We have a special gift to wrap up our 12 Weeks of Trainers Series: fitness tips from Donovan Green. Donovan has a very diverse list of clients that are passionate about maintaining their physical appearance including celebrities like Dr. Oz, who are devoted to his unique style of training. His energy embodies greatness and empowers his clients to attain their specific goals. He strongly believes that “Procrastination is the key to failure.”
Confuse Your Muscles
With over twelve years of professional experience Donovan Green is known as a specialist of muscle confusion. He fuses exercises ranging from sports conditioning to yoga all within one session. He is a Certified Personal Trainer with A.C.E. (American Council on Exercise), Nike Sparq Trainer, HFTN elite coach, Health Counselor from the school of Integrative Nutrition, and also a Martial Arts enthusiast.
While understanding that life can sometimes be very demanding, Donovan never allows his clients to give up on themselves – or on him. He uses great reinforcement tools such as positive and powerful phrases like “the words ‘I can’t’ do not exist”. His passion for helping others achieve greatness is not just from a physical perspective but also mentally and spiritually. His approach to good health is based on the overall wellness of each individual through a more holistic stand point.
Although fitness is clearly his passion, Donovan considers himself primarily a “life coach” and works for LA Boxing in Norwalk, Connecticut. Like many trainers who wind up in the fields of health, fitness and lifestyle, Donovan’s struggle with his own physicality began in childhood.
“I was a chubby kid,” he explains. “I was a fat kid, and my aunt would always tease me. She’d say, ‘You got man boobs,’ ‘You got a big belly, ‘Pull your stomach in’ and all these things, and it was not a hurtful thing for me as a kid growing up, it was a fun gesture. But as I grew up and got older, when I hit 13 years old I got into fitness with my uncle, who had a gym downstairs in his apartment.”
Muscle confusion is a big part of what has made Donovan so fit, and so successful as a fitness trainer, to this day. “I am a big believer in muscle confusion,” he says. “So I have moments where I do a lot of body building style workouts, and then I do more on the high intensity training interval drills. I’ll do full martial arts training. I studied Krav Maga, which is an Israeli military martial arts. [So] I would do a full circuit of that. I am always changing up. I don’t really have one specific program. I’ll do yoga or Pilates. So I’ll mix it up. I always keep my body moving. Always guessing –What’s next?”
“Life, money, kids, the wife, the husband, life events… at the end of the day, these are really just excuses. The only excuse you have to not work out is you’re dead, that’s it.” ~ Donovan Green
Donovan personally trains, be it in a classroom setting or individually, over 70 clients every week. He does muscle confusion training with his clients as well. “They never know what they are going to get,” he explains, “so they love to hate and hate to love me at the same time. I will implement one day in kick boxing, the next day it’ll be kettle bell. Then we’ll do boxing, and there’s only weight training. I am always intriguing their mind. Always making them not get used to anything, but at the end of the day, it’s always hard, no matter what their level is.
“So, if somebody is a beginner, I am going to give them something hard for a beginner. Like, if somebody’s a beginner, I am not going to tell them to give me 50 push-ups, I am going to tell them to give me 10. That’s hard for them. If someone is extremely overweight, I am going to ask them to sit down and get up 10 times. And, so that’s hard for them, because I want them to learn that this is a game. It’s where failure is what you are looking for, and that is the only thing in life that failure is the key. Coming in every day. When you fail in fitness, and your muscles give up on you, that is a good thing. That is not a bad thing. And they understand that. Go for failure. Go to where your body says, ‘Oh my God.’ ”
Donovan insists that the key to a sustainable workout isn’t in what you do, or even who trains you, but in whether or not you’re ready to commit to a brand new lifestyle. “They commit to it,” he says of people who crave a Better Body and are ready to finally do something about it. “And they commit to me as their trainer. They will alleviate or eliminate things out of their lives, that extra expense, and look at me as the important part of their day, and they will commit.”
Now comes the portion I always get the most excited about: below you will find 4 of Donovan’s Top-12 tips from Better Body Wannabe for getting, and keeping, a Better Body.
Tip #1: Timing is everything.
It is [about] commitment; there are people who don’t commit well, and there are people who do commit. People have come to a place in life where they say, “No more. Time to change.” And they don’t just say it; they actually act on it, and decide to commit to someone who’s going to hold them accountable.
Tip #2: Take a break, but not too big a break!
The people who don’t work out when they go on vacation are people who never really experience real results. They don’t know what they gain, so they have nothing to lose. The people who experience real results work really hard for what they’re gaining – and they don’t want to lose what they’ve gained. So they go on vacation, and they will indulge in certain foods, and to me it is awesome. Please, go on your vacation and enjoy your food. But they also understand: you still have to work out.
Tip #3: Be Wary of Gym Memberships.
They offer you all these crazy deals, “Just sign your life away,” for no reason. Please… you’re not even going to use on a regular basis, and you are only going to go there for 20 minutes, an hour at the most, if that. But gym memberships are still traps people fall for.
Tip #4: Watch less TV.
Every time you turn that TV on – especially if you’re watching the news – you are exposed to the negative stuff every day. And it shocks your nerves; it shocks your mind. That adds to stress. Four days without TV, you don’t realize, but you actually do better.
By Tiffany Youngren • September 16, 2013
Category: Fitness Articles
More of Donovan’s story and the rest of his 12 Fitness Tips — the “Doer’s Dozen” mentioned in the Fitness Articles: Twelve Weeks of Trainers introduction — are featured in the upcoming book, Better Body Wannabe: 12 Top Trainers Reveal the Real Skinny on Eating and Exercising for a More Healthy, Happy, and Fit YOU, based on Tiffany’s (of Transfer of Health) interviews with Donovan and 11 other top trainers. Sign up today for pre-release chapters and the opportunity to order early.
Life Coach, Fitness Trainer, Kickboxing Instructor