Getting fit with Pridefit founder Sam Leicht

Pridefit founder Sam Leicht
Pridefit app founder Sam Leicht

Sam Leicht didn’t always know he was going to find a career in fitness. The Wisconsin native attended school in Cleveland for music theater before relocating to New York City about 6 years ago. Acting in New York was great for a few years, but he has a passion for fitness.

Earlier this year, he launched the Pridefit app, which features a collection of on-demand workouts for every fitness level, an in-app global community, a recipe guide, and more. The app is now available for download for a low monthly payment of $35 per month.

As with many great entrepreneurial ventures, Pridefit was created out of necessity. “I’ve always found the gym to be such an intimidating place — even after becoming a trainer,” mentions Leicht. “I grew up feeling like I didn’t fit in there because I was gay, and I never want people to feel like they can’t be healthy because they don’t have a space where they can confidently and safely exercise.”

Pridefit helps athletes by giving them educational resources so they can feel confident at the gym, and a global community of peers who will lift them up at every point in their fitness journey. “Everyone deserves to exercise and be healthy, and we’ve created the perfect place for it through Pridefit.”

Leicht taught himself how to create the perfect inspirational fitness videos through a combination of past education and post-college certifications. “I had taken lots of on-camera acting classes, so when the pandemic happened and everything went online, it was a pretty natural transition for me. Coaching on video can really only be improved by doing it, so I’ve made hundreds of workout videos over the years so that I can be the best coach possible for my community.”

In 2024, the goal for Pridefit is to build a “badass, diverse team of coaches so that everyone feels included in the community.” Adding more coaches increases the efficacy of the coaching dramatically because each user should have different trainers to learn and grow with.

Personal training can have its ups and downs. One of Leicht’s favorite aspects of training is getting to help people improve their movement mechanics in real time. “Sometimes we’ll make an adjustment to an exercise that you can tell will stick with a member their whole life, and seeing them make that connection is incredibly rewarding.”

His least favorite part about being a trainer is having to remind people that fitness doesn’t have a finish line. “We’re exercising and moving our bodies for the rest of our lives, so stop looking for shortcuts. The only shortcut we have in fitness is consistency. Having to remind people of this can be super draining — especially when so many fitness programs out there promise fast results and absolutely cannot deliver on them.”

Pridefit founder Sam Leicht
Pridefit founder Sam Leicht

Over the years, Leicht has had many coaches who have pushed him to be better and continue his education. “Someone I look up to is Jane Fonda. I’m so obsessed with her multi-hyphenate life of being an actor, fitness queen, entrepreneur, and activist.”

Starting a business always comes with challenges and Pridefit is no exception. “One of the hardest parts about creating a holistic fitness program is that it’s hard to get people excited about fitness without over-promising and exaggerating results. We’re giving you the best workouts out there, an incredible community, all the resources you need to reach your goals and live a long and happy life, and yet, if we don’t show you an ad with progress pictures and a promise to lose 10 pounds in your first month, you’re not going to trust us with your fitness? It’s tough, but we’re not going to jeopardize our ethos to get members in the door.”

Pridefit founder Sam Leicht
Pridefit founder Sam Leicht

Leicht goes on to explain that all individuals need movement, but that doesn’t always mean going to the gym, lifting weights, or jogging. “You get to decide what type of movement you enjoy the most and go from there. Motivation to do something that you know you’re going to hate? Very hard. Motivation to do something that you actually enjoy, like walking or yoga? Much easier. We must stop thinking that traditional gym workouts are the only option. Some movement is always better than none.”