Member Spotlight | Lessons from Triathlete, Dave Ruby

Member Spotlight | Lessons from Triathlete, Dave Ruby

“There’s an entry level for everyone…Unless you’ve got doctor’s orders, you’ve got to start with something. Don’t let your head tell you, you can’t.

Dave Ruby

LAF Member and Champion Triathlete

Dave Ruby is a fierce athlete with an impressive drive and an even more impressive attitude. At age 59 and having competed in and conquered Triathlons all over the world, he is certainly a force to be reckoned with.  

To give you some perspective, Dave Ruby has raced in Ironman and Xterra Triathlon Championship Competitions on 6 continents and has earned World and National Champion titles in addition to claiming multiple first place wins.   

While his accomplishments are staggering, Ruby sets his focus on the enjoyment of his lifestyle and the benefits of cultivating a healthy body and mind. We interviewed him to find out how he manages his training and stays physically and mentally dialed in. After all, before he was Dave Ruby the Triathlete, he was a surfer, cyclist, and regular LA Fitness gym-goer. 

To show you that the willingness to put in the work, and the enjoyment of that work, can take you from ordinary to extraordinary, allow us to take you into the life of Triathlete, Dave Ruby. 

Where Ruby’s Fitness Journey Began 

Before he started competing in Triathlons, Ruby enjoyed running, surfing, and cycling. One year, he decided he would enter his first Ironman run. As he ran, his body protested, and his mind told him this was something he should never do again. He has competed every year since. 

We asked Ruby what many of you are probably thinking now. What got you back out there after that first punishing experience?  

He responded that he learned to listen to the aches and pains in his body and take breaks to recover. Yes, that first experience was physically and mentally taxing, but caring for his body is what made the difference. It probably also helps that he is surrounded by others who also love the active lifestyle. In fact, his wife also happens to be a Triathlon champion! 

The Transition to Competitive Training 

Transitioning from training for the sake of living a healthy lifestyle, to competitive training for advanced challenges like Triathlons, was another turning point. Ruby reminds us that this isn’t an overnight change and that the body gets faster and more fit the more you continue to workoutwork out and test your limits. 

There seems to be no active intention to give a little more to each training session because he genuinely enjoys the process. Race day is, in his mind, another (but more challenging) workout. We think this is likely the key to it all. The mindset doesn’t sit in the idea that this is just hard work; it revels in the process and enjoys the moment. 

It’s true that for Ruby, sometimes it’s about setting a personal record and seeing himself outperform his prior abilities, but his favorite thing about competing is actually the travel and comradery! He enjoys the landscapes, the wildlife, and the people wherever he goes. 

“I absolutely love traveling to far off places, seeing a new part of the world, [and experiencing] the heart of the area,” says Ruby. You are sure to find him “wandering like a local and experiencing the heart and soul of the cultures” when he’s not competing. 

Preparing for Competition Day 

All year long, Ruby keeps a base in terms of physical activity. “I put in 5 to 6-mile bike rides to train and do a lot of off-road bike rides,” he says. “While I’m out there, I look for wildlife, and enjoy it too. I enjoy the work. I strength train 3 to 4 times a week at the gym and swim,” he explains. Essentially, he strengthens the swimming, running, and cycling muscles so that they are conditioned for the type of work they need to do in competition. 

His mental preparation looks a little different. There’s really no preparation beforehand because “running is a form of meditation” in and of itself, he says; “you get into a zone.” Perhaps the only thing he does differently, is the way he focuses his mental state before competition. He recognizes that “I’m out there to do the best I can for that day. A win isn’t a guarantee, anything can happen” (like a mechanical issue, an injury, etc.). He acknowledges the lack of control over certain environmental, mechanical, and chance-based circumstances and can simply focus on giving the best he has to offer.  

It’s also important not to overdo your preparation before a big race, he notes. “You’re better off going into a race 10% undertrained than 1% over trained,” Ruby says, and we completely agree.  

Ruby’s Advice 

If you’re skeptical of your own ability to live an active lifestyle or accomplish a challenge you’ve set your eyes on, Ruby reminds us that “there’s an entry level for everyone.” Everyone’s starting point will be different and even the best athletes were beginners at some point.  

Unless you’ve got doctor’s orders, you’ve got to start with something,” says Ruby. “If you think you can’t do it, that’s an excuse. If it’s doctor’s orders that’s different, but don’t let your head tell you that you can’t.” 

