Having been a writer for Bodybuilding.com for almost two years, David Robson has over 130 published articles to his credit. Daily he receives many e-mails from people wanting advice.
As a personal trainer, David feels it necessary to arm his clients with reliable information. The articles he writes are thoroughly researched, and the athletes he interviews are the best of the best.
David says he will continue writing for Bodybuilding.com as he feels it is the premier knowledge source for bodybuilders. But who exactly is David? In the following interview, David tells all about himself.
The following interview was conducted by San Diego based master trainer Dave Depew.
[ Q ] Hi David. Firstly, let's have some background. How did you get started in the areas of health and fitness, and writing?
- An Interview With Bodybuilding Legend Casey Viator.
- An Interview With Fitness Olympia Champion Monica Brant.
- An Interview With 7-Time Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman - Unedited!
- An Interview With The Legendary Bill Grant, Mr. World & Mr. America.
- An Interview With Ms. Olympia Andrulla Blanchette!
- The Flex Wheeler Interview!
- An Interview With Top Middleweight Boxer, Ishe, 'Sugar Shay', Smith.
- An Interview With 'Nitro' Lee Priest.
- An Interview With U.S. Masters Hurdling Champion Dexter McCloud.
- An Interview With Bodybuilding Great Dan Lurie!
As far back as I can remember I have always been interested in bodybuilding and the fitness lifestyle. It started with a copy of Muscle and Fitness and a 30lb weight set back in 1987, when I was 13, and evolved from there. I have always enjoyed the challenge weight training, and many of the other sports-related activities I have been involved with over the years - rugby, martial arts, boxing and bodybuilding being the main ones.
I really started learning about training and nutrition around the time of my first bodybuilding competition in 1994, and have since gained Fitness Leader certification and degrees in sport and leisure, and psychology. Training others to achieve their personal health and fitness goals is something I have enjoyed doing for over ten years now, and developing programs that work is something I have become expert at.
Witnessing the positive changes that occur when my clients achieve their goals is the most amazing feeling. Combining my passion for healthy living with my love of helping others is something I am able to do as a personal trainer.
I developed most of my writing skills at the university and during the completion of my National Diploma in Journalism. These skills have been refined during my extensive work with Bodybuilding.com, Athletes.com and Martialedge.co.uk.
I have always loved researching to enhance my clients training results and knew I had to write to communicate my ideas, as well as tried and tested training and nutrition methods, to the widest possible audience. One of the benefits of being a well-known published writer are the interviews with top athletes and other health and fitness experts.
Top Interviews By David Robson:
Nothing compares to hearing what works and what doesn't directly from those who have uncovered various training and nutritional secrets, and achieved greatness in their respective areas.
[ Q ] What are your credentials as a writer, and fitness expert?
- Bachelors Degree in Leisure Studies.
- Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences (Psychology).
- Fitness Leader certification (Network).
- Golden Key International Honor Society inductee.
- National Diploma in Journalism (Hamilton Polytechnic).
- Extensive experience as a personal trainer (over ten years).
- Rugby player (1990-1993).
- Bodybuilding competitor (12-competitions).
- World Bodybuilding Championships 1997 (2nd).
- New Zealand Tae Kwon Do Championships 1998 (2nd).
- Oceania Tae Kwon Do Championships 1998 (3rd).
- Registered New Zealand boxer 2003.
- Over 130 published health and fitness related articles.
- Deputy Managing Editor, Martialedge.co.uk
[ Q ] Tell me more about your personal training business.
Presently I work from my own personal training studio. The studio has every piece of equipment needed to get my clients into their best possible shape, while improving their physical and mental well-being. I primarily train people one-on-one, but can work with groups. Programs can be developed for almost anybody - total health and fitness is something I believe we should all pursue.
For further information visit my website here.
[ Q ] What is it about the fitness industry you enjoy most? What gives you the most amount of satisfaction?
Seeing my clients change for the better is most satisfying. Being involved in such a positive area is an honor and a privilege for me. The great thing about personal training is that people's lives can literally be transformed for the better if they continue with their programs.
Problem solving is something a good personal trainer should enjoy. I really enjoy the challenge of educating people to make positive changes in their lives.
[ Q ] What are the keys to being a good personal trainer and health and fitness educator?
As eluded to, finding what works for any individual is something a personal trainer, if they get enough experience behind them, will gradually become very adept at. In my experience there really are no cookie-cutter solutions, but over time certain universal truths will reveal themselves.
So, the real key to being a good personal trainer is to apply sound scientific strategies to get the best kind of results, and learn from every client so as to improve your ability to intuitively know what will work, and what won't, as early as the initial consultation process.
Genuinely wanting to help people to achieve their health and fitness goals is also important. A client will know if their personal trainer is not passionately interested in helping them to obtain their goals. A helping relationship is something that every personal trainer should aim to build with their client.
Good communication skills are fundamentally important. An inability to convey clear instructions, while dictating the course of the session; while maintaining client motivation and enjoyment, will result in substandard results.
