Check out our interview Shaka Smith who is a fitness guru, athlete, actor, attorney, published author and host. Shaka is best known for his show Fit Club (AfterBuzz TV/Black Hollywood Live). He is the author of 6 Minute 6 Pack (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc..).
Shaka has had recurring roles on Modern Family and Disney’s Pair of Kings. He is a Princeton graduate and attorney. He hosted Justice Is Served on the Black Hollywood Live Channel (AfterbuzzTV). As a title holder in physique/body building competitions (Iron Man Naturally (2x), SF Championships, West Coast Classic, Gold Coast Muscle Classic) Shaka has become a recognizable face in health/fitness commercials. Brand influencer collaborations include (Garden of Life, Lakanto, BrewDr Kombucha, Affirmats Yoga Mats, Oxylent and Antithesis Apparel).
Shaka is also an environmental activist as a board member for ProjectSaveOurSurf.org (@PSOSurf) hosting monthly beach cleanups and a camp which has reached thousands of underserved youth in Southern California and Mexico, educating them on environmental issues with hands-on instruction in yoga and surfing.
Hi Shaka, please tell us a little about you?
I am an actor and a host living in Los Angeles, with a love of all things fitness, everything vegan,and enjoying the journey along the way.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Purposeful, Optimistic, Diligent
What is your background?
I am from Miami, Florida where I grew up swimming and playing water polo. I continued to play through part of my collegiate career at Princeton and thereafter on a recreational level through law school.
How did you get started in the fitness field?
My interest in fitness was sparked in college and law school as I transitioned from playing college sports to wanting to remain fit without a formal athletic program. However, it wasn’t until moving to California and competing in my first fitness show on the advice of a friend that I really decided fitness would remain a main component of my life.
What is the #1 thing you like about being into fitness?
The #1 thing that I like about being into fitness is the sense of self it has given me. It has been my meditation, my therapy, my healthcare and more.
Now tell us about Fit Club.
Fit Club is a podcast I created and host on the AfterbuzzTV/Black Hollywood Live Network. I really wanted to focus on inclusion among minority communities with a voice that spoke to everyone. In that vane, I’ve had several actors, artists, experts, trainers etc. on as guests from a wide array of backgrounds that have really given the show such wonderful life.
And about your book 6 Minute 6 Pack.
6 minute 6 pack was born out of my passion for wanting to show others just how simple it could be if they just stayed consistent. As I found myself blessed to be winning various fitness shows in the National Physique Committee’s (NPC) Men’s Physique Division,I was learning so much from the rigors of training and dieting for each show, and I was eager to share. Everyone wanted to know the tip or trick that was making the difference and the only trick was consistency. So I developed a focused program that relies on consistency of the training and most of all consistency of the diet to help anyone achieve a 6 pack. Depending on where you’re starting, the program may need to be repeated as its designed to last 6 weeks.
What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
Its hard to say because I just view the things I’ve done as goals I set and work to achieve before setting new ones. However, I will say passing the bar was a proud moment, interviewing Oprah was surreal and finally chasing my lifelong dream and arriving in Los Angeles on my birthday after driving across the country,was a defining moment I’ll never forget.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
My day starts at 5am. I always start with water and most days apple cider vinegar as well. Then its the gym that also doubles as the time I think about ideas for Fit Club, and auditions/meetings for the day. After appointments, its home to work on the podcast, and any upcoming work. I usually try to get in another gym workout or outdoor activity like hiking, tennis or swimming. I usually limit my food to protein shakes during the day or add light snacks at times, reserving my heavy lifting in the food department for dinner.
What type of food or supplements do you recommend before and after workouts?
I find it important to have a protein source and a carbohydrate source before and after a workout. However, if you’re looking to lose weight, you’ll want to limit the carbohydrates post workout and try to have a large amount of your daily carbohydrates before the workout. I opt for shakes, but, fruit, particularly before the workout is a great source of carbohydrates. Legumes are an excellent protein and carbohydrate source before or after a workout as well. I also recommend adding in healthy fats (avocado, nuts etc) for the post workout meal for longer feelings of satiety.
