We recently caught up with Stance punk and poet Da Rulk, a functional strength and conditioning specialist. He has worked with numerous top Olympic and professional athletes, celebrities and Team USA youth programs in soccer, baseball and softball. He is most well known internationally for his work with First Responders throughout the world from Elite Military, Fire Fighters, Law Enforcement, and Ocean Safety agencies. Check out the interview below to learn more about the man, and his fitness approach… Enjoy.
Where does the name Da Rulk come from?
The name initially came from some of my Brazilian friends, they actually used the call me HULK, cause of my strength, and my power when I was training. In Portuguese, HULK is spelled with an “R” so to anyone who doesn’t speak Portuguese, it reads like Rulk, so everyone would call me Rulk instead of HULK… The guys from Brazil still call me HULK, but mostly everyone else calls me Rulk. Also because of my Hawaiian ties, people would always say, “Here comes the Rulk”, cause in Hawaii, instead of saying “The”, everyone says “Da”… like “That’s Da guy”… ”That’s the one”… That’s Da Rulk”… Da Rulk just stuck so… It’s great. Occasionally when I get in an Uber or Lyft, the driver thinks my first name is “Da”, my first name is not “Da”… It's Rulk, so basically that's how my name started.
Where do you think your interest for fitness came from? Anything inspire you?
My educational background is in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Biomechanics. I have always focused and interested in training and fitness. When I started working with first responders, I found a passion to help them be better, how to be more functional, and not only look strong, but actually be strong, be more efficient at what you do. That was always my focus on it. Leaning int to the next question in regards to inspiration…my inspiration really comes from trying to focus and help first responders. A lot of my training was centered around that. I also wanted to create a curriculum that didn’t require equipment and you can do with your own body weight so it was applicable to everybody.
How did you link up with Chris Hemsworth?
Chris actually reached out to me and wanted to improve his functional training and his overall functional fitness. He’s a weapon, he’s strong, he’s explosive, aesthetically he’s a machine, but he wanted to get more mobile. He wanted to get more functional to play with his kids and just be more active. Sometimes when your focus is just on moving weight, you forget about mobility and that's his reason for reaching out to me.
You do a lot of charity work. Can you tell us a little about that?
Giving back has always been my passion. Initially, training first responders was, and it still is a passion of mine, but I think it's sometimes superseded by trying to help those around me and my community. So, I’m on the advisory board of Children’s Hospital of Orange County and also on the advisory committee for the autism center at CHOC. I just love helping kids, I’ve worked with special olympics and I really enjoy helping those that have challenges and overcoming challenges. I’m also on the board for First-Responders Wellness, (www.firstresponder-wellness.com), which is the largest first responder and mental heath organization in the country. The focus is the help first responders deal with PTSD, and any addictions and stuff that have come in from being on the job. These guys are our heroes so anytime I have the opportunity to help those individuals is something I want to do.
For someone looking to get in shape what advice do you have for them to follow through?
I think when you start a program, don’t look for the inspiration, you got to find purpose, because purpose is kind of your GPS, and if you have a purpose for doing something, you’re purposeful in your mission, and usually you’ll see it through. In order to get to a level of success, it requires a couple of things… the first is discipline. Motivation dies, it’s fleeting, it only stays for a short period of time. Discipline is something that requires focus and hard work, but discipline overtime moves to consistency and perseverance and if you can apply discipline overtime and your purposeful, you’ll definitely achieve your goals, whether that be fitness or life in general.
Where can we learn more about you?
For my training, I primarily work with Chris Hemsworth, so you can look on the Centr app, www.centr.com. It’s one of the top apps you can find on the app store for fitness and goes over a lot of my training. I also just completed Master Class, www.masterclass.com which went over a lot of my methodology and progression and regressions of my functional training curriculum “RFT”, and other than that I’m a little slow on the social media, so it's pretty much just Instagram for me right now, but slowly learning to get a little bit better with that.
Words to live by?
I think especially right now in this day and age there’s a lot of things going on, its’ ALWAYS CAN, that’s a saying I use a lot, it’s an old Hawaii saying. If can, can, no can, still can, because at this point there are so many restrictions put on us, it used to be things that mentally would hold us back, but now there’s actual restrictions in place because of COVID and the pandemic, that we have to find a way.
So if you want to be fit, you have to find a way to get it done. I think right now it’s a good opportunity for all of us to check our selves a bit, to get a little introspective and find the reason you want to accomplish something. Get yourself a little more centered in what you want to accomplish, and map out a plan… and get it done. I think we have to turn this negative into a positive and I think it's a great opportunity to get in touch with ourselves and find out who we are, what we are doing and where we want to go.