to London, Chicago and Toronto later this year called Shauntervention, a fitness and motivational experience aimed at inspiring people to live their best life.