CEO and Founder of TWENTY3N1, Dontrell Britton a native Washingtonian has always been passionate about sports, competition, and fitness. While serving a 5 year sentence, Dontrell was not only thoroughly rehabilitated but also discovered new, and innovative workouts that dramatically transformed his physique. It wasn’t long before “Trell The Trainer” was born!
Dontrell Britton continued to pursue his passion for training launching his company in the summer of 2016. Since then he has helped a 1,000+ clients to get in shape and hires returning citizens as trainers to teach his signature class “23/1′. Dontrell has been featured on TV and a list other publications.
His objective is to motivate and inspire his peers and community to embrace fitness and wellness as a way of life. Check out my interview with him below:
Hey Dontrell! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey, My name is Dontrell Britton AKA “Trell The Tainer” and I’m a 26 year old trainer from Washington DC.
What institution(s) did you attend and what did you study?
I studied at The National Academy Of Sports Medicine.
In 2016 you launched a fitness company called “TWENTY3N1”. Tell us more about the company and what its the main focus?
Twenty3n1 is a Prison Style Bootcamp that hires returning citizens as our fitness instructors to help teach these classes. Our goal is to use health and fitness as a way to not only improve health but the recidivism rates as well.
Will you say the fitness industry in the United States is doing well?
Fitness in the United States is doing extremely well. Everyone wants to look young and be healthy for an overall better quality of life. However, the training aspect is highly saturated with trainers especially on social media.
Looking at your photos from 2014 till now, there as been massive changes and improvements. What will you say motivated/inspired you to go into fitness and stay dedicated in it?
What motivated me to start fitness was sitting in my cell and stressing about my loved ones out in society. I needed a way to cope with my current situation so I began exercising in prison.
You were released in 2015 on good behavior after serving a five-year sentence in federal prison, What made you determined to turn your life around?
I decided to turn my life around maybe 3 years into my bid. It had dawned on me that crime wasnt the only way out. I wanted better for me, for my family and my friends. So I made a vow And i stuck to it. 5 years was enough time for me to self reflect, and make a solid plan upon my return into society.
Today, you train clients and lead classes at a hotel gym and also hire ex-felons to teach prison-style boot camp classes for all fitness levels. Do you feel people and businesses help former felons re-enter society after their release?
I feel that their are few programs that help ex felons but they’re usually some bullshyt unpaid programs or the waitlist is super long. I feel that we need more programs that are relatable to ex felons career wise and something that actually pay them decently. Because those little $15 -$18 per hours jobs aren’t really enough.
As a certified fitness trainer, what will you say are your 5 Dos and Don’t when it comes to fitness and health?
1. Train Hard
2. Eat Clean
3. Sleep Well
4. Drink Water
5. Have fun.
1. Drink Beer
2. Eat Meat
3. Do Drugs
4. Be Lazy
5. Spread negativity.
Do you think we are taking our health and wellbeing seriously?
I think the effort to be healthier is there but the misinformation about what is considered healthy is off. This “American Diet” is so bad and contradictory. They’ll put a cancer awareness sticker on a bottle of milk, but its proven that cow milk is one of the largest contributors to cancer and blood related diseases. I just don’t get it.
For someone trying to start out eating healthy, what meal plans will you recommend?
I would recommend going vegan to everybody. but i know that its not necessarily realistic. But if they did just a little research they’d definitely go plant based.
Your YouTube channel is called “Trell The Trainer”, when did you start the channel and what’s the main focus of the channel?
I started my YouTube Channel about a year ago. Its main focus is motivate and educate people on how to not think of fitness as a chore or job, but to embrace it as something fun and beneficial to your longevity.
How do you balance your professional and personal life?
Balancing professional and personal is always tough especially as a “personal” trainer. My life is based on fitness so everywhere I go I eat clean and exercise and it doesn’t go unnoticed. People will see me at a bar and start a whole convo about being vegan and how much weight they lost etc. The majority of the time I don’t mind because it excites me but if I’m not in the mood I’ll just tell them to email me.
What do you consider the most common public stereotype about the fitness trainers?
One of the most common stereotypes about trainers is that we all just lift weights all day. Lol. But that’s not true, most of us just eat pretty well and we know the tricks to maintaining our already built physiques. And All Male trainers are not creeps. I genuinely respect my clients and would NEVER want them to feel uncomfortable around me.
Looking back to when you started, is there anything you would like to change?
I wouldn’t change anything about how I started because how I started sent me through this beautiful journey that I’m on now. I’m in no rush to get rich. That’s not my main focus. It’s to educate and motivate!
Which brands, clients, photographers, etc, have you worked with?
I’ve worked with Nike, YMCA, Ciroc, and few celebrity entertainers, Rappers, models etc.
What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
My biggest professional success is yet to come. but if I had to choose, it would definitely be being featured in The Washingtonian Magazine and Essence. That was pretty dope.
Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
I don’t have a person that I really want to work with specifically. But there’s plenty of dope trainers I’d like to workout with.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been finding personal time away from training. I am a human being and sometimes just need a break from it.
Tell us two things people don’t know about you?
Two things people don’t know about me:
1. I only had 2 girlfriends in my whole life.
2. I go to the movies once per week!
Do you think its important to be active on social media and if so why?
I think its super important to be active on social media because it’s the new News and information channel. We hear or see it on social media before the TV these days. And its like free promo. You never know WHO will see your post.
As a native Washingtonian, how as the city been working out for you?
The city is amazing. Lots of people and traffic which is always good for business.
What are your must visit travel destinations?
Must Travel Destinations are Greece, Japan, and Australia.
How would you describe your style?
My style is very bold and sporty. I wear alot of tennis shoes and jeans. Not really dress down.
Name your five must have accessories/essentials?
My 5 Must have items:
3. My man-bag
5. NBA app.
What is your favourite dish?
My favorite dish is Kelp Noodles with vegan sauce and mushrooms.
What songs are currently on your music playlist?
I really only listen to my clients. Shy Glizzy and Pusha T. But Meek Mill and Anita Baker are DEFINITELY in rotation.
Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
My advice for others pursuing their dream is simple. Fall in love with process of pursuing. Don’t waste too much time and energy on the outcome. The process is just as important as the outcome.
Any specific plans for the future?
I have a 24 Day, 24 Minutes fitness challenge launching in December. I’m giving away $3,000 to the winners of the challenge.