Health and Fitness with Bill Walker

The Saga of Strong Salina Swoon – Local Legends and International Heroes

Mega Huzzahs good people,

As we enter another exhilarating exciting action packed episode of Indomitable, the most electrifying place for physical culture, I wanted to introduce to you a phenomenal trainer.  I wanted to give you the thoughts and views of a spectacular super heroine armed with the cosmic power of melanin.

You are already excited aren’t you?  Yes. Yes you are.

Today’s guest is a very special treat, an interview with my good homie Salina Duggan, or as I sometimes call her “Strong Salina Swoon”or “Thuggin’ Salina Duggan.” Salina was a co-worker of mine at Atlas Fitness, as a fellow Youth Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer.  This year I also had the opportunity to assist her in “Black Girls Lift.” so she’s technically a “black community leader.” It was through her that I actually became affiliated with Black Girls Lift.  She will be heading out West to Cali to take over the world.

As she heads out and conquer all she surveys, I decided to ask her some questions. If you’re in the Southern Cali area then hit her up ASAP.

How awesome is Salina? Well put it like this…if I were tasked with saving the galaxy ala Commander Shepard (Commander Shepard was the lead antagonist in the fictional epic “Mass Effect.”  In it the lead is tasked with recruiting a team to save the galaxy), the X-men, or the Avengers I’d definitely call Salina to help me save all known universes.  With that being said let’s get to it.

1.) Hello Salina.  How did you get started as a trainer? What is your fitness background? Were you always in shape? Did you go to school to be a trainer or did you fall into the profession?

My mother was a health and physical education teacher and always instilled the importance of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle at a young age. Additionally, I started my athletic career as a gymnast and it gave me a strong foundation both physically and mentally. I played various sports throughout my life and as I got older I started becoming interested in how nutrition and health affected my performance and overall wellbeing. I went to graduate school to pursue a career in the health and fitness industry and I have been working as a trainer for the last six years.

2.) Why did you pick your cert or certs?

They were recommended to me by other trainers in the field. If I were to recommend certs to others I would highly recommend NASM or ACE as those are widely accepted, nationally accredited, and highly respected certs in the field.

3.)  Do you have a particular workout style for yourself? How do you normally workout?

I prefer a focus in functional strength training. I workout wherever I can (and whenever I can fit it in!). Sometimes that’s home (with my two pups) & sometimes it’s at the gym. I think it’s important to keep things simple and focus on mobility & stability training then adding load from there. If you can’t do a push up then you probably shouldn’t be bench pressing…It makes sense when you think about it, no? 🙂

4.) Do you have a similar method for clients?

I do like to personally focus on functional training with clients, especially those who are new to training or getting back into training after a long break. Our bodies can forget how to move, especially in our sedentary culture. Once you get the fundamentals down then you have a strong foundation to begin lifting and any other performance based training.

 

5.)You did a great job when you spoke at Black Girls Lift. Why do you think women should lift weights? 

There’s this stigma shrouded in myth about women and lifting. “I don’t want to get to bulky?” How do you feel we combat that? Also how do  you feel being a black woman trainer? Added pressure or excitement?

I think lifting weights properly and efficiently can be empowering and that’s one of the main reasons I highly recommend it to women. As a black female I think it’s important to be a strong mentor to our younger girls in our communities and what better way than to take care of yourself!? Some of the other big reasons have to do with the chronic health issues that plague women, black women in particular, such as hypertension, obesity, and high cholesterol. As we age our metabolism slows down naturally and the common misconception is that we should do cardio-based training to burn calories and “lose weight” when in reality strength training is a way more effective way to lose/maintain weight. Strength training helps to build lean muscle, which in turn helps to burn fat (even at rest without even doing anything!!).  Cardiovascular exercise is important too and it should be a balance of both, but ultimately strength training has longer lasting effects on your body composition and ultimately your overall health. Bulking up is a myth and it does not happen from strength training!! **Warning** you WILL build lean muscle and will see amazing things happen to your body!!

