They say success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work gains success. This quote fits perfectly every time I talk about Darb Lall. A personal trainer based out of Surrey who not only has made his own fitness goals come to life but is also helping others to find their calling and become the best, fittest version of themselves.

Hailing from a Punjabi family, Darb’s parents immigrated to Canada hoping to find a better life for themselves and their family. He says his sister has been his biggest supporter no matter where he has decided to go in his career.

“I want to do my best to leave an impact on the South Asian community when it comes to health and fitness. I understand how hard it can be coming from a Punjabi household trying to maintain a healthy diet and fitness routine. Over the last few years, I have helped many South Asians reach their goals by showing them that they can live a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying their favorite cultural foods”, he said.

We asked him a few questions about his own fitness journey and all things fitness. Below are the excerpts from the interview:

SAE Magazine: How did your journey in the world of fitness begin? What was the motivation behind it?

Darb: Growing up, I’ve always been an active kid playing multiple sports throughout high school. I didn’t take my fitness seriously until I graduated high school as I was in my worst shape both physically and mentally. At the time, I weighed 220 pounds or 100kg which would defeat me mentally every day and I knew I had to make a change. I would skip out on social events because I didn’t like the way I looked, or I would not eat in fear of gaining more weight. I started off in the gym on my own and had no idea what I was doing, which was already a losing battle. I ended up hiring my first personal trainer a year later and it was the best decision I made. It allowed me to feel confident in myself and not only get to my goals but to continue a lifestyle around health and fitness. The motivation behind my transformation came through various avenues. It came when I would look at myself in the mirror and was unhappy with who was looking back or when I would try on clothes that didn’t fit right. The reason I’ve been successful thus far is due to the fact I can relate to my clients. I understand how hard it is to start your fitness journey and to be open about it with someone, which is why I make that process as easy and smooth as possible. Motivation got me started on my journey, but the relentless mindset of achieving my goals kept me going and continues to do so!

SAE Magazine: Why did you become a personal trainer?

Darb: Going through my own transformation, both physically and mentally, I wanted to help others in my community do the same. I saw that transforming your mind and body was attainable and I knew I could bring that passion and lifestyle to others. This led me to pursue a career in personal training helping hundreds of people reach their fitness goals over the last six years. I have taken pride in helping others change their lives regardless of gender, size, and fitness goals. There is no greater feeling than seeing your clients put in that effort to achieve their goals. Therefore, I hope to continue working in this profession for many years to come!

SAE Magazine: What are your personal fitness goals?

Darb: When I first started working out, my fitness goals were set around how I looked. I trained, ate, and did everything to find a way to look better. I know a lot of people can relate to this. As I’ve matured through life and in the gym, my goals have shifted to be more functional, athletic, and stronger each passing day. I work out anywhere from 5-6 times a week which helps to maintain a healthy body and mind. I find that working out and staying active helps to keep my mental health constantly improving. My long-term fitness goal is to continue to be able to use my body comfortably as I get older.

SAE Magazine: How important do you think customer service is to this job?

Darb: I believe customer service is important in any field regardless of the profession. I pride myself at providing exceptional service to my clients by offering workout, cardio, and nutrition plans. I also provide additional support by having daily or weekly check-ins with them. No one wants to workout with a partner who’s boring or talks a lot, so I try to bring as much fun as I can to the session while still making sure the client is getting a good sweat on!

SAE Magazine: Do you see fitness and technology really making a difference as they come together?

Darb: Yes, I see the two sides coming together and so far, they already have been. As soon as you go online, whether it’s social media or Youtube, you’ll see tons of different content about health and fitness. This information can be confusing as it can be hard to tell the difference between good and bad content. I pride myself on educating my clients to understand the difference between good and bad content. Technology has made our lives easier but that’s not a positive thing when it comes to our movement patterns. A lot of my own clients are in professions that require them to either sit for long periods of time or be in front of a computer. This may seem harmless but overtime our bodies adapt to our new movement patterns and with sitting and slouching throughout the day, our posture and body structure suffer immensely. By using proper form, extensive rehab knowledge and mobility exercises, I do my best to correct those postural issues to have my clients feeling their best throughout their daily life!

SAE Magazine: Which is more important to you: physical fitness or nutrition?

Darb: Both are equally important at the end of day but as the saying goes, you can’t out train a bad diet. I believe nutrition should be 70- 80% of your foundation of fitness to reach your overall goal. It is a common occurrence for clients to be expressing their frustration on how hard nutrition can be. They might be confused on what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat and the list goes on. What I do with nutrition is set a plan that is easy to follow. I don’t believe in a restricted diet as that is not sustainable in the long run. What I teach my clients is more of a balanced lifestyle, where no specific food is off limits. This along with a proper physical fitness routine, reaching your goal is attainable!

SAE Magazine: Do you recommend nutrition supplements? Why or why not?

Darb: The job of a supplement is to do exactly that, supplement your overall nutrition and diet. Supplements should never be the main source of our nutritional foundation. I personally take multiple supplements to help get the most out of my nutrition input. This includes, multi vitamins, fish oils, my daily greens, protein powder among more. Most clients don’t take supplements because they are unsure of what they can do for them. This is where I teach my clients about the benefits of different supplements and how these supplements can be helpful to them. However, that does not mean everyone might need supplements. If you’re already getting enough vitamins throughout the day, then there might be no need for a multi vitamin. The goal is to supplement your body if you require it but not everyone is going to have the same requirements.

SAE Magazine: Any tips that you have for the people who want to begin their fitness journey?

Darb: I know starting your very own fitness journey can be tough at the beginning. My biggest piece of advice is to just start out slowly. Often, I have clients eager to start and wanting to get into the gym every day or make drastic diet changes. I can understand the logic to this, but most times this is counterproductive. For example, you don’t learn to drive on the highway, you start on the side streets first. Fitness is the same concept. Start off with a 30-minute workout a couple times a week or try cutting down on your serving sizes for your food intake. Making small changes like this will help you stick to your long-term goals, which will inevitably bring success!

I also recommend getting adequate rest and sleep as recovery is a huge and important part of building and developing muscle. Go out and try different activities. Starting your fitness journey doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym all the time. Go out for a run, try yoga, or play any sport. Lastly, I would say to follow fitness influencers who are giving you the right advice on living a healthy fit lifestyle. The more you see something positive and uplifting, the more you will want to incorporate it into your daily routine.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram @darblall for fitness motivation and tips!

Ritika Tiwari
Freelance Writer/ Blogger/ Content Strategist