An ability to sense what a client is thinking, and pre-empt their energy levels and motivational state is important if a productive session is to be achieved. Adjusting your approach, based on how the client is feeling on a particular day, is important if they are to reach their goals over the long term.
|WHAT'S YOUR GOAL|
Many clients become discouraged and, in some cases burned-out, if there is an expectation they give 100-percent each and every time.
Achieving optimal health and fitness is a lifelong process, and results often do not come quick. This, of course, depends on the individuals goals.
Of course, there are those clients who thrive on 100-percent intensity, and for these people, a different approach is needed. The key is to tailor your approach to the unique personality styles and goals of each client.
A sound knowledge base is very important if a trainer is to help their client safely and effectively achieve all program goals.
A good qualification, or series of qualifications, is a great first step. However, updating your knowledge through constant reading and discussions with other fitness experts is needed to stay at the cutting edge.
[ Q ] What qualities does a good writer need?
Writing skills develop over time and tend to improve the longer one refines their craft, so I think experience is one of the more critical qualities a writer can have. My message to anyone wanting to improve their writing skills is to get a good basic qualification in writing, or journalism, and don't hold back.
If one has enough sense they will eventually, with the necessary experience, work it out - I am into my third year as a writer and am still figuring it all out.
The ability to form a good angle, and deviate very little from this angle, are strengths a good writer has. For article writing, be crisp and to the point. Don't go off on tangents, otherwise the reader will get lost, which will defeat the purpose of the article. Stay structured.
A good writer should be able to research thoroughly and weave the facts into a logically structured, easy-to-read, document. Pretentious language has no place in good writing. Use real words, which have real meaning for the majority of readers.
Be grammatically correct. Learn the various styles of writing, and apply them accordingly. Know your audience.
Patience, and consistency once proficiency has been attained, are additional strengths a good writer should have.
[ Q ] What are some of the mistakes people make when trying to reach their health and fitness goals?
There are a lot of areas where people fall short. The main ones in my experience would be under-eating and over-working. People need to realize their body cannot perform optimally if they take nutritional shortcuts. Of course, tailoring a specific nutritional plan to meet the needs of each client is important, but there are certain basic sports nutrition requirements that cannot be overlooked.
Ensuring there is enough energy to train on, and refueling post-training are important, often overlooked, aspects of nutrition. Rest and recovery are elements of performance that should be in place in every training program.
Quitting before results are achieved is a problem many face. Depending on a multitude of factors (genetics, initial body fat levels, motivation levels, and training and nutritional knowledge to name a few); progress might come at a slower rate than first expected.
Click Image To Enlarge.
The Start of David's Personal Transformation.
Consistency with training, diet and lifestyle is one of the major keys to progress. Continuing with a training program over the long-term, while making the necessary changes along the way, and learning about your body and its unique capacity to adapt and improve, will pay off with the kind of physical results you want.
[ Q ] What is your philosophy on fitness?
Be consistent and the results will come. Be disciplined and aim for the very top. The most important thing we have is our health and improving it is something we should aim for always.
[ Q ] What kind of routine do you follow now?
I follow a pretty hardcore system devised by Daniel Gastelu. It is a periodized program specifically designed to add mass while gradually stripping body fat. I have been on this program for six weeks and the results have been phenomenal - a gain of 6.3lbs of lean muscle.
Go here for all program details:
[ Q ] What's the best thing about bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding is a great sport because it demands the very best from the individual. It helps a person develop life-long healthy habits. Without proper the sleep, nutrition, exercise and attitude, bodybuilding progress is severely limited. If done correctly - without the use of large quantities of drugs, and extreme dieting - bodybuilding can be the one of the healthiest sports out there.
What people fail to realize is there is competitive bodybuilding, and bodybuilding for personal gains in health and physical improvement. One does not have to compete to obtain all bodybuilding has to offer.
[ Q ] And the worst thing?
I guess excessive drug use would have to be the worst thing about bodybuilding. For professionals who earn their living from bodybuilding, drugs are needed. The modern sport demands this. However, I would strongly caution anyone, who doesn't have the potential to turn pro, against taking performance enhancing drugs.
[ Q ] Who are your role models?
I admire people who have overcome adversity to realize their goals. Also, those who are determined and displined, yet humble. Great sporting champions who are humble like Ronnie Coleman for example. Jesus Christ would be the ultimate role model for me as he was the greatest man who ever lived. He lived his life to help others.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Upon Winning The 2005 Mr. Olympia
Ronnie Fell To His Knees To Thank God.
More 2005 Olympia Pics Here.
[ Q ] How do you vary your training for your lagging body parts?
Use a variety of exercises and train each muscle group twice a week. I hit every muscle group very hard by training to failure on every set, and for every muscle group, the second workout of the week will be high repetition. This is all done to achieve balance throughout my physique.
For lagging body parts I just ensure I don't overlook them but train them the same way I would any other muscle group - with the greatest of intensity.
[ Q ] What are some of your favorite exercises and why?
Deadlift because I consider it to be the king of exercises. Squats are a close second. I just love the physical exertion involved with both these exercises. They stimulate the whole body and contribute to the greatest growth. I would recommend everyone do these exercises if possible.
[ Q ] Traits you most admire in others?
