Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Flaviano Silva. You can call me Flav! I am 24 years old and I live just outside of Boston, MA.
I have been vegan for almost three years and keep getting stronger every day.
I run an online coaching business with my wife, who is also in the industry. I am the founder of Optimal Health Blueprint, and the co-founder of Optimal Health Accelerator, an online course for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to look good, feel great, and optimize their overall health.
I know how it feels to put your business first. I was the General Manager of a fitness club working 60+ hour weeks to make sure everything ran smoothly.
At times, it was incredibly rewarding, but I quickly learned a hard lesson: You can work all the hours you want and pour as much of your energy as you can into your business…but unless you pour some of that energy into your health, you’ll quickly burn out.
I set off on a mission to ensure that I could prioritize my health without having to sacrifice my existing busy schedule! In my search for “work-life balance”, I realized that making time for yourself and your health actually isn’t as difficult as everyone else made it seem.
So, I put together a program to teach my signature methodology that allowed me to take back control of my health by shedding excess weight, getting stronger, and boosting my energy tremendously — I became so passionate about sharing my methods with other individuals in my position, that I actually left my job and now coach full time.
Describe a typical day of training
A typical day of training for me involves lots of mobility work and conscious movement to warm up. This is usually done in the morning. I scan the body, head to toe, and look to isolate major joints. Starting with the neck, I work my way down to the shoulders, then elbows, wrists, T-spine, hips, knees, ankles, and feet.
The movements themselves are intuitive and mainly about articulating joints through their full ranges of motion.
My main focus when training is motor unit recruitment, so I work to continuously increase the strength and potential of my muscles.
My favorite things to use when working out are kettlebells, so my workout often revolves around multiplanar kettlebell exercises.
On average, my workouts are about 20-30 minutes long, as I like to practice what I preach to my clients that you can always find the time no matter how busy your schedule is.
When I’m really pressed for time, I keep it simple with a quick bodyweight circuit that can be done anywhere:
- 1 min of squats
- 1 min of reverse lunges
- 1 min of squat jumps
- 1 min of curtsy lunges
- 1 min of push ups
- 30 second rest
- Repeat 3x
How do you keep going and push harder?
I do this for my clients, not for myself. If this was for myself, I wouldn’t have kept it up for this long.
That’s really the key to it all. Find something you are passionate about and use that as a driving force for you.
Some people are driven by wanting to look good, some a driven by wanting to be a better example for their kids, and some are driven by wanting to feel healthier.
No matter what that force is for you, use it as motivation every single day.
I wake up every day and think about my clients. If I’m “too tired” or “too busy” to move my body, how could I ever expect them to do it?
Instagram, @theflavianosilva - photo by Anna Silva
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I am extremely grateful to be where I am today. This time last year, I couldn’t imagine running my own online business and changing so many lives.
Within the next month, my wife and I are officially launching our online health & wellness course for entrepreneurs. Our plan is to continuously grow a community of likeminded individuals and be able to offer lifetime support, because we know fitness isn’t just some “30-day shred”, it’s a lifelong journey.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Rest and recovery are my top priorities. Muscles aren’t built in the gym, they’re build in the bedroom. Sleep is one of the most important and severely overlooked factors in your overall health. If you have poor sleep, you have poor health.
As for injuries, we must always be prepared for the unexpected. You can spend all of your time on injury prevention and that still won’t prevent all injuries. Things happen! So it is best to learn how to mitigate injuries.
I devote so much time to joint mobility and functional movements, but I’ve still gotten injured.
The thing is, some people will spend all their time on looking to prevent injuries, that they have no clue what to do when they actually get injured.
The more you learn how to bounce back from an injury or pain of any kind, the better off you’ll be.
I quickly learned that the “RICE” method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) hinders the healing process.
Our bodies will naturally go through stages of inflammation when there is an injury. Instead of RICE, we should move in a safe way to increase circulation. Blood flow is what speeds up the healing process.
I had a knee injury about six years ago that put me out of commission for several months. I wondered why I wasn’t feeling any better even though I’ve been out of the gym and physically inactive for an extended period of time.
When everything finally clicked, I decided to stop wearing my knee brace, and to work through exercises that would strengthen that joint. For me, that was a lot of lunges and squats, both bodyweight and weighted, with the focus on slow, deliberate movement in each rep.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I have been vegan for almost three years. My diet is primarily WFPB (Whole Food, Plant-Based), which means I eat mainly whole, minimally processed foods only from plant-based sources. However, I don’t restrict myself from other vegan foods, such as processed alternatives like faux meats and cheeses.
As for calorie counting, I believe it is only beneficial when you are looking to make a specific change. Otherwise, it just promotes disorderly eating habits. Same goes for macros.
Any “diet” or way of eating that forces you to alter your relationship with food will promote disorderly eating habits. Therefore, I also don’t believe in cheat days. If I want to eat a Beyond Burger and a vegan donut, then I’ll go ahead and eat one. That mindset has allowed me to not feel attached to those kinds of foods. As a matter of fact, a favorite “treat” of mine is roasted Brussels sprouts.
My body is at a point where I crave fresh foods. So I choose to eat intuitively and nourish myself with exactly what my body needs each day.
My supplements are only B12, D3, and Omega-3.
B12 is something that everyone is in danger of being deficient in, so it is crucial to supplement no matter your diet.
I live in New England, so D3 is a must for me during the dark and cold winter months. In the summer, I hold off on taking it and just get my Vitamin D from daily sun exposure.
Omega-3 for me is primarily used for muscle recovery. I’ve seen and experienced the benefits of taking it pre- or post-workout and believe in the effects it as on enhancing the quality of your recovery.
Everything else that is necessary for optimal health, I get from the foods I eat.
Instagram, @theflavianosilva - photo by Leslii Stevens
What has inspired and motivated you?
The best advice I’ve ever received is on my wrist. I wear a bracelet with the engraving “Be Here Now” as it applies to all areas of my life.
You can dwell in the past and you can daydream about the future, but nothing will be more impactful and beneficial to you than being here now. Always live your fullest in this present moment.
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
The most important thing to do is just take action. It’ll be messy at first, but messy action is better than no action at all.
You’ll learn so much along the way and when that action is no longer messy, you’ll be light-years ahead of where you were when you first started.
Look at yourself in the mirror and recite today’s date. And then tell yourself to never forget this date, because today was the day you decided to change your life.
Instagram, @theflavianosilva - photo by Anna Silva
Are you taking on clients right now?
Yes, I am always taking on clients. My wife and I are officially launching our online course this month, but have already been enrolling clients as founding members with lifetime support and access to the material.
We are taking a different approach to online coaching by providing you access to two certified fitness professionals, whereas most programs give you one or none.
In all honesty, everything we do you can do yourself. This goes for the entire fitness industry. Anything you want to learn about is online. You can do it all on your own and all for free. So why would you sign up to have someone else tell you that?
The short answer is we are condensing that knowledge into digestible terms and teaching it over the course of a couple of months, as opposed to you having to do everything on your own and spending years trying to figure out a solution.
Support is the real game changer. With someone by your side guiding you and providing the accountability you need, anything is possible.
Where can we learn more about you?
Ready to get really fit and inspired?
I’m Mads Phikamphon, founder of Bulk Hackers.
Here on Bulk Hackers we interview bodybuilders, personal trainers and fitness heroes. We ask them to share their stories and all their greatest hacks!
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