June 15th 2016
An appointment with... Dalton Wong
May 5th 2014
Trainer to Jennifer Lawrence, Amanda Seyfried and many a movie action hero, Dalton knows what it takes to get fighting fit (and have fun in the process)
You excel when it comes to keeping people fit and healthy - when did you decide to pursue training as a career?
It’s the only job that I have ever really done. I came to the UK when I was 20 and worked as an assistant manager in a sports shop at a prestigious health club in London. I used to train at the gym and it just resonated with me watching the trainers teaching people to exercise and talking about food! I thought how amazing it would be to live and breath health and be able to guide people to reach their full genetic potential.
Did anyone in particular inspire you career-wise?
When I first started training it was my fellow trainers as they were all so hungry for knowledge about various exercise and soft tissue techniques. They inspired me to travel the world searching out the best trainers, therapists and coaches to learn from. Now my inspiration is my family and especially my kids to show them that they can go into any profession they want, as long as they work hard, are passionate and enjoy what they do!
Why did you decide to move to London?
I met my English wife while I was travelling in Australia when I was 19. The rest is history…
Where did the idea for Twenty Two Training (Dalton’s holistic training studio) come about?
Twenty Two Training has always been focused on clients individuals needs and results. We are very fortunate to spend time with our clients, as they are leaders in their respective fields so they demand the best and want results. I have been involved in the industry for several years and have noticed that the only way that we can get results is by addressing all of our clients needs from exercise, nutrition, soft tissue and lifestyle management (including sleep, stress and environment). Once we’ve addressed all of these then we really start to have an huge impact on people’s lives.
You specialise in training actors for film roles and body transformations. How do you approach preparing clients for such big changes and making it happen?
I’m brutally honest with them and explain to them every little detail about what the journey is going to involve, from exercise to food to reducing stress, etc. It can be quite overwhelming but I let them know that it’s going to be an adventure and BOTH of us are involved in it. At the end of the day it comes down to trust and the relationships I build with them. The actors trust me in managing their body, food and lifestyle and I trust them with our reputation.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Seeing clients achieve their goals after years of trying various other methods and systems! We often get clients who have trained in other countries and gyms and have not succeeded and they come to us and they get the results.
Are there any aspects of your job that you find tough?
Not being able to see all of my clients on a regular basis. I have a busy travel schedule and clients all over the world but I also have the best trainers and therapists who can look after them in my absence.
What would your advice be to aspiring performance coaches and trainers?
Ongoing education is so important as our industry is changing all the time. I would also find out what part of the industry you’re really interested in (nutrition, strength/conditioning, endurance) and then focus on that because if you’re truly passionate about something then it doesn’t become a job!
How do you keep yourself in shape? What’s your personal fitness and nutrition regime?
I have been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Notting Hill at Roger Gracie’s academy for the past four years. It’s the perfect combination of training, as it requires strength, flexibility, cardio and most importantly, makes me mentally focus at that moment while training. I train three times a week and combine it with a couple of days of resistance training. I also have regular soft tissue work done as I have found it has improved my recovery time, posture and has helped with my stress management.
My approach to nutrition is very balanced and my diet is usually determined by the type of training I’m doing. If I’m training for a BJJ competition then I eat loads of greens and lean protein. If my focus is on strength training then I eat more protein, veggies and healthy fats to help my body to repair. If I’m doing an endurance race then I eat complex carbs to help fuel my body. When I’m traveling I usually adopt more of a vegetarian diet as I don’t train as much and it’s sometimes difficult to find good quality organic meat.
What do you think stands in the way of people leading a healthy lifestyle?
It’s hard work and people don’t like to do things that are hard or require commitment!
What would be your ultimate piece of fitness or nutrition advice to help people get back on track?
If you have been eating poorly then you’re only one meal away from getting back on track. If you’re not motivated to exercise then don’t think of it as exercise, go play a sport, ride a bike or go for a walk. Enough excuses!
Who are your top people in health, fitness and nutrition?
I couldn’t name in fear of offending or missing somebody out!
Do you have a specific grooming regime or are you more of an au naturel kind of guy?
Yes I do, it’s a little embarrassing as I travel with more beauty products then my wife. I have been using Dermalogica Cleansing Gel, £27.70, Active Moist face cream, £44.10, and deodorant, £16.20, for years. I have recently been introduced to the organic ila skincare products, which we provide at the gym and I’ve been using their Inner Peace Bath Salts and Energising & Detoxifying Body Scrub. For body wash I rotate between Ren and Aesop. My favourite grooming ritual is getting my hair done by the fantastic George Northwood.
What is your greatest indulgence?
I love having my weekly Sunday Dim Sum lunch with family and friends.
What’s you’re favourite way to unwind from the day job?
Coming home and spending the time with the kids before they go to bed!
What do you think are the most exciting developments in fitness of late?
What you may read or learn now may change tomorrow or next year! Our industry is ever changing so you must have an open mind and be able to change and adapt.
What’s next for Dalton Wong? Is there anything in the pipeline that you are really excited about?
Yes, and you will be the first to know!