Today it is my privilege to bring you an interview with Derek Simnett, calisthenics athlete and social media influencer.
Through this interview we gain an insight into the training methods, diet plan and approach to life of someone continuously pushing the boundaries of their physical capability and kindly sharing that message with others, to encourage them to do the same…
When did you starting training calisthenics and why?
I started training calisthenics around 5 years ago. At that time, I was very into long distance running and while out on trail runs, I would always stop and find a branch to do pull ups on. It was so fun, and I eventually realized I was getting stronger from just the few I would do on my runs. I decided to buy a at home pull up bar and my calisthenics love affair began!
What does your typical weekly training routine consist of?
I do a push, pull, legs split. I hit each group twice a week and then take a rest day. I do a mix of calisthenics, weighted calisthenics and add in some body building exercises. I do not follow any specific plan every workout looks a bit different.
Are there any people, books, or experiences that you would be willing to share with us, that have really shaped your mentality?
I cannot pinpoint any person or event, I feel as though every person who has been in my life and every experience that I have had – both good and bad – has shaped who I am today.
What are the priorities that you have towards the way you approach your life?
My health and my connection to nature are integral to my wellbeing.
When did you go Vegan and why?
I transitioned around 7 years ago. My girlfriend at the time was going to school for holistic nutrition and I starting reading some of her school books. I learned about the power of a whole foods plant-based diet and decided to try and reduce my animal product intake to see if I noticed any difference. The more I reduced the animal products on my diet, the better I felt. My sore joints went away, my skin cleared up and I started seeing so many benefits to my health I stopped eating animal products all together.
As a Vegan athlete, obviously like everyone you eat slightly differently day to day, but could you give us an idea of what a typical day of eating looks like for you?
I always start my day with warm lemon water. I then train in the mornings, almost always fasted. My post workout meal is always a delicious smoothie bowl. A smoothie bowl is just a thicker version of a smoothie (I include bananas, berries, flax seeds, Vivo Life protein powder, turmeric, and a bit of almond milk in mine) and usually add some homemade granola on top. It is basically like dessert for breakfast. Some days I skip lunch, because my smoothie bowl is pretty large, and I eat it later in the day. If I do have lunch, I enjoy having some peanut butter and banana toast or I may have a salad with fresh veggies and tempeh or left-overs from the night before. A typical dinner for me is a big veggie stir fry on a fresh bed of greens. I will add chickpeas, rice and beans, tempeh, or tofu to this as well. It just depends on what I have on hand. I will also make a homemade salad dressing to pour on top. The options are endless!
Personally, do you count calories? Or set targets for how much you should be eating in a day?
No, I do not count calories. I eat intuitively and do not restrict myself.
How important are other people to your progress? For example, who you train and surround yourself with?
My support system is integral to my progress. My Mom, my girlfriend and my family have been so supportive of me, especially after going to school for nutrition and making a big career change. I know they are proud and that means everything to me. I would not be in the position I am today without them!
How have you transformed your passion for health and fitness into a successful business?
When I started posting videos on YouTube, it was never about how many subscribers or likes I could get. I just want to help people feel as good as I feel everyday by eating well and moving their bodies. I have transformed my message into a successful business because I am very passionate about what I do, and I believe others can see that.
What advice would you give to someone who is demotivated or doesn’t know where to start with getting into sport and fitness?
Find something that gives you a spark and do it! Have fun moving your body in a way that feels good for you. It doesn’t matter what other people do for fitness, you have to find what you enjoy. That is how you will stick with something long term… you have to first enjoy it!
What are you goals and ambitions for the future?
To continue spreading the message of the benefits of a whole-foods plant-based vegan diet. To help encourage and inspire more people to move their bodies and ultimately live healthier more fulfilling lives. I will continue to grow my YouTube channel and I look forward to releasing another recipe eBook in the Fall of 2018!
YouTube: Simnett Nutrition
Facebook: Simnett Nutrition
When we find people who have amazing results it’s always useful to look at their patterns of behaviour, so we can see how we can achieve similar things. We thank Derek for sharing so much detail on the way he approaches his life, so we can learn and adapt from this blueprint to achieve similar aims.
Be sure to check out all of his social media for a continuation of such practical insights.
Look out for our next interview coming very soon…
Until then all the best