My homie, co-worker, slanger of heavy iron and NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS fan @salina_dfit aka "Strong Salina Swoon" leading a strength dissertation for @blackgirlslift_ at Atlas Today. I was one of her assistants along with @trevnegasi 💪💪💪. Look at the knowledge wisdom and understanding she exudes while relaying principles of strength and excellence! Look at the poise mane! #Salina Being real passionate about the gift of battle, it was a pleasure to come through and help out. I love love love seeing black women get into not just fitness but LIFTING SOME HEAVY WEIGHT!!! Huzzah!!!! Great job Salina!!! Good work #blackgirlslift Big salute PLUS I refuse to let anyone be a quarter squatter. Lol. No depth no rep!!!! #fitwomen #myhomies #squat #depth #melaningang #communityleader lol

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Salina at Black Girls Lift arming the women with truth and knowledge as we prepare to give them “The gift of battle.”

6.)Favorite accomplishments for yourself as an athlete and as a trainer?

As a trainer I would have to say my biggest accomplishment was helping a client progress from barely getting up from the floor to being able to perform full body squats. She progressed so much when we were together, and as a result she was able to enhance her way of life because she learned how to move better. How amazing is that?

Personally I would have to say that finishing my Spartan race a few weekends ago was one of my biggest accomplishments. It was so challenging but at the end I was so proud of myself!! It’s important to challenge your body and your mind.

7.)You also worked with the youth in many schools in Washington DC, particularly the inner city.  What was that like and what did you learn? Proudest moments?

You learn a lot about yourself by how you react to situations. You learn to be patient and understanding and that trust must be earned. Most importantly, you learn not to take yourself too seriously. You need to be able to laugh at yourself because kids have no filter and take no prisoners! Just kidding but not really….I am always proud when I am able to connect with a student who was initially “shut off” to me. I think we all want to connect but depending on your experiences you may close yourself off as a protective mechanism. Once you break that barrier and “break through”….That’s when the magic happens. Once you get a glimpse of a student’s true personality there’s no better feeling.

 

8.) Quotes. Favorite Books? Hobbies?

“Healthy looks different on everyone” and “I am obsessed with becoming a woman (or man) comfortable in her skin.” When it comes to your health and fitness goals, we all have different things we aspire to. We come in all shapes and sizes and it’s so important to love and own the skin you’re in. So many of us get caught up in comparing ourselves to others or reaching for the “perfect” body or punishing ourselves for overindulging at dinner last night. What it comes down to for me is how am I taking care of myself so that I can live pain free and feel good on a daily basis…I keep these two quotes in the back of my mind always because it is a reminder to be the best version of myself that I can be.

My hobbies include hanging/working with my two dogs, enjoying warm weather and the outdoors, and spending time with friends and family. I also really enjoy a good book!

 

9.)Favorite exercises for yourself and clients? (Weighted and or non weighted)

I love getting women to do upper body work. Females tend to shy away from it but it’s so good for us especially as we get older! Push ups, pull ups, core building exercises, etc. They’re very empowering! I also enjoy helping women to squat properly and eventually heavy.

 

10.)Humorously… I say… I’ve seen you eat a doughnut.  What’s your take on dieting?

It’s all about balance baby! I could never imagine a life without enjoying a doughnut (they are my favorite!) but I CAN moderate how often I eat them. I think that a diet that is too restrictive is bound to fail. We are meant to celebrate life through food!!! My biggest piece of advice to someone who is trying to maintain or lose weight would be to  keep your meals balanced and keep an eye on your portions!! I like to follow the 80/20 rule. Fill your grocery cart up with 80% healthy foods and 20% of your indulgences…It keeps you honest!

Thanks Salina.

Bill's log…Send offs in the Sun One of the the dope things about being a trainer/coach is you also have warrior co-workers and friends. Special about out to "Strong Salina Swoon" aka "Thuggin Salina Duggan" (I make up the greatest nicknames lol) and her cool fiance my dude "Arik Adventure." Super cool cat and good dude. I literally made this name up as I typed it. Lol. I met Salina through coaching the youth and she's an all around dope person and friend. Just as we all got super cool, it was time for her to seek glory elsewhere. It's been a pleasure. Goodbyes do suck but hey now I got friends across the country and they'll be doing cool things. It's been an honor. Halfway goodbye. Halfway "I'll holla." Good luck to you both. If you're in the Sunny San Diego area, holla at @salina_duggan for great personal training. #fitness #friends #crew lol #warriors #vikings #conquer #california #viva #trainers #wakanda

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You can contact Salina via email at salinaduggan@gmail.com

You can also follow her through Instagram @salina_duggan

 

 

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