Darren Placid is a man of many talents. A personal trainer, a fitness instructor at Digme, an online coach, a firefighter, a husband and a father, Darren is all about living life at its fullest and maximising his physical and mental performance in whatever he does. We recently caught up with the Innermost Insider to talk about what he's been up to lately, what motivates him, and how he's handled the past few months.
"It’s tempting to procrastinate in the hope of finding 'the perfect time' to start your fitness journey. However, this frame of mind tends to mean that you’ll never get started. In order to truly succeed, you have to find a unique way of making it enjoyable for yourself. This enjoyment is what will make it a permanent part of your lifestyle. This path is different for everyone, so remember to find what works for you and then stick to it." - Darren
What’s your hustle?
I’m a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, online coach and a firefighter. Not to mention a family man too. And breathe.
What does #liveinnermost mean to you?
For me, when meeting the Innermost team, it was all about what's good for you and how to improve your performance. Which in my case is great as I’m all about improving my performance both physically and mentally.
Favourite Innermost products and why?
For me it has to be the proteins. I train at a high intensity and recovery is vital, so the protein definitely helps with this and allows my muscles to get ready again for the next day. I love The Lean Protein in Vanilla. Staying lean is my thing.
Why is staying fit and healthy important to you? How do you incorporate it into your daily life?
For me fitness is a way of life, and staying fit and healthy isn’t just good for you, it's good for the people around you too. I regularly go to the gym either on my own or with my wife as she's from a sporting background. But my son is also very active and I really feel that being fit and active for him is important, especially as he looks at his parents as role models.
How did you find lockdown? Was it a challenging time for you, and if so how did you adapt?
At first I thought lockdown would be a challenge. But being a firefighter I still had to go to work. My fitness instructing took a bit of a hit but Digme moved very quickly to do online classes which played a part to keep me motivated. I also had to think outside of the box by doing a lot more stuff online, hence why I launched my online coaching and nutrition plans. Overall, the best part was that I got to spend more time with my family and recharge, so I was ready to get back to normal life.
How have you tried to stay fit and healthy (mentally and physically) during this time?
For me it was never a case of trying. Before lockdown, I normally went for road runs, did exercises in the park and in my house so it didn’t feel that much of a difference. I always say that training the mind is as important as training the body so I read a lot of books on positive thinking and maintaining positivity in regards to training and lifestyle.
What have you missed most over the past few months?
Not being able to see close friends and family was hard. But since I had to go to work at the fire station I was able to see friends there, so it wasn’t too bad! Having to cancel my son's birthday was hard, but for a 4-year-old he seemed to handle it really well.
Any books, films or TV shows you’re currently obsessed with?
Ok, so this is the child in me. I love Marvel films and I used to be a massive collector of the comics and I’ve got my son into watching all the films too. But on a serious note, I like to read biographies and books about the mind and body. I’m currently reading my friend Cherno Samba’s book, Still In The Game, about how he became an international footballer and the challenges he'd faced.
What’s the most challenging thing you’ve done in your life and how did you overcome it?
The most challenging thing in fitness terms has definitely been just maintaining my level of fitness. I think reaching my fitness goals was fairly easy as I had a specific target to reach, but maintaining it is the hardest part. Feeling that you can always improve is something you have to be realistic with as you’ll never be happy. But now I’ve got myself into a place where if I miss a day of training it’s absolutely fine. There’s always tomorrow.
Who or what motivates you?
My family definitely motivate me. If you look at my social media and my quotes, most them come from my wife. She always motivates me to do more and remain professional, and even when there are times I feel like she’s being hard on me, I always know it’s for the best.
My son also motivates me - he's always active and loves to play sports. He starts school in September and I know I have around eight or nine months to get ready for the parents' race at his school sports day, so there’s a little motivation for me there too!
Where’s your happy place?
At home with the family. Seeing them is definitely a happy place for me and the best way to relax too.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Again from my wife, that as I get older I have to work smarter and not harder.
Any current goals, fitness or otherwise?
Right now, my overall goal is to remain as healthy as possible and to impart knowledge to others about a healthy lifestyle, not just physically but mentally too. And we all have to remember when we are on a journey that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If you want to see more from Darren, don't forget to follow him @darrenplacid. And if you want to read more exclusive Q&As with Innermost Insiders, be sure to check them out here.