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Shaun T to Make AC Sweat


Shaun T to Make AC Sweat

The fitness guru and creator of the high-intensity home workout called Insanity will be among the celebrities conducting seminars at the second annual Sweat AC Festival Sept. 21-22.

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Shaun T to Make AC Sweat


Teaming up with “America’s toughest trainer” Jillian Michaels and other leaders from the field of fighting flab is eminent home-fitness sage Shaun T, who joins the second annual Sweat AC Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21-22, at several sites throughout event organizer Caesars Entertainment’s four Atlantic City properties. The festival will run from noon-4pm each day. 

An ample success in its inaugural year, the Sweat AC Festival will again showcase an array of health-and-wellness instruction and information that will include Michaels’ new “Bodyshred” interval workout, Shaun T’s limit-testing drills from his popular “Insanity” workout, and hands-on seminars in Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, Piloxing and more.

A $30 pass gains entry to a consumer expo at Caesars Palladium Ballroom that has lots of free giveaways such as the latest in energy drinks, protein bars and supplements, health-and-wellness tips, magazines and literature, T-shirts, breakout workout sessions and fashion shows. There is also a schedule of workout classes ranging from $25 to $100 per class each day. Visit for ticket pricing and class scheduling. 

Shaun Thompson (best known as Shaun T), is a South Jersey product born and raised in Deptford, Gloucester County. He graduated from Rowan University with a degree in sports science and, with a minor focus in dance-and-theater, once worked as a professional dancer for Mariah Carey after migrating to the West Coast to pursue a career. While teaching a fitness class at a gym he was approached with the idea of creating a demo tape for a fitness infomercial, which morphed into his “Hip Hob Abs” video that would become the best-selling home workout DVD in the nation in 2007. Later he created the “Insanity Complete Body Workout” video that has been hailed as the toughest fitness routine ever put to DVD.

Both programs were marketed through TV infomercials that helped make Shaun T a household name, and negated the advice of naysayers who tried steer him away from going the infomercial route. 

“Having someone tell me that these things don’t work almost gives me more drive to make them work, and to do an even better job,” Shaun T tells Atlantic City Weekly by phone. “A lot of people have asked me ‘were you nervous, were you scared?’ but it wasn’t about that. It was more a matter of me saying ‘I’m going to try to make this work and even if it doesn’t, I’ll be fine knowing that at least I gave it my all and can say that I’m proud of the effort I put into trying to make it work.’ My mind is so consumed with making sure that people are going to have fun with the product, and even if it only helps one person — not a thousand people but just one — it’s achieved a level of success that I’m very happy about.”

Shaun T will instruct two hour-long classes on Sunday, from 10-11am and 3:30-4:40pm, at the Sweat AC Festival. 

“I’ll be doing Insanity classes, I’ll be doing some motivational speaking, taking pictures and meeting some of the people who work out at home with me,” he says. “I can’t wait. I love it when people come up to me and say some of the things I say in my workouts. It’s pretty exciting and it’s fun to meet people who may have seen me on TV but have not yet tried my workouts, or meet people who have tried my programs and have gotten some good results. It’ll also be cool to be meeting other fitness trainers out there who are motivating and inspiring people through different styles, yet coming together and working their magic on people’s bodies and their minds.”

The full Insanity workout is a series of steps spanning 60 days that pushes people to the limit in each hour-long session. It has been likened to the opposite of a typical gym Spin class, where the technique is to set a moderate pass and then kick into high gear only for short intervals. Insanity is best recommended, says Shaun T, for those who know the mental preparation needed to tackle such a program. 

(Left: Jillian Michaels) 

“Quite honestly it’s really a 100 percent mental thing,” he says. “Obviously for someone who’s super overweight this is not the program for them, but for those who may have become overweight and were once athletic, or once used to be athletically active, they are likely aware of the mental preparation it takes to get through a workout like this. They’re the ones who are more likely to find success with this program.

“I don’t believe that any one individual program is for everybody,” he adds. “It’s for the person it resonates to, and while I love Insanity — it’s crazy, it’s fun, it kind of matches my personality — if somebody asks me for a workout suggestion I don’t push them on Insanity. I ask them, well, what do you like to do? If they really want to dig deep and really want to push themselves and they want to feel that at the end of the program they really did the work and have something to be proud of, then for them Insanity is the way to go.

“My ultimate goal is just to inspire people to be healthier and happier,” says Shaun T. “I definitely want people to be happy with their body but I want them to be more happy with who they are as a person, and know that, hey, nobody has a perfect body and you should just accept that, but also know that your body is perfect in its own entity. That’s my ultimate goal — I want you to feel good. My grandparents passed away at age 87 and 90, and while obviously they weren’t ripped at that age, they were just constantly healthy and feeling good.”

Event Info:

Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21-22 (noon-4pm)

At various locations throughout Caesars Entertainment properties (Caesars, Bally’s, Showboat and Harrah’s).


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