The value of healthy living was something David Kirsch learned early on in life, as he grew up watching his dad work out religiously and was encouraged to discover his own physical and mental potential through fitness. David immersed himself in the study of health and nutrition during his 20s while working as an attorney and started to forge his own path in the world of personal training and gourmet food management. After five years as a litigator and general practitioner, David left to follow his true calling: teaching and inspiring others to reach their full physical and mental potential. David’s accomplishments over the last two decades have established him as a respected fitness expert the world over. His holistic approach to wellness—encompassing a disciplined exercise, nutrition, and supplements regimen—is rooted in his philosophy of “Sound Mind, Sound Body”: reaching the perfect balance of mind, body, and spirit. As a celebrated trainer, he has sculpted celebrity clientele including Faith Hill, Ellen Barkin, Liv Tyler, Kerry Washington, and Anne Hathaway, and is also credited with getting a postpartum Heidi Klum ready for a Victoria’s Secret lingerie runway show in record time. David is a popular guest in American media, appearing as a featured expert on ABC’s Extreme Makeover, TODAY, and The View, among other, and has been prominently featured as an expert in such publications as Vogue, Glamour, and The New York Times.
How did you develop your Sound Mind, Sound Body philosophy?
This philosophy was part of my being and the way I viewed the world. I have always believed in the power of the mind to transform you from the inside out. I adopted my life philosophy to my training, encouraging clients to connect their mind with their bodies to see the best results.
Does everyone have the potential for a sculpted body? Do some body types tone up better than others?
Some bodies are definitely more prone to becoming sculpted. Genetics play a big part in your body shape and how well it can be sculpted. Becoming lean and healthy is possible for everyone. Becoming sculpted takes discipline, focus and genetics to achieve. It’s about creating the best body you can have.
What is the minimum time a 25 year old should work out each week and why? What about a 50 year old?
For a 25 year old, it’s about your body shape and your goals. They should be aiming to work out 3-4 times a week but it may be more depending on what they are trying to achieve. For a 50 year old, the frequency is still the same but often the objective changes. You may want to change the duration of your workout because you have less time, or the amount of weight you use.
What one food do you wish people would simply stop eating?
Drinking diet soft drinks. Rather than do what they are suppose to do, they make you thirsty and bloat you. Drinking them will make you crave sweets more. In addition, they are not hydrating and the chemicals are bad for you. I also wish people would cut out processed sugar.
What do you recommend for women fighting flabby arms?
Nothing is better for flabby arms than push-ups. If you do nothing else besides push-ups you will still see results. Start out with basic push-ups and increase the intensity by trying Spiderman or Diamond Push-Ups. My Abs & Arms book has a variety of exercises that you can do to target this problem area.
For those who don’t work with a trainer, how can they keep their workouts fresh?
There are so many resources out there today including books, videos, and online sources, from twitter to blogs. I provide tips, tricks, and exercises through my different social media pages that people can use and incorporate into their routine to keep it fresh.
What is the biggest misconception people have about losing weight? What is the one most important change people can make in their diet?
People think they can starve away the pounds. Instead, limit processed carbs and eliminate excess sugar. It is important to eat a clean diet of natural foods.
What is the biggest reason diets fail?
People are not realistic about their goals. They do not choose the right diet approach—eliminating carbs or protein is not the answer. It is important to have a balanced diet with the right amount of protein and good carbs. Also, people don’t combine dieting with the right exercise program. Exercise and diet together will increase your success.
What is the biggest reason diets succeed?
A sensible diet and being patient. You need to remember that weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. You also need to be good to yourself and set yourself up to succeed. Understand that hiccups will happen and when they do, you should respond positively.
Staying motivated: what works, what doesn’t?
It depends on the person but I think looking at your body (not the scale!) every day is a great motivator. Try on a pair of jeans or a bikini as an indicator to see if what you are doing is working. It is important to do weight loss in stages and steps.