David Gibb, Personal Trainer
David Gibb has an interesting life as a personal trainer living in the Bay Area of Northern California. David is shown above (right) with pro-bodybuilder Lee Priest. My interview with him follows. —LF
Q. At what age did you begin weight training and what motivated you?
A. I began weight training when I was in 6th grade, I guess that would be 12 years old. I worked hard but not wisely. I achieved results but minimal, but in 1959 I saw Steve Reeves and knew what I needed to do. I loved the symmetry and size that he possessed. As I became more knowledgeable and effective I was able to make good changes. The more I learned the more I wanted to learn. I went from the ninety pound weakling to a strong well shaped person.
Q. When did you become a personal trainer?A. As I changed others noticed and wanted me to show them how. This is how I got started training. I guess in reflection I have always trained in some form or another. After I got out of the service, I wanted to learn more about the martial arts and was fortunate to find a Sensei that taught me much and that, I think, was when I really became a personal trainer. I was combining the martial arts and weight training.
I have always been blessed to find the right people at the right time. I learned much with Mr. Kim and both Mr. Lee's. While in Houston, I was fortunate to be around people like Stoney Grimes, Matt Mendenhall, and Lee Labrada, all body builders. Then there was Doctor Beard, who was Sylvester Stallone’s doctor in Houston and with him in the movie, Over the Top. He was also my doctor after a car crash. Oh yes, did I mention, he was also the Texas Heavyweight Arm Wrestling Champion? While in Houston, I worked out with a gentleman named Ed Young. He was also a martial arts instructor and would call when one of the tournament fighters was in town and ask if I wanted to come up and spar. You always learn from working with someone more experienced or better than you are. So one night he called and said that Chuck was in town. I thought, I don't remember anyone name Chuck, Charles or Carlos on the tournament circuit. So when I arrived and walked around the corner, there was Chuck -- Chuck Norris! I learned a lot that day!
Q. You seem to train people of all ages. But with seniors being the fastest growing demographic with gym memberships, do you find an increased demand for over 50 specialists.
A. I train all ages of people. Seniors seem to be a growing demographic with gym memberships. I think they are more aware of their well being and want to do the right things to preserve or improve it. I think it will be even more evident and they will be more prominent in the coming years. Most of the time, it is about movement and nutrition. As Mr. Jack LaLanne says, "Just keep it moving." Which is a big part of it. He sent me a picture and said, "David my friend, keep up your workout, your friend Jack LaLanne."
Q. What does your logo “NEWS” stand for?
A. My acronym is NEWS, which stands for Nutrition Exercise Water and Sleep. The four pieces it takes to be healthy and live a balanced life. I use all four as a definition to motivate, improve and encourage my clients.
Q. What dietary practices do you follow personally? Do you take any supplements?
A. I eat five to six meals every day. I maintain a balance of protein and carbohydrates with a small percentage of fat. I will use protein shakes for some of these because of time constraints and the way in which we produce food today. I take multi-vitamins, and when working hard to change my physique, I will use creatine appropriately.
Q. I see that you raced cars. No pun intended, but let's shift gears for a moment. What kind of cars? Tell me about that.
A. I raced cars for twenty years, and was very fortunate to again be around the right people at the right time. They were what we referred to as "Baby Grands"; today what would be called "Sport" or "Sprint." I raced with people like Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, Bobby Allison and many more. There is so much you learn, not just about cars and driving, but about people. The stories I could tell.
Q. Training people in a commercial health club means there is a wide variety of equipment to work with and select from. Do you favor a particular format? Free weights vs. exercise machines, for example.
A. I have no particular favorite format, and think I use all at some time or other. I usually start with machines because they are user friendly. I generally use compound movements, because they use multiple joints and muscles. It is the way the body is designed to work.
Q. Finally, what advice would you give mature men and women wanting to get in shape?
A. The advice I give to anyone, and particularly more mature people, is, 'It’s not a race, it’s repetition and accumulation.' -David Gibb
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