Closing Thoughts 

In the end, whether you are a serious athlete, you exercise for your health, or you’ve struggled to get started, what you can take away from Ruby’s story is this: 

  1. Everyone starts somewhere so don’t be afraid to take the first step 
  2. Choose an activity you get enjoyment from and look forward to 
  3. Surround yourself with people who share the same passion for living an active lifestyle 
  4. Come to terms with the possibility that anything can happen to mentally prepare for big challenges 
  5. Don’t let your head tell you that you can’t accomplish something big 

To hear straight from the man himself, listen to Episode 35 of our Podcast and listen to our discussion with Dave Ruby. Do you have an inspirational story you’d like to share with us? Email us at blog@lafitness.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming post! 

 

For length, and clarity, minor edits – none of which alter the original or intended meaning – have been made to the quotes provided. 

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Member Spotlight | The Value in Personal Training

Member Spotlight | The Value in Personal Training

“Throughout our sessions [my trainer] was able to tailor specific routines for me and quickly adjust as required for my preferences and accommodate for chronic injuries.”

Martyn D.

LAF Member, LA Fitness

An Unexpected Turning Point 

Martyn D. is an LA Fitness member who changed his lifestyle when he least expected. With a busy work schedule and a long-standing shoulder injury, Martyn found himself “in a slump, with little to no change in [his] routines and inspiration.” 

One day, he won a few free training sessions at LA Fitness and was hooked ever since. “I enjoyed them so much I decided to continue for the 6-month program,” Martyn says. 

If you’re hesitant to start a workout routine due to an injury, or if you’re in an emotional funk, Martyn’s story is the perfect example to showcase how proper guidance from a qualified instructor can help you move towards your goals.

Personal Training Made a Big Difference 

The key to personal training is the fact that it is customized for you. It’s not just about having someone tell you what to do.  

Martyn appreciated that his trainer, Patrick, “was approachable and easy to talk to” and that he took the time to really flesh out his personal fitness goals. 

“Throughout our sessions he was able to tailor specific routines for me and quickly adjust as required for my preferences and accommodate for chronic injuries,” explains Martyn, “he was also flexible with my schedule when I had limited time with work.” 

Overcoming Injuries 

Injuries can pose a myriad of obstacles when it comes to working out. Some people will advise you to use the muscles lightly, others will advise you to avoid all activities that may strain the muscles further.  

One advantage of having a qualified trainer is in your access to their knowledgebase on muscle recovery and on proper form. Martyn shares that despite a shoulder injury that had been bothering him for years, Patrick “has been able to significantly help by strengthening weak areas and improving [his] form, both of which allow [him] to lift more.” 

What’s Next for Martyn? 

“Exercising has always been a stress outlet for me with a sense of accomplishment afterwards” says Martyn. However, the added improvement really boosts those feelings. Call me a glutton for punishment but I plan on staying active for as long as I can. I still browse online videos for different exercises to try out but having a knowledgeable pro on hand is invaluable. Plus, he would not let me slackoff, which I appreciate afterwards. 

Closing Thoughts 

Having the help of a personal trainer can make a world of difference. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete who is looking for new ways to test your abilities, or just starting out, some knowledgeable guidance can go a long way. Martyn is living proof that personalized training, paired with a commitment to your goals, can produce real changes that you can be proud of. 

Do you have an inspirational story you’d like to share with us? Email us at blog@lafitness.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming post! 


 

For length and clarity, minor edits – none of which alter the original or intended meaning – have been made to the quotes provided.

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Member Spotlight | Little Changes, Big Results

Member Spotlight | Little Changes, Big Results

“Consistency is key; Changes do not happen overnight so do not give up. Start with small changes outside the gym…little changes turn into big results.” 

Nick L.

LAF Member, LA Fitness

Nick’s weight loss journey began with the 8-month birthday of his son. He changed his workout and eating habits over the course of the last year and managed to lose over 100 pounds!  

His motivation came partly from witnessing the success of others who have lost as much weight and more. So, if your goal seems too ambitious and you’re plagued with self-doubt, Nick’s story will show you that with consistency and commitment, big results are possible. 

Nick’s Wakeup Call

“I decided to make a healthy lifestyle a choice when my son became 8 months old and I was too tired to interact and play with him. I knew that if I wanted to be strong enough to provide for my wife and son, something needed to change.  

At that same time, I found a channel on YouTube called BrixFitness where I saw that a man had lost 150 pounds. I thought to myself, if he can do it, I can too. The next day I went and got a membership at LA Fitness. A week later, I showed up to the gym at 5am and I have been going at 5am, 5 days a week for the last year.” 


 

Commitment to the New Lifestyle

“I have made many eating and drinking changes which have helped drive my progress in the gym, and I am seeing major results. I am more conscious of the labels on the food I eat along with the portions. I even started measuring and weighing my food.”  

If Nick could give others a piece of advice, he would tell them that “Consistency is key. Changes do not happen overnight so do not give up. Start with small changes outside the gym like drinking diet soda versus regular soda or eating a protein bar instead of a candy bar. Little changes turn into big results.” 