Honesty, integrity, reliability and a disciplined mindset.
[ Q ] Traits you most admire in yourself?
Honesty, integrity, reliability and a disciplined mindset
[ Q ] Things you count as blessings?
My family and my health.
[ Q ] What are some of the services you offer?
I offer a wide range of training options. These include specific bodybuilding and elite sports programs through to general fitness and weight loss strategies. I also offer boxing and martial arts tuition along with almost any other kind of sports specific training. Dietary advice and information on all aspects of health and fitness are provided to the client as part of the service.
[ Q ] What sets you apart from other personal trainers?
Possibly the passion I have for what I am doing. Living the fitness lifestyle has, over a long period, become an established part of who I am and what I do. Encouraging others to be at their very best physically and mentally is something I get a great deal of satisfaction from.
My knowledge in all areas of health, fitness and sports performance is something my clients appreciate as it takes the guesswork out of all of their goals, and makes their transition to superior athlete and/or healthier individual all the more easy.
Being a writer for the health, fitness, and sports sectors, I am able to directly improve my client's chances of success through the combined knowledge of some of the greatest minds in these respective areas.
One of my main roles as a writer is to heavily research my topic before putting a single word on paper. Therefore, being a writer is advantageous as far as my role as a personal trainer is concerned, given many of the topics I write on cover the very things many of my clients seek clarification on.
[ Q ] What have been some of your more memorable experiences as a personal trainer and writer?
Becoming a staff writer for Bodybuilding.com was my first big writing opportunity and this has proven to be an enjoyable and enlightening experience. Talking with some of the greatest athletes and training/nutrition experts in the world is an opportunity any personal trainer would love.
Learning from the best through direct contact with them is as good as it gets I think. Bodybuilding.com and Athletes.com (a related publication), are reputable, and the best of their kind on the web, so it is a pleasure working with them.
Being promoted to deputy editor of martialedge.co.uk is another highlight. Martialedge is a site devoted to provide the best in martial arts knowledge on the web, in addition to informing with all of the latest news, and inspiring with several major interviews every month.
This site has been running now for just under a year, and is going from strength to strength. I am proud to be an associate of this great publication.
As a writer and trainer it has been a pleasure to work with people like nutrition expert Dan Gastelu from ISSA, renowned personal trainer Anthony Catanzaro and bodybuilding notables such as Dave Draper, Shawn Ray and up and coming pro Wong Hong.
As a trainer, seeing my clients transform their physiques and lifestyles as their perspective on health and fitness improves, is the best feeling in the world.
[ Q ] What other hobbies and interests do you have David?
My family is very influential in my life. My wife Natalie is very supportive and has been the most important person in my life for the past 12 years. Son Curtis, eight, and Daughter Grace, one, are the loves of my life. I guess my whole life is centered around my family. Hobbies mainly include things that involve them - like holidaying and various outings.
I also compete as a bodybuilder, and will be doing several shows in 2006 - read Bodybuilding.com to stay updated on this.
In addition to family, writing and personal training, I hold down a position at a disabled children's respite home (24 hours a week). Supporting children with disabilities is something I have done for around seven years now, and consider it an important job. With the aforementioned work and family duties, there is little room for additional interests. I guess sleeping and eating would rate highly.
[ Q ] What are your views on supplements?
Supplements have their place in assisting with the improvement of health and well-being, but they should not take the place of real food in my view.
A well-balanced-diet has many nutrients and co-factors that cannot be replicated in a supplement. In saying this, there are some very promising supplements on the market now.
Users of quality whey protein, creatine, and glutamine have reported excellent results, but I would have to say many supplements are unnecessary.
One supplement that I use all the time is Explosive Growth Blend. I recommend it to my bodybuilding clients as it provides everything growing muscles need, in precise amounts.
[ Q ] What are your favorite sports? Are there any athletes you especially admire? Why?
My favorite sports have always tended to be the hard contact-sports such as boxing and rugby. Sports that require amazing fitness levels impress as they demonstrate what can be accomplished with hard training, good diet, and the right genetics.
Of course, bodybuilding is one sport I am passionate about. I competed as a natural for four years, and became very focused and disciplined in other areas of my life as a result.
I admire all athletes who have become the best in the chosen sports - these would include most of today's professional athletes. Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali would be my all time favorite athletes as they were tremendously gifted and are arguably the most revered figures in sports today.
Among today's crop I like pro bodybuilder, and current Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman and pro boxer Bernard Hopkins.
[ Q ] Where do you see the future of personal training heading?
I think personal training and the fitness industry as a whole are in good hands. The trainers featured on this Q and A page are all the best at what they do. The future looks bright with people like them leading the way.
[ Q ] What plans do you have for the future as far as personal training and writing are concerned?
I would just love to continue doing what I am doing now, while improving my writing skills and expanding my personal training business.
[ Q ] What are your long term bodybuilding ambitions?
To stay in good shape for the rest of my life and to win several contests along the way.
[ Q ] What is your favorite saying or quote?
be lazy and never succeed."
[ Q ] Thank you David for this interview.
It has been my pleasure Dave. I look forward to the radio interview.