As I’ve mentioned all over Twitter,every week we’ll have an interview with a professional in the field of fitness. This can be anyone from a trainer, a fitness model or even a nutritionist.
This week, I got a chance to talk to Dylan Farr (@fysiologik), a performance trainer and lifestyle coach based out of California. Over the course of a ten-plus year career as a surfer, skier (and even model), Dylan has learned the way a lot of us do; by following others who do things the right way in terms of dieting and working out.
Having travelled all over the world and winning countless awards (which can be found at his website HERE), he started Fysiologik, where he has trained professional athletes, recovery patients who were once in acute care and even some A-list celebrities!. The greatest clientelle he gets to work with, though, are special needs children. The diversity of his clients alone shows that anyone can make the change, not just someone overweight.
Here’s what he had to say to NerdyGymRat.com:
Nerdy Gym Rat (NGR): What sparked your interest in fitness? I mean you’ve been pretty active since your move to California with surfing, but when did turning a hobby into a career happen?
Dylan Farr (DF): Well…it speaks to something I had no control in. My grandfather was the #1 heavyweight contender in the world, fighting Joe Louis for the title in the late 30′s and almost beating him. My grandmother was an olympic equestrian and racecar driver in the same period. My dad was a top tier rugby player… so it was in my DNA.
That said, It was more of a cultural thing at first, I started surfing at eight years old, and started competing around eleven. I really was enamoured with the guys who surfed the best. They got the best waves and always held their space in a certain way: [they] had a swagger to them.
By the time I was 17 or 18, some [of the good ones] became relevant pro surfers on the ASP world tour. Others became models, and even actors. A lot of them were idiots but the ones I looked up to really had it together. It was attractive.
Honestly there was a lot of drugs, ego, and crap, but for me my take away was how these guy performed in the water. I learned early if I was raging too hard, I couldn’t surf well. It was then I kind of started to walk my own path with my health and fitness. I started rolling with guys who were on that wavelength. Ironically my family hated the surfing stigma [the Jeff Spicoli effect], and I had almost no support.
The subtext of my life was I wanted to be a professional athlete like the guys I saw who made it. I had a rough situation at home and eventually left the beach and went to the mountains.. I got exposed to competitive freestyle skiing, despite never being on snow really, which speaks to what athlete mentoring and real coaching can do. In three and a half years, I went from a guy who skied once to a nationally ranked mogul skier training at the Olympic Training Center, with the best coaches from the US Freestyle Ski Team working with me out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
The next season, I left Colorado. I got on a snowboard goofing around riding Squaw Valley, where I was staying. About three weeks into the season, I was approached by a rep for the company of the board I was riding on. He asked if I had a board sponsor. I didnt. Later that season I started doing contests and then winning them. That was the genesis as a pro snowboarder with a 10+ year career that let me live all over the world chasing good snow
In regards of fitness, all of the dryland training, mechanics, sports psychology I learned as a competitive skier I continued to do. I just used it for riding a snowboard, and surfing. I was heavily into yoga and, at the time, I was vegan. As physical as I was, I knew my biggest muscle was my brain. I read, read and read.
I eventually had a pro model gig and got some very cool big contest results. More importantly, I had a ton of fun. Thats what it’s all about; the memories and experiences. If my life ended five minutes from now, I have ZERO to complain about and everything to be thankful for
NGR: Wow, that’s quite the background! What’s one of the biggest misconceptions your clients have when they first start working with you?
DF: Mostly the atypical cliches of being a trainer in this area. There are tons of trainers around because it’s easy to get certified. You get your certifications online and boom! You’re a trainer!
I feel that,l for many trainers, it’s a secondary interest. It’s a hustle and a disingenious one. Many are usually actors, models or hustling a screenplays (laughs). I’m not trying to be judgemental, but its par for the area. All I have been is an athlete, and reflection of my own health and wellness
That said, fitness and health is my first priority, and I treat my clients like that. I consider myself a wellness and lifestyle coach, and that spectrum goes further than the gym. It’s what’s on your plate, how well you sleep, your emotional health and the space your mind holds. I try to be a support element to all of that.
NGR: How much do you emphasize nutrition with your clients? I’ve told readers & followers that it’s the majority of getting into shape and being healthy, so I’d love to hear what you have to say.
DF: I’m emphatic about it! You and I know the truth, Jonathan. For the average person, who grinds at work all week, who lives in a world where majority of advertising is for food, bad food is everywhere, and its mostly processed crap. It’s a hard fight.
Discipline is the constant here, and some people are burnt out from life and want to be indulgent. It always starts with food. I try not to preach about it or be sanctamonious, but I do make it clear that whether [your goal] is cutting weight, being tone or in better shape, it’s the food that goes in your mouth that is the paramount catalyst to it all.
NGR: I know for me, it’s rewarding knowing I’m helping people with my articles and posts. What’s your favorite part of training a client?
DF: People feeling good… the aloha vibe, knowing Im helping someone be a better version of them.
NGR: Glad to know we’re on the same page then! (Laughs) Ok one last question…what is the #1, all-time piece of advice you would give somebody who is just starting to work out and make a change?
DF: Be consistent! A person can spend seven minutes a day, do 50 burpees and be solid. You can even do a four minute tabata circuit. the time argument only has so much weight to it. It’s more about commitment. Also, find a gym or trainer that allows you to feel comfortable. There can be a lot of ego and insecurity when we starting talking about our bodies and, ultimately, fitness.
One last thing; pain and soreness isn’t the barametor of growth. That’s just stupid. Recovery and feeeling good should be [the barometer].