About Orlando: "Orlando Darden, Jr. is a Master Private Fitness Trainer, and Running Coach, who has trained numerous beginner and experienced runners to successfully compete in running events raging from half to full marathons. Additionally, his expert coaching has resulted in his numerous clients achieving optimal fitness and health whether their goal was to lose weight, increase muscle strength, and tone, improve overall cardio conditioning, or to boost the fitness conditioning of an already fit client. He has been a trainer for 6 years and is the owner of BodyFitDC, a Private Fitness, Group and Running Coaching Company located in the Nation's Capitol."
Orlando was kind enough to answer questions for us as part of our Featured Trainer series.
1. Share a little about your fitness background. How did you become a personal trainer? How long have you been a trainer?
As a child long before, Ipads, smartphones, and cable tv, I was always active/athletic. Running has been my longtime sport of passion. I did then, and certainly believe now that running is a great overall fitness conditioning activity! Throughout college, I lifted weights and ran. During my 20 year corporate career, regular exercise became almost non-existent! Working practically all the time and, exercising very little, as I entered my 40`s, this unhealthy lifestyle caused me to reassess my life priorities. At that time, I believe I was divinely directed, one day to scroll through the Craig's List want ads, where I came across an ad from a local fitness studio that was seeking new fitness trainers. Fortunately for me, experience was not required, however, passing the certification exam to become a trainer was required. Once I passed, eventually it became obvious that I was quite talented at motivating clients, and as a result, effective in motivating and inspiring them to strive for the results they desired! My career as a studio trainer endured for three years, before I subsequently decided 5 years ago to start my own fitness training and running coaching company, BodyFitDc.
2. What makes your training style unique?
Fitness training is not a job, neither a career. For me it`s a passion, calling, and a mission to motivate and inspire all whom I can train either directly or indirectly to make fitness, health, and wellness a lifestyle! Additionally, as a very fit, and healthy baby boomer aged trainer, its my vision to motivate and inspire those who are either approaching 50 or beyond that their best fitness, health, wellness, and lifestyle goals and desires could very well happen at age 50 and beyond! Although I approach fitness training from an exercise science approach/philosophy vs, a template / " one size fits all," each workout is customized to adapt to my client`s evolving fitness training needs.
3. If you could change client behavior, what would it be?
Their BELIEFS about what's possible for them in both their pursuit of achieving optimal fitness, health, and wellness, as well as imagining and pursuing a bigger vision for their own lives!
4. What's is your favorite exercise, and why?
My favorite exercise style/approach are compound exercises. Since this style of exercise utilizes multiple joints/muscles I have found that my client's experience successful weight loss, muscle strengthening, and toning, and overall fitness conditioning, more consistently, safely, and effectively. Examples of my favorites are running, strength training with weights ( especially Kettlebells), and a variety of body weight exercises.
5. Briefly describe your weekly workout schedule. Is it seasonal? How many rest days do you take each week?
My weekly workout routine consists of the following: 1. running 3-4 days a week, one of those day's being Sunday's I lead my run group, Baby Boomer Runners Rule! on group fitness conditioning and scenic runs. 2. Practice Vinyasa Yoga at least once a week (although I am trying to fit in two days a week), 3. additionally I strength train on average 3 days a week, consisting of bodyweight compound exercises, and weightlifting, including kettlebells.
6. What is your favorite outdoor Washington, DC activity? Do you have a favorite hike or run?
As an avid and long time passionate runner, my favorite outdoor DC activity is running! No treadmill or elliptical machine can top outdoor running in DC! We are very fortunate to have access to such a variety of venues ranging from Rock Creek Park and it's many trails, to the many beautiful historic monuments, making the run not only a great physical, but also, mental, and visually stimulating experience. Actually I have two favorite DC runs that happen to be very popular local races: the Army 10 Miler, and the Nations Rock-Roll Half-Marathon. The competitiors, the very supportive, enthusiastic crowds lining almost the entire race course, and the scenic and challenging courses themselves make the running experience epic!
7. What is your favorite place in DC to get a healthy meal?
I love salads, therefore my "hands-down" favorite is SWEET GREENS!
8. What do you like most about being a personal trainer?
What I enjoy most is participating and experiencing my client's change in BELIEF of what's possible for them as they challenge themselves to undergo a fitness, health, and wellness transformation. Doubt and pessimimisim has changed to optimisim and belief in themselves, their abilities to achieve optimal fitness results, and as a result, envisioning, and participating in a bigger vision of their more ideal, desired way of life!