Bodyweight training is one of the most ancient (yet effective!) forms of exercise. The gym is always open, you are never subjected to "bro, can I work in with you?" and there are never any lines for equipment. It really is one of the most efficient ways to workout.
The person you get to "meet" this week, Daniel Spencer founder of Dynamic Movement Solutions, is a master of this muscular methodology. I met him at the Stick Mobility coaching cert and dude can do some pretty amazing things. Like crazy gymnast, beast mode bodyweight moves.
His credentials include being a Certified GMB Trainer, a Flexibility/Mobility specialist of The Body Practice, an Amateur/ Professional Athlete Trainer for Sports Science Lab, Stick Mobility Level 1 Coach as well as a Rehab & Posture specialist under Muscle Balance and Function Program. READ: The man knows his stuff.
He's an international man of muscular mystery (YEAH BABY!) in that he is based in Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico and teaches fitness throughout the U.S. and Canada. He's got one of his "Travel + Train" events coming up in October, and it looks like it will be a pretty amazing experience.
At any rate, I asked Daniel for an interview, and he was awesome enough to take the time out of his busy schedule to answer the questions I sent over. Enjoy!
How did you get into training?
I grew up fascinated with the human body; I would spend hours trying to emulate my favorite baseball player, Will Clark's swing. Then I started playing hockey. I wanted find out how the pros were training -what exercises were they doing, etc., I am the type of person that If I hear an athlete is performing 1,000 squats a day for their legs then I was going to that. I tried all sorts of training; body building style training, circuit training, functional training and gymnastics. I read books on sport specific training, diet, and injury prevention. Then I went to school to study Kinesiology to further my education on the human body. From there it was a natural progression to start sharing knowledge I learned to help others achieve their goals.
What is Dynamic Movement Solutions?
Dynamic Movement Solutions is my company that has the primary goal of helping and inspiring others do things they have always wanted to do with their bodies. I use all of the knowledge I have gained from my coaches, my own training and experience training people, to help my students reach their goals. My goal is to supply my students with information to help keep their body moving at its highest capacity. Some people come to me with injuries and muscle imbalances. We take care of those first. Once we identify the area that needs addressing then we can work to unlock the bodies potential. I am currently working with people world wide, online, teaching workshops internationally or work with students one on one.
What's your specialty?
My specialty is natural movement. I help people become more connected with their bodies through movement. The movements I work with people are natural movements that we should all be able to do. Sadly many people have lost the ability to perform basic human movements like squatting with the heels on the ground, the ability to pull themselves up on a bar, or stand up from the floor without using their hands. During my quest to learn about human movement I spent a lot of time learning from many great teachers; Martial Arts masters, Chinese acrobats, former Gymnasts, and professional hand balancers. During my quest for learning more about human movement I focused on learning how to perform a handstand. Its something I love to do and something I love to share with people. I am currently traveling the world sharing my passion for handstands and bodyweight movements. Many people come to me to help them with their handstands, improving mobility and achieving certain body weight skills.
What do most people's programs lack? Where are the holes?
The biggest problem I see with some programs out there is they are too focused on numbers or how many reps you can do in a certain amount of time. When the focus is on hitting a certain number or trying to keep up with the instructor the form tends to get forgotten about. These programs are great for building volume and endurance, but they lack awareness of their quality of movement. To me it’s all about how well the movement looks along with how well you can control your body in the movement. Another area or hole I see in other peoples programs is their lack of attention to mobility training. When you focus on building strength and mobility you will have more freedom of your body to do whatever it is you want to do.
What's your favorite way to workout?
I love to be outside as much as possible. I used to spend lots of my time training in the gym, under “ideal” conditions. I found that when I did go outside I didn’t feel as comfortable moving around. The shadows from the sun or the wind can definitely be challenging especially when practicing handstands or another movements that require balance.
I like to mix up my routine, one day it might be doing handstands at the park, or swinging on monkey bars. The next day, maybe it’s going for a hike and rock climbing. I recently started learning Qi gong and Tai chi, which I really enjoy especially on the beach. Mainly I try to do as much as I can outside in the fresh air.
What advice would you give someone brand new to working out?
Find something you really enjoy. There are many ways to exercise, make sure you try lots of different options. Find a game you enjoy, or find a friend that you can do it with. There are lots of really good trainers and coaches out there, - find a group class to start. Working out with people will keep you accountable and you will meet like-minded people that are all focused on the same goal. If you are not a group class type person find a trainer you can relate or can do things you aspire to do.
How do you define fitness?
I don't like to focus too much about numbers like how much weight you can move or your aerobic capacity. To me fitness is the ability to do whatever you want to do when you want to. This also includes how you handle situations that aren't ideal. Do you get stressed, and give up or are you able to find a way work around the obstacle? Fitness should also include longevity can you perform movements multiple times over and over again without getting injured. Can you do them as you age? We all deserve to be happy, healthy, and strong for life. If your training isn’t focused on these areas, you my want to readjust your training program.
I can't thank Daniel enough for his time, much appreciated! If you'd like more information on his training programs, check out one of his online hubs: