Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Interviews with Ahimsa Lifers: Fitness w/ Damon Valley (#1)

I met Damon sometime in early 2011, just a few months after moving to Los Angeles.  I hadn't consistently been going to a gym and did not have a specific workout routine, so I got involved with Damon's boot camp training in Pan Pacific Park.  As a trainer, Damon runs La Vie Physical Fitness for your "Vital Strength for the Body and Mind." The three days a week I spent an hour boot camping definitely gave me the vital strength I needed for my body and mind, and, after a first day of vomiting (just a little... I wasn't ready to rock... yet), the work ethic, drive, and focus Damon drove into me has led me to my own consistent fitness efforts for the first time ever - and put me in the best physical shape of my life.

I am so excited to feature Damon and his fitness business(es), so all of you Ahimsa Lifers can get to know him, all of you LA-based Ahimsa Lifers can train with him to get into the best shape of your lives, and to introduce everyone to a (com)passionate individual that lives an Ahimsa Life.

Ask him how many pull-ups he can do.
He'll show you.

Ten words that paint us a picture of who Damon Valley is: Passionate, Driven, Humble, Honest, Self-less, Creative, Fighter, Considerate, Curious, Blunt

When did fitness come into your life? What role does it play now? I began exercising in 2006.  It really just came about because I was trying to fix a life in shambles.  I began to make myself a priority, health-wise, and with that came fitness.  It actually surprised me how powerful fitness can be.  It is the catalyst for positive movement, confidence, growth and productivity.  I am constantly using fitness to improve myself physically and mentally.  I also use it as a tool to inspire others.
How long have you been vegan?  What does eating plant-based and living compassionately mean to you? I have been vegan for three years or so.  I have found that the meaning has evolved over the years.  In the very beginning, it was all about my health, improving my health.  Now it is about improving the world as a whole, the people and animals that make up our planet.  It feels good to be healthy and enjoy amazing food without the slaughter of so many beautiful animals.  Veganism is more is more than human health, it is planetary health.

What important qualities does an outstanding coach/trainer exhibit? You absolutely need focus.  You cannot simply tell someone what to do and leave them to it.  That is how injuries happen.  Focusing on the client allows you to help them get the most out of each set, each rep.  It really comes down to respect.  Respect the people you work with, and they will respect you.

What does a coach/trainer look for in his/her clients? Respect.  They must respect my time, my energy.  If I program something for them, do it.  Another thing that is demand is effort.  Give me real effort, real work, real discipline.  Don't half-ass a workout.  

Health, Strength, & Charity
Tell us about LVPF and Vigilante Fit Club:   It is simple.  I just want to help as many people as possible, beyond fitness and nutrition.  There are so many reasons for people to step up and make a difference in the lives of others.  That is what I am attempting to do with the Vigilante Fit Club.  It is a fitness program, yes, but it also reaches out to our communities to help others in need.

Helping those in need - a true Giver, of food and fitness

What are Damon's Top Tips on:
Work Ethic? Be intelligent with time management and bring it!

Making Food Healthy & Fun? Spices, spices and more spices.  They make a simple stir-fry exotic and refreshing.

Struggles/Breakthroughs? They are temporary, so focus on pushing through them.

Losing Weight and Building Muscle? Cycle your starches and lift moderate to heavy weights a few times per week.

Motivation? Find it everywhere, and fill your life with as much as possible.  Post reminders of goals around your house, or as a lap top screen savor.  Anywhere that crosses your path.

Dictionary listing for: Tough!
Ahimsa Quickfire:
Favorite workouts? The Sarah Connor Workout.  I created it as a prison cell workout that can be done almost anywhere.  It is comprised of exercise ladders: pullup: 1-5, squat jump: 2-10, push-up: 3-15, prisoner squat: 4-20.  Do it 2 or 3 times through as quickly as possible.  Amazing metabolic workout.

Favorite mantras, affirmations, incantations? Live to Conquer - That is how I live.

Favorite meals? I love this power smoothie: coconut milk, chocolate protein powder, frozen cherries, frozen spinach, spices.  Tasty.

Favorite resources? Articles by Jason Ferruggia, Chad Waterbury, John Romaniello, Craig Ballantyne make up my primary fitness reading list.  Google them!

Mentors? Besides the resources above, I am constantly inspired by the people who give themselves to a greater cause, people who stand up to injustice and inequality.  They remind me that the world is worth saving.

Check out http://lvpf.net/vigilantefitclub/ or contact vigilantefitclub@gmail.com for more information on how to start training with Damon.  Keep an eye out for his upcoming Food Bank Boot Camp on Saturday, August 25th at 10:30 am.

And as Damon says, "Get Strong. Get Lean. Change The World!"

All the best and yummiest to you.

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