Get excited Hip & Healthies – this week we caught up with Victoria’s Secret Model PT Dan Roberts to chat all things fitness, food and body confidence. Read on for the lowdown…

How did you get involved in the fitness world? Have you always been a workout junkie? 

I’m more of a sports junkie than exercise junkie. I captained a few of my university teams and I was sports coach for several years before getting into fitness. My fitness career started when I became a Strength & Conditioning coach in 2002.

When did you decide to take your passion to the next level and create your own business with it? 

Well I started freelance tennis coaching when I was 15 way back in the early 90’s so I was always self-employed. As trainer I’ve been very lucky and reached all my goals. This was around 2011/2012. So at this time I set up a real company with proper management and a coaching team in 2012. I still coach clients, which I love, but now that’s just one aspect of my day. Growing my company to become a world leading fitness brand is my main focus.

You have a super successful home-workout brand. Tell us a bit about it!

The workout is Methodology X, the 2nd edition has just released this January. The new edition contains a yoga meditation guide and practical lifestyle and nutrition tips from models, agents and nutritionists. This workout is a downloadable 28-day plan written for women but is inspired from my work training models that need to get in great shape and feel good about their bodies. It features models from around the world and is currently used in several global agencies as a resource for young models. It was wonderful to see the 1st edition grow from word of mouth within the industry and beyond which prompted me to create the 2nd edition. I’m very proud of Methodology X. It’s fun and stylish but also very ethical and scientific. It aims to empower women through helping them love their bodies and become fitter. You can download the new work out here.

Training Victoria’s Secret models must be pretty amazing! What are some of your favourite ways to ensure you are training them to be fit, healthy and confident within their own skin?

All clients are fun to work with! Everyone has their own story and has unique needs and it’s a pleasure to hang out and help such a wide variety of people. For Victoria’s Secret models and models who are training for Victoria Secret auditions, I do a lot of weight training and work on posture, and also Kick boxing. The trick of feeling great about your body isn’t in how it looks. I believe that to connect with your innate athlete nature helps you to see your body as in instrument, not just an ornament. This is why proper athletic training can really improve one’s body image. This belief flows through all our services and workout products.

Here at Hip & Healthy we are all about inspiring women to be the best and happiest versions of themselves, so we really love your #loveyourbodyfriday campaign. Tell us a bit about this campaign and why you decided to start it.

Well – it’s a natural extension of what my company does. I’ve gotten really into instagram over the last year (@teamdanroberts). I use it as a kind of daily blog to entertain myself and my followers. However, the way the world of fitness is displayed on there and on social media in general can be so one-dimensional and fitness is reduced to just a method of toning up. Fitness is so much more than the aesthetic benefits.

I may be wrong but when I see excessive pseudo-sexualised gym selfies of a pretty girl doing a squat, I don’t see that as truly empowering to other women – I just see it as thinly disguised need for validation. Sex sells and you will get more likes and followers if you show more skin, but that’s not really helping society in any way is it?

In addition, in my opinion, endless pictures of what you are eating isn’t interesting. Maybe I’m just getting old, but the narcissism of it all has become socially acceptable which is kind of shocking to me!

So I thought a weekly hashtag campaign where anyone can join and be part of the conversation would be a good thing! #loveyourbodyfriday is a platform for you to inspire your own followers, discuss body image, vanity and what loving your body really means. Words are powerful things and I think in a world obsessed with looks it’s important just for one-day week to think of your body as what it truly is, rather than objectifying yourself or treating yourself as a clothes hanger.

You must need to fuel your body really well to keep up with your busy days and hours of training! What do you typically eat in a day to ensure you’re powered up and ready to go?

My diet varies depending on what I’m doing each day. If I’m in the office all day then I won’t eat that much. .. On days where I’m training I’ll eat a lot more. I try and keep it simple. My diet is 80% real, fresh organic nutrient dense food and the rest of the time I just feed on the tastiest thing I can find, regardless of what’s in it! Food is more than just energy, it’s something to enjoy.

Anorexia, Orthorexia and obesity are all on the rise in the UK. I think that part of the problem is that we all think we about food a bit too much. There is too much information out there that people feel overwhelmed and literally switch off.

What are a few of the things that you suggest your clients eat to make the most out of their workouts with you?

The main thing is to ensure that clients are not becoming fatigued from a lack of calories or becoming sick from having too much! When I work with pro athletes, their diet is very strictly structured, when I work with models I am more relaxed. I hate calorie restriction – I meet so many girls who literally starve themselves and it’s so unnecessary. I know for fact you can get in amazing shape and not be hungry! (You just have to be a bit strategic)

You are a huge inspiration to us…but who inspires you?

Thank you! Loads of people. Most of my clients and friends are artists in one-way or another. I find them all very inspiring. They are always in a creative headspace. Being around creative people that are way more successful than me is always inspiring!

What’s next for the Dan Roberts Group? Any future plans or goals?

Lots of plans. We want to grow our Brand Ambassador program – We have some amazing ambassadors at the moment but I’d like more. So if anyone reading this thinks they have what it takes please let us know!

We will also be launching a new workout via DVD, which is very exciting. We will also be launching a Methodology X instructor course so personal trainers can get qualified to train fashion models.

We already have US trainers and do workshops in New York and Miami – We will be expanding our presence there next year – it’s all very exciting!

Interview by Isabella Stelle 

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