Introducing DH12 – our quest to find guys from across the globe that not just look great but have the power to inspire!

Twelve months. Twelve guys. Twelve shoots. Twelve inspiring stories.

Our first DH12 David Birtwistle has been chosen for his ability to overcome adversity and use his strengths, experience and education to help improve and transform people’s lives. Not only is he the perfect poster boy for personal training, he’s also working to further his education to achieve his long-term goals and ambitions.

Name: David Birtwistle
Age: 26
Born: Wigan, UK
Occupation: Personal Trainer & Petroleum Engineer

26 year-old David Birtwistle was born in Wigan (North England) but now calls London home after relocating to start his own bespoke personal training company following an injury that cut short his career as a professional rugby player.

When he’s not training Londoner’s to look and feel their best, David is studying a degree in Petroleum Engineering!

Tell us about your rugby career…
I started playing rugby aged 13 and soon made it into the England Under 16s then as a semi-pro with the London Wasps for 4 years.

But an injury cut short your career?
Yes, I ruptured my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and needed an operation. Unfortunately, it happened at a crucial time that stopped me from progressing my career. I also fractured my collar bone, which is one of my injuries still visible today.

What happened next?
I carried on playing rugby as a semi-pro until I started university to study a degree in strength and conditioning science.

So now you’re a fully trained Personal Trainer?
Yes. I run a bespoke personal training service called Physique 21. I visit homes or workplaces to develop a programme that works for my clients. A long term development plan focusing on nutrition, training, health and rehabilitation from injuries.
I’ve been able to take a lot from my days playing rugby and work it in with my education and experience.

How do your services differ from other PT’s?
My services are more focused on elite athlete development, looking at making someone the best athlete they can be; taking into account age, gender, injury, goals. I interpret my client’s goals by changing their whole lifestyle, not just workout routines.

So you’re more focused on the client’s specific needs?
Yes. There are two types of trainers – ones that want to entertain and constantly experiment with new training techniques. The others, like myself, understand the science behind the human body and cater programmes for specific requirements.
Some clients don’t need weights and machines. A good workout can be done using just body weight and a rubber band.

What new fitness trend has caught your attention recently?
It’s not really a trend but the general acceptance for men and women to be seen going to the gym and being proud of their new lifestyle. I’m also pleased to see strong women being celebrated! Women now have the confidence to lift weights at the gym.

Along with running your personal training company you’re also studying?
I’m in my third year (of four) studying a degree in Petroleum Engineering (oil and gas).

Sounds intense. What’s involved?
The course covers Maths, Geology, Thermo Dynamics, Separation processes, Reservoir Engineering and Geo Science (formation of hydro carbons and extraction). Basically locating, extracting and refining oil and gas.

But you clearly still find time to perfect your own physique! How often do you workout?
I try to train once a day. High intensity weight training mixing up muscle groups with interval based conditioning. No strict cardio.

Are you on a diet?
Just to maintain my current build I’m consuming 2,500 (healthy) calories per day – chicken, vegetables, sweet potatoes, nuts, eggs, etc.

So there’s no ‘cheat day’? 
There is, but it’s not a weekly thing. People often associate eating with emotion but you can still treat yourself and be healthy… For example a ‘protein pancake’ made using protein powder, banana and egg is delicious! Or a simple microwaved sweet potato.

And, do partners feel intimidated by your physique? 
Not the type of girls I’m attracted to. We both look after our bodies and go to the gym. One hour a day at gym doesn’t affect my social life and flexible macro dieting means i’m not too strict on what I eat. It’s all about balance.

Are you our next DH12?

We’re searching the globe to find guys that not only look great but inspire.

One candidate each month will be hand-picked for a shoot with our campaign photographer who will fly to your nearest major city.

ARE YOU DH12? – Apply here

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