Getting Results

By R.J. Ignelzi

December 7, 2007 4 min read


Winning trainer explains his proven fitness formula

By R.J. Ignelzi

Copley News Service

Anyone who thinks that fitness pros are "all brawn, no brain" has never met Todd Durkin. The 36-year-old trainer and owner of Fitness Quest 10 training center in San Diego has a master's degree in exercise and nutritional science from San Diego State University, was the 2004 Personal Trainer of the Year for international fitness association IDEA, and was awarded the same title the next year by the American Council on Exercise.

He has more than a dozen DVDs and videos out and travels around the world as a motivational speaker, advising sports teams and corporations about how to live a healthier, more abundant life through stress reduction and an active lifestyle.

Recently, we caught up with Durkin between sprints and crunches. Here's what he had to say.

- What's your favorite activity or exercise?

I'm a pure interval guy. I like to infuse lots of different strength and conditioning exercises along with some functional fitness to make it a real eclectic blend.

- How did you get so involved in exercise and fitness?

Since I was knee-high, I've always been very active and physical. I played football for the College of William and Mary and then was a quarterback with the Amsterdam Admirals in the World Football League. That's where I suffered a serious back injury and got into the healing part of what I do. (Durkin created Optimal Performance Bodywork, a program for massage therapists and trainers.)

- You train more than 25 NFL players, including LaDainian Tomlinson and about a dozen other Chargers. How is training a professional athlete different from training the average person who just wants to shape up?

My philosophy is to train the Joes like the pros. Regardless if I'm training an elite athlete or a stay-at-home mom, I use a program that doesn't involve a lot of sitting on a machine and pressing a weight. I train movement. I teach agility and quickness and how to move more efficiently.

- Despite fitness campaigns, the majority of Americans still aren't exercising. How do you get people moving?

People have to have fun and enjoy the activity. You've got to diversify and mix things up. If you are stale or in an exercise rut, there are lots of things you can do.

- What's one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to get fit?

Too many people think that exercise is the only answer without addressing nutritional changes. You have to balance out physical exercise and nutritional needs.

- What's your diet like?

Breakfast is my meal of choice. I usually have a big bowl of oatmeal and a protein shake. I eat every three or four hours, often snacking on a chewy organic vegan bar.

- No chips, ice cream or Caramel Mocha Frappuccinos?

No, no, no. If I really wanted to splurge, I'd have chocolate, my weakness. But I usually don't.

- If you had only one piece of advice for someone trying to get or stay fit, what would it be?

Consistency is key and discipline rules. A solid, consistent routine will yield optimal results.

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