Austin Head is a Chicago-based fitness professional. His life purpose is building community through fitness. Sharing gratitude, intention-setting, and mindset work are staples in every class. IHRSA recently recognized Austin with the 2020 Rising Star in Fitness Award, and he has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, WGN, and The Jam TV Show. He is currently a trainer with Talent Hack and teaches virtual group classes on Gympass. 

When trainer Austin Head came out to one of his best friends in 2020, he experienced a rollercoaster of sentiments. 

“I remember feeling so many emotions,” describes Head. “A feeling of relief like I’ve never felt before, but also terrified because I knew at this point there was no turning back.”

As the months went on, he watched many ‘coming out videos’ including one from The Ellen Show. He decided to message one of the producers for the show that shared his own coming out experience. 

“His name was Alex Clark, and he was the second person I’ve ever told. And he is now actually my boyfriend. I have been very lucky and most everyone in my life has been very understanding and loving when I come out to them. And now I can say I am officially out and proud!”

Hear more from Head on how he creates an inclusive, uplifting, and loving environment during his workout classes this pride month and beyond. 

What do “inclusivity” and “belonging” mean to you?

Head: “When I hear the words “inclusivity” and “belonging,” I think of community.”

How do you make sure your fitness classes feel inclusive to all?

Head: “I focus on 3 words when it comes to my community in my classes: Inclusive, uplifting, and loving. So everything I do, whether I do huge pride events or virtual events, I always think of those 3 words.”

Do you think working out can be used as a vessel to celebrate individuality?

Head: “I believe working out can celebrate individuality because each BODY is different. I’ve always approached fitness as doing whatever workout that makes YOU feel good! Whether that’s a group fitness class, or lifting on your own, whatever makes YOU feel good, DO THAT!”

Similarly, how can exercise be used as an act of self-love/care?

Head: “This is such a great question, I talk about this a lot in my classes. I believe some people work out because they don’t like their bodies. I want to change that in the fitness industry. I want people to work out to celebrate their bodies because it makes us feel good, not because they don’t like the way they look.”

And finally, what does “PRIDE” mean to you?

Head: “It means LOVE. I remember my first Pride parade ever, (and coming from a small town in East Texas I had no idea what to expect!) being so filled with love. I’ve never experienced so much love in my life (even though I wasn’t out yet)! It was incredible. So Pride to me means LOVE.”

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