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Training with David Hardin, Celebrity Trainer

Head Personal Trainer David Hardin of BKB Chicago is a former professional baseball & football player, celebrity personal trainer, and after spending an afternoon with him, we also discovered that he’s a Jedi-Yoda-master of personal training and fitness philosophy.

David Hardin at BKB Chicago
David Hardin at BKB Chicago

Working out with David Hardin is kind of how I imagine Uma Thurman’s character felt on day one of training with legendary master Pai Mei: there is so, so, much to learn about the human body and how to maximize workouts for performance.

david hardin personal trainer

David was a professional baseball and football player, so his initial career was dependent upon the physical performance and condition of his body. His passion for helping people become more physically fit as well as smarter about how they go about doing it is clear. He’s full of philosophical & fun one-liners, such as:

Keep your friends close, and your elbows closer
We went through a basic workout from warming up & mobility, to pushups, pullups, frog squats, grip strength and ended with a light stretch. Each part of the workout was driven by David’s fitness philosophy, and made me feel like I was just dipping my toes into an ocean of knowledge for optimal performance.
Here are the highlights:
Warming up, mobility & recovery. Don’t stretch cold. Mobility, lubrication of the joints, and releasing muscle tension can do wonders for recovery time, which will mean fewer and more effective rest days.
Quality over Quantity. Most people tend to brag about the number of pullups or pushups that they can do (guilty), but David stresses the importance of form over bragging double digits. Kipping while pulling up can wack the body out of alignment, and 50 improper pushups won’t build up muscle as well as 10 perfectly executed ones.
“I’m all about working out smarter, not harder.” 
Debunking the “No Pain, No Gain” Myth. “I hate it when people say no pain, no gain. It’s bullshit,” David was pretty passionate about this, and I could see how the mindset of mindless sacrifice and sweat dominates the fitness industry. David is all about working the body efficiently and without pain to prevent injury. When I met with him, he was still recovering from a serious motorcycle accident he had about a year ago, but because he has such an intimate understanding of the body, he was already able to show me some exercises most in his position would not have been able to do.
Club bells are the new kettle bells. These sleek bowling pins were incredible for building grip strength, and extremely adaptable to strength building in terms of regression (going slightly easier) and progression (upping the challenge). David is also Chicago’s only certified TACFIT instructor, which is “a health-first fitness approach with its main focus on creating strong, pain-free bodies that are ready for any challenge life throws at us,” and has been named the “World’s Smartest Workout” by Men’s Health Magazine.
Testing out club bells with David Hardin.
Testing out club bells with David Hardin.
The biggest takeaway? There’s a smart way to be fit. It’s a science. And there’s still a lot for me to learn. Stay tuned for more.

David Hardin is BKB Chicago’s Head Personal Trainer.  Sign up for a complimentary personal training consult with David or one of his trainers  here

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David Hardin is the Head Personal Trainer and Climbing & Fitness Manager at Brooklyn Boulders Chicago. He is an exercise physiologist, sponsored by Red Bull and Under Armour, who is passionate about leading people to fitness through smarter training, healthier nutrition and a stronger mindset. With over 15 years of experience in the industry and a background as a two-sport pro athlete, David has helped thousands of people get fit including celebrities like Sophia Bush & Julianne Hough, pro athletes, military personnel and those with special needs. 
David spends his free time doing many adventurous activities, including surfing and spearfishing. He is a student of KAPAP, the Martial Arts of the Israeli Army, a certified Spikey self defense instructor, and also serves as an Associate Board member for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.