New Jersey-based personal trainer Dieudonne Merceus has mastered discipline, and he gets his celebrity clients looking their best for their performances and personal appearances. Merceus counts hip hop legend Roxane Shante among his clients. He is the founder of Addicted to Fitness, a firm that caters to his celebrity clientele as well as other fitness lovers in the New Jersey/New York area. Read how he developed his obsession with personal training, and how he made it into a business and career.
Kreyolicious: Was Weight Training your favorite class in high school?
Dieudonne Merceus: High school is where I developed my love of working out. However, weight training wasn’t my favorite. It was math! Weight training didn’t become my favorite thing to do until right after high school. Once I realized that…if I didn’t train then…I wasn’t myself. I was on edge…very annoyed throughout my day so that’s when the consistency kicked in!
Kreyolicious: Whose fitness regimen did you admire growing up?
Dieudonne Merceus: I’ve always admired Shawn Ray’s regime and his style of training mainly because he was all-natural (no drugs). Shawn Ray is an accomplished body builder, author and body building commentator on ESPN. He is mentioned in The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Bill Dobbins and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Kreyolicious: How did you develop all this discipline?
Dieudonne Merceus: My discipline comes from a few various sources. I hate to disappoint others. I hold myself accountable when it comes to fitness and I want the same for my clients. Therefore, I’m always out to show and prove to them that I practice what I preach. I expect the same effort in return, so it’s almost impossible for me to ever slip or lose a step!
Kreyolicious: Are there certain foods that you avoid in order to stay fit?
Dieudonne Merceus: The foods to avoid in order to stay fit are fried foods and heavy starches. Pasta and processed foods such as white rice, they stick to you and it takes a lot of hard work to get it off to achieve your goals! The more colorful your food, the healthier it is. Remember, food is fuel. How it is prepared can either hurt or help. Stay away from deep frying, foods loaded with sodium, and avoid processed foods- cans, bags, fast food chains- and so on. Eat multiple small meals throughout the day. Cleansing! Every so often you should detox. You naturally rid yourself of toxins when you sweat and through regular bowel movements but you should also cleanse.
Kreyolicious: How did you get your first celebrity client?
Dieudonne Merceus: I got my first celebrity client from just staying consistent and putting in hard work. After awhile the word gets around and I am a MOG (Man of God) so I truly believe in energies! When the success rate of your clients are 95% or better people are drawn to that. Celebrities are real people too and they seek change like we all do. I’m blessed and humbled to have worked with many in the industry. Most people come/stay with me once they realize how passionate I am about my gift…I go on their journey with them and how it’s bigger than a buck when it comes to me! I love receiving the pictures, text messages or IG posts reflecting my clients’ progress!
Kreyolicious: You been to Haiti?
Dieudonne Merceus: I’ve never been to Haiti. I’ve been wanting to go for years. However, after the earthquake and hurricanes, I am always giving back to Haiti! I’ve done fundraisers, used my Fitness Center as a drop-off location to have necessities shipped back home as well! I’ve also funded for a few people to go back home to visit their love ones! I will be going soon though. Haiti is a beautiful country and I want to witness it with my own eyes.
Kreyolicious: Where do you see yourself going in your field?
Dieudonne Merceus: As a fitness instructor, I see myself continuing to plant and sow seeds. I plan on continuing to change plenty of lives and opening up several health and wellness centers for those that are interested in living longer and healthier lives.