Lively recently chatted with Danny Saltos (@trainwithdanny on Instagram), an LA-based fitness trainer whose platform focuses on empowering women to look and feel their best. Saltos, who’s a self-proclaimed Vital Proteins® fan (he loves Feeling Zen™!), gets candid about his emotional fitness journey in this exclusive Q&A. Keep reading to learn more.
Lively: What did the journey to becoming a trainer look like for you?
Danny Saltos: I was the chubby kid. I guess I could end it there, but I should probably explain. All through elementary and middle school I was a chubby kid. Constantly bullied and made fun of because I was the chubby kid. I remember being 13 years old and waking up one day and feeling fed up with being made fun of, tired of not having any confidence, and feeling like crap. I then did what many do and I over corrected. I developed anorexia and worked out for two hours a day. I went from 200 lbs. to 125 lbs. in one summer. I struggled through most of high school with anorexia. I would constantly fluctuate in weight. Like all eating disorders, it is a lifelong issue. Luckily, I was able to find a better path to nutrition and weight management through patience, education and discipline.
I eventually became a sponge for anything fitness related – magazines, books and any fitness websites I could find. Men’s health became my doctrine of choice. I went to college and started on the pre-med track and found that I was better suited for health and nutrition. I remember working out and I started coaching my friends. I moved out to Los Angeles after college and started working at Gold’s Gym and then found a home at Crunch Gym. I stayed there for about 4 years and worked my way up from trainer to fitness manager. I decided to leave the corporate world and go off on my own. On my own is where I have been for the last 10 years and I love it. My forte has always been working with women and I think it’s because I was raised by my mom and grandma. I get to work with some big-time women, so their light shines bright and I get a little of that from them.
L: What would you say is your favorite part about your job?
DS: I love being able to help people. Lifting someone’s mood, watching someone reach a fitness goal, or just being there for someone who needs help is an amazing feeling.
L: Given many of us are practicing #wellnessfromhome, how can someone work out with you?
DS: The silver lining through this new world we are in is that I discovered Zoom. I work with women from all over the world. They can do one-on-ones with me or join my Zoom group classes. All they need is an iPad, smartphone or laptop. The rest I take care of.
L: Workout ruts impact the most experienced trainers. How do you overcome them?
DS: Set a goal. Write it down. Tell my wife and friends about it – that will hold you accountable. Lastly, I treat myself to something cool and new that is fitness related (i.e. a new pair of workout shorts, new fitness gadget or a magazine.)
L: Is there a workout move that's a favorite among your high-profile clients?
DS: Bench thrust. Hands down my favorite.
L: Is there an exercise you would recommend to someone who's starting out on their fitness journey?
DS: Glute bridge. I wish someone told me years ago to focus on glute strength and development. It is one of the most overlooked and undeveloped muscles, yet it is essential for anything and everything we do.
L: Of course, we have to ask: What does your collagen routine look like?
DS: My go-to product lately is Feeling Zen™. I take it at night about 1 hour before bed. I add an extra dosage on Tuesdays (leg day!) which is my hardest day in terms of work and workouts. The ingredients are solid and backed by science. Everything from the magnesium to the ashwagandha aids in recovery and to promote a feeling of calm.**