Running man from Kentucky

RUNNING MAN Rick Dant planned to put in 25 road miles on Friday, bringing his 2014 total to 926.

Rick Dant, owner and operator of Inside Out Fitness, wants to help people. And that’s ultimately why the 50-year-old — his birthday is this month — quit his job as a critical care nurse to open up Inside Out Fitness, located at 15 Third St. in downtown Hood River.

Wait, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Dant was born in Owensboro, Ky., and graduated from the University of Kentucky with his nursing degree in 1990. He moved to Eugene in 2001 — mainly because of the outdoor opportunities Oregon affords — and worked as a critical care nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center for a year before moving to Hood River.

Once here, he continued as a critical care nurse with Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital for another two years before opening his business.

“As a nurse, we did good work,” he said, but after 15 years in hospitals, he had burned out. He felt like he was spinning his wheels — his patients were heart attack victims, many of whom would end up back in critical care because they didn’t make the necessary changes to help themselves and their health.

“I want to help people get prepared so they don’t end up in the hospital,” he explained. “You work 15 years with living people and you find out a little bit about the body.”

Dant worked as a personal trainer in gyms and client homes before opening Inside Out Fitness a year and a half ago. His focus is on Functional Training — taking “what you learn and what you build to the real world,” he said.

“Let’s say you sit down and do a bicep curl. It totally isolates your bicep. When you go out into the real world, how often do you do that? That’s why it doesn’t work. Functional Training is all about using what you’ve learned.

“I want my clients to learn and not just get a great workout,” said Dant.

In his studio, you won’t find big machinery, but you will find a wide variety of what he calls “portable functional training equipment” including — but not limited to — bands, suspension systems, balance boards and punching bags.

There aren’t many pieces of such equipment that meet Dant’s criteria, but over the years he’s managed to accumulate quite a bit of it, he said. He routinely researches new products and takes client suggestions. He notes that he doesn’t sell this equipment, but does have what he thinks is as large of a collection found in the Gorge.

“You gotta keep people happy if they’re going to exercise,” he reasoned. “One part of it is just having new things and playing with stuff and having fun. You can be in a gym for five years and not see one new piece of equipment.”

Products don’t have to be expensive to work — he has “a little band for $2.95” that replaces $10,000 leg machines. “On the floor it doesn’t look that great,” he concedes, but it does work.

Dant doesn’t teach fitness classes — he only meets with clients one-on-one. And he concentrates on fat loss rather than weight loss. “I’m straight up with folks. If that’s their main goal (weight loss), the main they can do has nothing to do with me at all.”

To that end, he started Fat Fighters five years ago, a competition he runs at Inside Out Fitness, and the only one of its kind in the area. Instead of counting pounds lost, he “pinches fat” and runs numbers through a computer to give clients an accurate picture of their progress. Muscle, he notes, weighs 1.5 times more than fat.

When clients work out, “they feel good about themselves because we have fun here,” he said. “If you leave and you’re not smiling, you might want to look elsewhere because this isn’t the place for you. When you work out and feel good about yourself, it’s easier to push the food away.”

He doesn’t take everyone on who seeks his services. He does a free, one-hour consultation with new clients, after which he decides if he wants to take them on, and they decide if they want to hire him. “I don’t accept everybody; only people who are ready to work hard,” he said.

“I turned four people down in January. I asked them specifically, ‘Is your main reason for contacting me a New Year’s resolution?’ They were honest and said yes. I said, ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t help you because if you lose (weight), you’ll never keep it off; it never works. But in May or June if you still feel the same way, contact me and I’ll be glad to train you.’”

Dant walks the walk, putting himself “out there” for his clients. He never asks anyone to do something that he personally can’t do. When you do put it out there, he reasons, you’re more likely to succeed because there’s an accountability factor.

An example of this: To celebrate his 50th birthday, he’s pledged to run 5,000 miles this year. Keep in mind he’s run 92 marathons in his lifetime so that number doesn’t seem unreasonable. And he plans to celebrate each decade milestone in the same way.

As far as life in Hood River goes, Dant is happy with his decision to come here. “I love the outdoors, and here you can do a lot of stuff,” he explained. He appreciates the mild weather, too. “In Kentucky, it’s so humid in the summer and cold in the winter, and we had tornadoes all the time,” he said. “Here, you don’t really have anything.”

Another plus: The gorgeous views. “It’s beautiful here,” he said. “And even if you drive to Portland, the view is good.” every day spent is a day you can’t get back. Choose your “moves” wisely!  #exercise #fitness #workout #gym #motivation #health #fit #fitnessmotivation #training #healthylifestyle #healthy #bodybuilding #fitfam #weightloss #lifestyle #gymlife #personaltrainer #muscle #strong #cardio #gymmotivation #love #sport #instagood #fitspo #instafit #crossfit #diet #Parkinson’s

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