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TGt Meets ... Dave Zimmer
In our latest TGt Meets, we've been speaking to Dave Zimmer, Owner of Liberty Performance Coaching, and Triathlon coach at David Lloyd, about all things fitness.
How did you turn your passion for fitness into a career?
Being in the military allowed me to train daily as part of my job, which was fantastic. I was injured during a session and throughout my rehabilitation I met an Army Triathlete who persuaded me to try a sprint triathlon when fully recovered as a goal, it was fantastic. My children were training in Faringdon in a children’s triathlon club, which was about to fold. Taking the initiative I contacted British Triathlon and using my military skills took control of the club, which had 15 members, formed a constitution and the committee did the rest, which allowed me to focus on the training. Leaving the military forced me to re-focus and I left the club with over 50 children. I continued my development with British Triathlon and learnt how to tutor and mentor coaches and now hold a Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Triathlon. Liberty Coaching gives me the flexibility to coach inside and outside of triathlon, helping people with personal goals to business, executive and sporting goals.
How do you stay fit and healthy?
I pick 3 stretch targets each year, for example last year were Stratford Marathon, Race to the Stones and Ironman Mallorca. Training with a purpose keeps me on point and focused. Periodisation allows my training to progress through the season, when doing sessions I stick to one of the big three, Endurance, Speed or Technique all relevant to my next target goal.
Do you have a motto or favourite motivational quote?
You’d have to ask the athletes I coach. I do frequently remind athletes to race or train like everybody is watching (Visualise) as opposed to dance like nobody is watching. Support during racing is key to success and gives the athlete that motivational edge over their opponents. Who doesn’t want to do well in front of their travelling supporters?
People often struggle with fitness motivation, how do you keep yours?
Once I have set my stretch goals I will post them around the house, notebook, man cave as a reminder why all my colleagues and family are chilling and I continue to push myself.
What are your tips for people looking to get into shape?
Start with an achievable target, reaching that will motivate you for the next step or pick a stretch target goal but make sure you have intermediate points where you can celebrate. Without intermediate goals may mean you loose focus and start questioning your reasoning.
What are some mistakes people make when working out?
Most of the athletes I deal with have a specific race or goal in mind so understanding progressive overload is key to success. Without understanding progressive overload athletes can be consumed and do too much to soon and very quickly become overloaded leading to lethargy, injury, doubting and a whole host of other nasty’s. Progressively building ensures athletes build with an appropriate structure for example phases such as: Build or base (High volume, low intensity) followed by Pre completion (Less volume more intensity) then competition (Specific to race terrain and climate) programmed in with dispersed recovery.
Are there any exercises you advise against?
If you are carrying an injury it’s important you understand what muscle groups you are exercising so you don’t do any further damage. If in doubt ask for advice.
What music do you listen to when you work out?
I do enjoy “Steady 130” downloads but for some of my more focused sessions visualisation is essential. Each to their own I say.
What foods are always in your fridge?
Chicken, salad, potato’s, vegetables, dairy products and chocolate, I love chocolate! Athletes deserve treats…
What's been the most rewarding part of your job?
My energy comes from seeing others succeed; I haven’t experienced anything as rewarding than facilitating an athlete’s journey and watching them achieve their target goal. If I could bottle up the energy that line on the ground generates I would open a shop tomorrow.