Davida did not play any team sports as a child, but took up experimenting with exercise at age 15. At age 35 she decided that, since she spent so much time in the gym, she would get certified to train other people.
It was good fortune that her first training job was in a small gym where innovative training principles were being applied. There was no “sit and reach” test. Instead, physics-based training methods were being used, examining how to affect muscles using different angles with minimal risk of injury. This little gym also, at the time, was the only Toronto destination where clients could be treated with Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT), a cutting edge neuro muscular therapy.
After being exposed to MAT, Davida decided to enroll in the Chicago internship program in May 2006, studying bio mechanics in depth. She became certified in September 2007.
- When did you start working out?I’ve been active in fitness since I was 17 or 18. I’m 46 now. I think my motivation back then was to stay slim. In those early days, I gravitated to whatever was trendy; aerobics was a big part of my usual regime. In a group class, I didn’t have to think; I just did what I was told to do. My favourite group class was called Cardio Rhythm, a hip hop class in which we learned a routine. At that time, I lived far from the gym I went to, Body Alive, a place well known for its instructors. I would take the bus, day or night, rain or shine, just to take those Cardio Rhythm classes. Ultimately, I tried all kinds of classes, all over the city, from boxing to ballet, yoga to spin classes. I began incorporating weights when I was in my mid 20s. I had read an article in Glamour magazine: A feature on then – superstar Victoria Principal showed her windsurfing with the quote “I love seeing the muscles rippling on my back.” I was inspired by that. In May 2012, I started training more rigourously with weights, selecting one or two body parts per gym visit, and training specific muscles and joint motions.
- What adversity have you had to overcome as an athlete?In April 2015, I fractured my humerus, the first time I had ever broken anything. This was a new challenge; with my experience and training, however, being injured was an opportunity to heal myself and it provided a great insight on how to treat my injured clients.
- How has working out impacted your life?Training has been a constant in my life, and most people who know me, know that exercise is part of my lifestyle. Since my teens, my goals have changed: no longer do I want to be just slim. As far as how training has impacted my life, training has always been a part of my life, and the impact it has had has kept me curious to try anything activity-based, as well as discipline in my commitment to myself. The journey has been fantastic. The gym is quite literally my happy place, where I am in one of my most creative states.
- How often do you train and for how long?I lift weights about 5 out of 7 days. My style of lifting depends on the time I’ve allotted for myself; there are so many variations to apply in the gym, so depending on my goals, I’ll go slow and heavy, or lighter with more repetitions, or incorporate more coordination-based movements, such as throwing a ball around. I also bike and take the occasional yoga class for balance of activity.
- What is your number #1 fitness tip?“Fitness” is a subjective term, because we all choose different methods to help with our fitness goals, and what might be “fit” for one person, is not for another. In my experience, the most important pieces of the fitness puzzle would be:
- Good, clean nutrition. It’s surprising how quickly the body responds to better food choices. It’s a good starting point.
- Structural maintenance of the joints via the muscular system. Invest in another pair of eyes to examine how you move, and to inform you on how to use what you’ve got.
- Micro progression. No matter what your fitness level is, there is always a place to start and progress from. Don’t be fooled into believing that you should go hard right from the start. Preparation in the form of slowly introducing elements to your training is important to fitness successes. Think of it this way: would you feed your baby steak for its first meal?
- Choose your sport. If you enjoy the activity, not only will you continue to do it, but by doing it, you will actually experience satisfaction, accomplishment and joy from exercising.
Lorne’s Take – I really like Davida‘s point about “Investing in another pair of eyes to examine how you move” Little tweaks in how we do things can add up to big changes in our overall performance.