Nick started this journey at 332 pounds and, as of today, he is currently 230 pounds. With his primary focus on weight training and diet over the course of the last year, his plan is to continue that and start integrating more Cardio and Core sessions to continue shaping his body. 

 He says that his “ultimate fitness goal is to do one pull up as [he has] never done one in [his] entire life.” We’re rooting for you Nick!  


 

The Takeaways

  1. Odds are, you’re not alone. Look for success stories that prove it!

     

  2. Small changes build up over time and really make a difference

     

  3. Keep it consistent and remember that changes don’t happen overnight 

Do you have an inspirational story you’d like to share with us? Email us at blog@lafitness.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming post! 


For length and clarity, minor edits – none of which alter the original or intended meaning – have been made to the quotes provided.

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Member Spotlight | The Reward is Worth the Effort

Member Spotlight | The Reward is Worth the Effort

There have been days where I really didn’t want to attend a class, but I convinced myself the reward was worth the effort”

Henry B.

LAF Member

Henry has been a member at LA Fitness for the last 10 months, and if you’re not sure how to take advantage of what the gym has to offer, then his story may be just what you need to read today.

Henry’s Story

“I had a regular fitness routine that included 6am brisk walks with weights, followed by various sit-up/push-up exercises. While this regimen kept my heart in good shape, the rest of the body was ‘soft’.

I did monitor my weight but stopped getting on the scale when I saw the number 215 pounds. This was about the time I separated from my wife of 20+ years, so I used this event as the beginning of the ‘transformation’.

I changed my eating habits and met a wonderful woman who was an LA Fitness member. She convinced me to ‘try the gym for a week’ to see how I would like it.

I was very skeptical at first, I mean, I knew how to work out so what benefit would a gym bring to me? We started with a daily exercise class routine, from Body Works Plus Abs, to Power Circuit, to Cardio Jam, to Boot Camp Conditioning. After the first week, I signed up for the annual membership and have been very active since. We have now added yoga to our routine and attend a class 6 days a week. My current weight is 165 pounds, and I feel fantastic!”

Like Henry, many people who want to make changes to their health and fitness don’t know how to navigate all that the gym offers. For him, what worked was to pretty much try everything! He eventually found a routine he enjoyed and customized his workout schedule to include his favorite exercises or classes.

The other major influence was the support of his gym companion. Having someone to attend class with can be a great motivator, can help keep you accountable, and can help push you through the last 5 minutes when your body would much rather quit.

What’s Next for Henry?

“The only next step is to maintain what we have built. Perhaps a role as a motivational speaker at LA Fitness?”

Henry, you may be closer than you think! Just by sharing your story, others who aren’t sure where to begin can look to your success story.

A Piece of Advice

If Henry could offer you a piece of advice from what he learned along his journey, he wants to emphasize discipline.

“My dad was an MP at a Marine air base, so I knew the meaning of discipline from a young age. As I have gotten older, this has become necessary to maintain the routine. There have been days where I really didn’t want to attend a class, but I convinced myself the reward was worth the effort. My wonderful woman agrees!”

Closing Thoughts

The major takeaways from Henry’s story are:

  1. Try as many classes as you can to find what works best for you
  2. Having a gym buddy can be a great advantage
  3. It is important to cultivate the discipline needed to maintain your new routine

Do you have an inspirational story you’d like to share with us? Email us at blog@lafitness.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming post!

For length and clarity, minor edits – none of which alter the original or intended meaning – have been made to the quotes provided.

Member Spotlight | How Personal Training Changed This Man’s Life

Member Spotlight | How Personal Training Changed This Man’s Life

“I love having someone push me past where I would go by myself and showing me new workouts.”

David W.

LAF Pro Results® Member

David’s Story

At 245, I was much heavier than I had ever been. My changing job schedule was always an excuse to not go to the gym. [When] my dad had a stroke, I decided I needed to get my butt back in shape. I [used to] run marathons in 2000 and 2001.

I joined LA Fitness in Round Rock, went a few times, and then my work schedule changed again so I didn’t go for a while.

Somewhere around January of last year, the manager called and says, “I noticed you haven’t been in in a while. Would you like to modify or maybe cancel your membership?” Well, that was all the motivation I needed. After a couple of weeks, I signed up for training and the rest is history!

What are your current fitness goals?

I hit the first, which was to get down to 196 lbs. from 245 lbs. My next goal is to get down to 15% body fat.

How has personal training impacted or changed your fitness routine?

I love having someone push me past where I would go by myself and showing me new workouts.

If you could give others one piece of advice, what would it be?

Keep it up! Make it a point to go to the gym. 

Before: January 2018 | After: May 2019

After: February 2019


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