Happy Monday! I am kickstarting this week with a brand new segment called My Fitness Week. These posts will feature athletes and prominent fitness figures and their fitness regimes and diets.
Today I am kickstarting with Damian Maynard. Damian is the co-owner/founder of Fast Twitch Performance Training Centres and TEKS Australia (product manufacturing), both located in Adelaide South Australia. Damian has had over 15 years experience as a Personal Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach.
TEKS Australia is the developer/inventors of some of the most advanced training equipment available and the winner of many prestigious national design and innovation awards. Currently designing programs for some of the worlds most elite sporting teams including multiple international and national Olympic Teams, Damian is incredibly passionate about health and wellbeing by looking deeply at what affects human performance legally and holistically.
Fast Twitch is the only company is Australia to own the license to use the patented training technology commercially. They are currently developing our training and business model in anticipation to expand nationally within the next 2-5 years.
1. What is your workout style? (i.e. do you focus on cardio, weights, yoga etc.?)
I would have to say that strength training would be my true work out style. Strength training, however, can be defined in many different ways. My personal preferences are:
- Strength development - weight training
- Powerlifting - the major 4 e.g. squats/dead lifts/bench press/ chin ups
- Olympic lifting
- Hypertrophy (for shape and definition)
- HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training
- Isokinetic - speed machines
- Athletic conditions - plyometrics/agility and speed training.
Beyond this I do enjoy yoga and other forms of meditative exercise.
2. Why do you exercise the way that you do?
I exercise on all the above disciplines because I find that strength methods are by far the most effective, efficient and useful way to develop my body and wellbeing based on my exercise and physical goals. My goals are to simply live in and reach the true potential of my physical body and mind, which is often described as wellbeing. Strength training allows me to reach this true potential and wellness state by allowing my body to continually grow and regenerate which is termed ‘anabolic state’.
The process the body must go through to regenerate at a cellular level is largely due to the type of training you do, and the type of nutrition you support your body with to allow it to regenerate and build. To keep your body in balance and staying anabolic, strength-training methods are by far the best way to develop active tissue (muscles/organs/neurological system) that contributes largely to the metabolic rate and energy burn whilst in a resting state. A very long way of saying I can eat lots of great food, enjoy the benefits of toned muscles, have complete motor control of my muscles (reaction/coordination), regenerate very quickly at a cellular level, which keeps me younger for longer as the ageing process takes its inevitable toll. After all isn’t that wellness?
3. How often do you exercise?
I try to exercise anywhere between 3 – 5 times per week. Obviously owning a business is a very time consuming commitment. Even though it’s happens to be a gym, training others all day can make it very difficult to get my own workouts in, however this is where the power of your mind comes in. Yep it’s tough and we all argue with that inner voice which says, you’re too busy, or too tired, or whatever the convenient excuse is that day. The key is to persist, and do it anyway, regardless of what temporary situation you’re going through. But I will however make sure I get at least 3 work outs in per week (have you ever had that inner tantrum your body will throw if you’ve missed what it craves) But on average, it’s about 4 times per week. A good week is 5 times per week.
4. Describe your “secret weapon” exercise, or the one you know packs the most punch.
Great question! It would have to be part of the major 4 key strength lifts.
- Squats: there are many different ways to perform squats, but the fact is that they are all good. Make sure you do squat to an appropriate depth, otherwise expect limited results. Large compound (multi-joint movements) exercises done correctly are the most effective way to activate maximum muscle contraction and energy expenditure. They are simply the backbone to an effective program. The secret is to focus on proper technique, not necessarily heavy weights. Some of the variations to squats are:
Single leg squats and walking lunges
Safety bar squats
Dumbbell squat push press
And so on…
For everyone, here are the facts: The lower body holds more muscle than any other area in your body. Your glutes are your biggest muscle group followed by quadriceps and hamstrings. So working them all equally while squatting (compound or multi joint movement) will recruit more muscle over the entire body in one contraction, which requires a lot of energy to do so, hence you’re going to burn more energy. You must engage your core muscles when performing any type of squatting (except leg pressing – steer clear of this unless its specifically required). It’s shapes your butt and gives you definition through your hamstrings and quadriceps. If executed correctly it also strengthens your core and is excellent for good strong posture. Start slowly; build your confidence up and in no time you will see why I consider this exercise to be so effective.
Obviously squats are not so much a secret, but when done correctly will give you results beyond comprehension. Squats are probably the most effective, over looked exercises in any gym.
5. What is your best piece of advice for people looking to tone up or lose weight?
Seek to understand the true benefits to a healthy lifestyle. Arm yourself with the facts on poor health, and the facts of great health. It’s everywhere. Looking toned, with minimal body fat is simply a by-product of a healthy mind and lifestyle (eating habits). But before anyone starts, define what ‘health’ means for you!
For males, I suggest looking at the deeper effects of alcohol and sugar in their diets. Most males are happy to begin a weight-training program and they will see quickly the effects of increased muscle and a decrease in body fat, however a lack of discipline with diets and lifestyle choices usually undoes all the hard work. So stay disciplined with your lifestyle choices as well as working hard in the gym.
For females, I always recommend to not be afraid to do some form of strength and resistance training. It doesn’t make you ‘bulky’ and ‘big’. It will actually do the opposite if you follow the correct dieting and training plan. It is the key ingredient to looking slimmer and toning your muscles whilst decreasing body fat in those unwanted areas. I find females to be much more disciplined than males with healthy eating, but over indulging with comfort food is where some females could increase discipline.
My advice is simple: First decided what ‘healthy’ looks like for you. For most guys it’s not looking like an over grown body builder and for females, it’s not about being a tooth pick, so be realistic. Make a start; any progress, no matter how small is still progress! Remember everyone falls off the wagon, its normal and expect it, it happens to the absolute best. The biggest difference is how quickly they pick themselves up and get back on the path to keep progressing. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture and keep moving forward at all costs. There are no quick fixes, just determined, hard-earned results. Once you understand the true benefits of strength training (on the appropriate program) you will never turn back. One last thing, strength training is not about massive oversized people grunting in the corners of gyms hogging all the machines, that’s the culture of the gym, not the result of strength training. So choose your facility, culture and support carefully. It makes a massive difference in the long run.
6. Tell me about your diet – what kinds of foods do you eat to keep your body in shape?
I believe in a good balance when eating. Yes that means good clean carbohydrates, high quality protein foods and veggies! There are many diet plans that work at excessively cutting body fat, but will not support your body function with survival and staying anabolic (as discussed above).
- I believe 5-6 meals a day for both males and females
- Drink 2-3 litres of water daily
- Don't be afraid of carbohydrates - they are a necessary part of a healthy diet
- Eat lots of organic vegetables
- Keep it as clean as possible, but don't forget to LIVE!
7. What is your favourite healthy snack?
- No fat yoghurt with nuts
- Berry/banana smoothie
- Protein shake/bar
- Fruit salad
More information about Fast Twitch can be found here.