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Name: Damon Byrd
Job Title: Personal trainer
Asphalt Green Department: Fitness
Asphalt Green Campus: Upper East Side
Q: How long have you been working at Asphalt Green?
A: I've been working at Asphalt Green since October 2002.
Q: What do you do at Asphalt Green? What are some of your responsibilities?
A: I am a personal trainer. I also teach a strength training class and help members reach their fitness goals.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of working at Asphalt Green?
A: I enjoy helping people realize they are more resilient than they think they are.
Q: What is one of your fondest memories of working at Asphalt Green so far?
A: I helped a disabled member adjust a few machines to get the proper fit because she was having trouble. One of my favorite memories was seeing the appreciation on her face.
Q: How did you get into the fitness industry?
A: I’ve enjoyed working out since I was a teenager, so I thought it made sense to get into the field of personal training. As a teenager I did squats, bench presses, deadlifts, bent-over rows, overhead presses, tricep extensions, barbell curls, and various abdominal exercises. I also played linebacker in high school football.
Q: What is your professional background?
A: I am certified by the American Council on Exercise and have been working as a personal trainer since 1996. I have also competed in seven powerlifting competitions.
Q: How did you get involved in powerlifting?
A: When I was 13 years old and started weight training, there was a powerlifter in the neighborhood with cerebral palsy named Joe Rosa. Joe gave me his bench press and weight set and asked me the golden question, "Do you want to be pretty or do you want to be strong?" I chose strong. I was destined to be a strength athlete since I was an adolescent. I met some competitive powerlifters in 2002, and I started competing in 2004. I have not competed in a few years, but I am ramping up my training to get on the platform in the near future. I enjoy the mental and physical challenge of powerlifting. Even if I never competed again, I am still going to train as hard as I can because it's who I am.
Q: What is your favorite exercise?
A: My favorite exercise is the deadlift.
Q: Any gym pet peeves?
A: My pet peeve is when people do not return equipment to its proper place.
Q: What is your favorite fitness tip or advice for new gym goers?
A: Fitness is about finding the optimal amount of exercise you need to improve. It's not about how much you can tolerate until you keel over.
Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?
A: I have been playing the bass guitar for about 20 years, and I was in a metal band for four years.