Name: David Dellanave
Nickname: ddn & Dellanavich
Movement Minneapolis team member since: Jan 2013
Role at the Movement: Owner
What’s your athletic/fitness background?
I played soccer for pretty much my whole youth, but since the soccer team never used the weight room my lifting experience consisted of my doctor recommending I get a weight bench and me laying down on it once or twice.
What brought you to The Movement?
It’s simple, really. I learned about biofeedback testing, and the whole rest of the training protocol and philosophy and I was immediately like “Other people need to know this!” I honestly thought it would be the most successful gym in the world simply from showing people how easy it could be to make progress in the gym. We’ve done pretty well, but it hasn’t been just that easy.
What’s been your favorite Movement moment so far?
Obviously there are a lot of great moments when I hear how we’ve helped someone, but the ones that really stick out in my mind are when someone reaches out about something I did that I didn’t think twice about, but was really significant to them.
Tell us about your most memorable PR.
Both of my big deadlift PRs (603 sumo and 605 Jefferson) definitely take the cake.
Do you have a favorite exercise/workout/training style? If so, what is it?
I definitely do. For me strength training takes the cake, even though I respect the value of and definitely do a minimal amount of aerobic training. But if I had to choose only one thing to do, it would absolutely be strength training. My style, and the way I design workouts tends to be very simple focusing on the basics and progressively adding load but not necessarily complexity. You could do the same few lifts for your entire life and keep getting something out of it. That’s not to say that variety isn’t important, but the variety is there to support you focusing on the basics and keep the body healthy – not as a focal point in and of itself. I sometimes say that my workout or training style is boring, but it’s only boring if you ignore the results. People who train with me stay healthy (and often get healthy, coming to me with injuries and problems in their movement history) and get wicked strong. What’s boring about that?
How about your least favorite exercise/workout?
I don’t understand the point of workouts that are extreme or in any way punitive. At a certain point of stress you’re just getting massively diminishing returns, and it sucks to do it. Why are you doing this? We can joke here and there about a workout being awful in that it’s a lot of work, but at the end of the day it should be within your capacity, otherwise you’re just entertaining yourself with self-harm.
Do you prefer training solo or with a partner/team?
I can do both, but a good training partner is worth their weight in gold. I think the key to a great training partner is that they know enough about your training to gently nudge you to push or try things that are just within reach, but you might not do without the nudge.
If you could tell people one thing about the Movement, what would it be?
I’m genuinely terrible at this considering I own the place. I’d want to know who I’m talking to. What is important to them? What part is going to be significant to them? Is it the community? Or is it the training philosophy? Maybe the fact that I can’t answer that question without knowing who I’m speaking to tells you the one thing they should know about Movement.
How do you spend your days when you’re not at the gym?
Projects. So many projects. I have massively varied interests, from skydiving to sourdough bread baking. Welding, woodworking, electronics, coding, motorcycle riding. My goal in life is to be decent at an outrageously wide variety of things. Most weekends of the summer you can find me skydiving though.
Before he passed away I had a very small dog named Franklin and happily carried him anywhere I could under the crook of my arm. This was surprising to a lot of people who apparently expected me to have a Doberman on a chain or a pitbull or something.
Any secret/hidden talents or hobbies?
I don’t really hide any of my talents and hobbies to be honest, so they’re pretty much all out there. I mean I can French braid hair, how many guys can say that?
What’s your favorite post-workout meal?
Chocolate milk immediately. A plate of pasta if I have some time to cook.
What are you training for/what’s your next training goal?
For now it’s pretty much just health and capability outside of the gym. None of the strength feats that are interesting to me are enough of a priority to really train for them right now, and that’s okay.
What does being ‘strong’ mean for you? How do you see strength manifest in yourself and others?
I’ve got my technical answer and my more general answer, and probably no one cares about the former. Strength is about capability to me, both literal and figurative. Lifting something heavy is strong. Standing up to a shitty boss or co-worker is strong. The cool thing is you can develop the emotional or less tangible strength through what you do in the gym. I’ve seen it time and time again. Walking up to a bar that you couldn’t lift a week ago and knowing that now you’re capable is infectious. It seeps into the rest of your life. You start to realize “I may not be capable of this today, but if I do this and this, in due time I will be.” That’s strong.
How can people find/connect with you?