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
The most challenging thing I deal with about consistently staying in top shape is motivation. Like everyone else, there are periods when I’m fired up and others when my motivation is low. However, I still rely on my routine. I make it to the gym even when I don’t want to go, but put no pressure on myself as to what type of workout I will have. I have a huge sweet tooth, so when I have a craving, I turn to fruit first but still allow myself to have indulgences like vegan desserts (ice cream, cookies etc.) if my craving persists.
What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
In a typical day, I use Garden of Life protein shakes and for snacks I rely on raw veggies, fruits, nuts, and granola. As a vegan my dinners vary often, but I do love a great tofu scramble, usually with vegan chorizo, vegan sausage, and plenty of veggies (peppers, tomatoes, etc)- full of protein and easy to make quickly.
What is your favorite healthy food?
My favorite healthy food is definitely the chickpea. Whether its hummus, falafel or chana masala, the chickpea is a great source of protein, carbohydrates, minerals and fiber.
And your favorite cheat food?
Pizza is my vice. I try to do it as healthy as possible and keep it vegan and gluten free with high protein toppings.
What motivates you to keep going and push harder?
There’s this wonderful feedback loop when you share with others. I’ve been fortunate enough to have people tell me about healthy changes they’ve made because of the information I’ve shared or because of the consistency they saw. Lately, I’ve been sharing a lot about being a vegan and its been inspiring to see others adopt the lifestyle, even if its for a day, or just a meal.
What is your next goal?
My next goal is finding another fulfilling acting role. I love portraying characters with depth and exploring untold stories.
Favorite form of cardio?
In the gym, I love rowing on the ergometer – it can feel like your worst enemy but one of the best cardio workouts you can find. Swimming is also a great alternative as well.
What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to reach their goal physique?
1. Meet yourself where you’re at – don’t expect too much too soon.
2. Have grace for yourself – don’t worry if you fall short,if you miss a workout, or break your diet, put it behind you and remember that every moment is another opportunity to make a new decision.
3. Do not make excuses. Don’t let your mind trick you out of getting to your goals. Excuses are roadblocks – take ownership and get it done.
Name one your strengths?
Persistence. I’ve realized most goals are attainable if you’re just willing to work long enough and hard enough.
How do you spend your spare time?
I love a good action movie, cleaning the beach and hiking.
What’s your favorite quote?
“When you clench your fist, no one can put anything in your hand.” Alex Haley
How would you describe your fashion style?
Comfort Chic – I love a wide variety of styles and the freedom I feel in a city like LA to experiment, but comfort is essential.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to have a conversation with Bob Marley. He had a unique perspective on life and a spirit that I admire.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
Nothing is a bigger deal breaker than a date being rude to others.
What is next for Shaka Smith in 2019?
My weekly podcast, Fit Club continues live every Wednesday at 6pm pst. I am releasing a vegan cookbook with a wonderful chef, Melissa Scwhwimmer that focuses on delicious, easy to make vegan recipes for the beginner. I have a great agent at RPM and have been in for some great roles recently, so stay tuned for updates.
Do you support any charity?
Yes, I am an ambassador for Project Save Our Surf. We are committed to cleaning the oceans and supporting healthy marine life habitats. I currently run our monthly beach clean ups along with founder Tanna Frederick. We clean the beach in Santa Monica every 2nd Saturday of the month. You can find out more at projectsaveoursurf.com
3 things you won’t leave home without?
2. Kombucha (BrewDr)
3. Lip Balm
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
Church, Gym, Vegan Street Fair (Farmer’s Market), and movies at home – pretty much my Sundays.
What do you think of Social Media?
I love social media. It has been a great way to connect with new friends, learn and share.
Where we can follow you?
Book: Becoming by Michelle Obama
Celebrity Crush: Cate Blanchett
Song: Spirit from Disney’s The Lion King by Beyonce
Actor/Actress: Viola Davis
Sports Team: Miami Dolphins
Cover Photo: Michael Bezjia
Second Photo: Greg Doherty