Putting In Work: How Percell Dugger Is Extending Grace Within The Fitness Industry

By Amanda Vasquez | August 3, 2022


Percell Dugger (@goodwrk), elite fitness trainer, NIKE coach, athlete and writer, grew up competing in team sports. As his athletic career progressed, his relationship with sports training began to evolve, and Dugger switched his focus from competition to finding the best version of himself.

“My passion for fitness developed into a relationship with wellness,” the Brooklyn native tells EDITION. “I no longer saw fitness as a means to an end but rather an act of self-preservation.”

His dedication to fitness, health and wellness has led him to form a long list of accomplishments that include college strength and conditioning coaching, writing for ESPN and Huffington Post and training Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever star Winston Duke (set to release this November). Dugger’s list of achievements in the fitness world goes on, however, and he is now working to give back to his community in a new way.

GOODWRK, Dugger’s Harlem-based wellness and lifestyle brand, is a reflection of his evolution and commitment to community. Founded in 2014, it aids communities that are underserved in gaining access to wellness resources. “I was tired of seeing Black and brown folks’ health be deprioritized by a society that doesn’t prioritize our health outcomes,” he explains.

Linear and transactional are two words that Dugger uses to describe how the fitness industry fails to recognize these communities. Dugger recognized those faults and has been working to reverse the industry mindset.

“The stories being told about the community are still full of microaggressions that highlight people’s insecurities,” he continues. “The work we do with our agency partners is attempting to affirm people’s strengths, while we unlearn toxic traits and mindsets in our community-specific workshops.”

Fit For Us (@fitforus), a wellness-focused creative agency, is another outlet that Dugger created in 2020 to redefine the fitness industry. As chief creative officer, Dugger’s mission is to “create equitable health and wealth outcomes for Black and brown folks,” which has attracted 500-plus community members.

In addition, Fit For Us provides physical therapists, gym and studio owners, trainers and therapists with complimentary bimonthy workshops. These professionals can participate in workshops that range from diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB)-centered workshops to strategic marketing consulting to workshops about the business of media.

“The impact of these workshops on the community and the impact of the work with our agency partners goes a long way in creating equitable health and wealth outcomes for all of us,” he says.

What started as Dugger’s love of sports expanded into self-discovery and progressed into a dedication to bettering others. As Dugger has evolved, so has the fitness and wellness industry. Now, he predicts that his brand and agency will continue to drive progression. He's also looking forward to continue coaching the NYC running community for the Summer/Fall Marathon season.

“Just know that when you see a bunch of dope Black and brown wellness folks thriving in abundance while working to change the health outcomes of our community, we did that.”


Rapid Fire

Guilty pleasure?

Marvel movie conspiracy YouTubers like New Rockstars and KindaCulty

Go-to snack?

GoGo SqueeZ apple cinnamon applesauce

Favorite exercise?

Running is a therapeutic space for me. Listening to the sounds of Harlem as I make my way up St. Nicholas Avenue will never get old.

Favorite fitness product?

ToePro is great for anyone looking to improve their resiliency and prevent injuries in their posterior chain (foot, calves, hamstring, glutes).

Best way to relax?

I read for about 45 minutes before bed. It really helps me transition into a restful state.

Favorite place in NYC?

I curated a nook in my Harlem apartment. Sometimes I just never want to leave.