By Craig S. Aaron, DC, CCEP, AK
The purpose of this report is to describe the origins of what is now known as the DDPY healthy lifestyle program, how it has successfully improved in both quality and quantity over the years as it morphed from the original workout program known as, “Yoga for Regular Guys,” and what separates DDPY from other health & fitness systems to make it a very strong candidate for incorporation into wellness programs for corporate and government employees, military personnel, as well as college & professional athletic injury rehab protocols.
It is a well documented fact that traditional hatha yoga(also known as the exercise style of yoga) along with yoga based healthy lifestyle programs have been extensively researched and have been recognized for their effectiveness in helping with stress reduction, improved sleep, low back pain, neck pain, arthritis, Pre Menstrual Syndrome, menopause symptoms, limited musculoskeletal ranges of motion, blood pressure management, improved digestion, weight loss, blood sugar balance, cardiovascular health, depression symptoms and smoking cessation along with increased feelings of general physical and emotional wellbeing.
Evidence for that impressive list of confirmed health benefits can be easily found in medical journals such as Harvard Med’s Harvard Health Publishing, the Dept. of Family Medicine & Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, and by the U.S. National Institute of Health.
Where did DDPY Come From?
The health & exercise program historically known as Yoga for Regular Guys, YRG, DDP Yoga and most recently re-named DDPY, is a multifaceted healthy lifestyle program that has carefully evolved over the last 15+ years and has nimbly incorporated the validated trends in health & wellness information, as they have streamed forth in real time.
DDPY is the culmination of the continued research and experience of 3 time World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion & WWE Hall of Fame member, Diamond Dallas Page; along with myself; Craig S. Aaron, DC, CCEP, AK; a holistic chiropractor and applied kinesiologist who has worked with multiple NFL, NBA, MLB and WWE athletes since 1997. I am a 30 year yoga practitioner and certified teacher in traditional yoga disciplines. I am the co-creator of the DDPY workout program as well as a former flexibility coach for the Georgia Tech football, basketball, tennis & golf teams.
Diamond Dallas Page and I have sought out and integrated many contributions from an extensive group of fitness professionals, nutritionists, yoga experts, applied kinesiologists, physical therapists, massage therapists, holistic doctors and medical healthcare practitioners, in order to shape DDPY into what it is today.
DDPY Eating Guide
Over the years, DDPY has morphed from a series of highly effective yoga/physical therapy styled workouts that delivered the benefits of cardiovascular improvement, increased flexibility, core strength, joint stability, weight loss and an increased feeling of general wellbeing with minimal joint impact, into a program that also optimizes the body’s healing capabilities by instructing people to minimize dietary induced inflammation and maintain a healthy pH balance. This is accomplished by teaching people to follow a gluten free, dairy free, GMO free eating program that also strongly encourages appropriate water intake, organic food selection and regular organic juicing.
We also support and encourage people to share their experiences of other eating programs that look to accomplish the same goal of maximizing the intake of nutrient dense healthy foods that are deemed anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory in nature.
Use of Heart Rate Monitors in DDPY
In order to maximize a continued level of uninterrupted health & fitness momentum, Diamond Dallas Page cleverly added the advanced training technique of 6 time Ironman champion Mark Allen and his applied kinesiologist, Dr. Phil Maffetone.
Dr. Phil and Mark Allen discovered that working out with a heart rate monitor in order to keep training within one’s maximum aerobic and fat burning zones, was the most efficient way to realize training goals while minimizing the amount of exercise induced inflammation and allowing for speedy recovery.
The integration of this technique into DDPY provides an increased measure of safety and also allows for practitioners to perform our workouts each day without the need to take time off due to lactic acid buildup in the muscles.
In this way, participants can enjoy near uninterrupted momentum toward enjoying the program’s many health and fitness benefits. This is one of the training principles that differentiates DDPY from many other programs and makes it so incredibly effective.
Dynamic Resistance & Ballistic Power Moves
DDPY also incorporates a slow motion muscular activation technique, originally used by two traditional yoga styles that focused on maximizing biomechanical alignment and stimulated muscle activity in order to invigorate, stabilize and strengthen injured joints.
DDPY’s Dynamic Resistance is an innovative technique that uses the static muscular activation from yoga’s Iyengar and Anusara programs, called “hitting the muscle up to the bone” and has actually realized even greater benefits by teaching the student to do the same, but in both static/standing positions, as well as during full active ranges of motion.
What we have found with continuous and fluid Dynamic Resistance, is that our practitioners are seeing both biomechanical/postural re-alignment benefits as well as increased blood flow, joint stability, decreased pain, increased function and increased joint ranges of motion.
Not only does DDPY create dynamic stability and muscle activation with its Dynamic Resistance technique, as described in the paragraphs above, it also incorporates slow and fast twitch ballistic muscular activity into its workouts with push-ups, punches, fast knee raises, core specific training and quick power moves from deep lunging positions. This variation in physical demands placed on the brain & body puts the DDPY participant through an expanded menu of movements that are not found in traditional yoga programs and just might incite a faster neuro-musculoskeletal healing and conditioning response given its eclectic variations.
Motivation + Class Participation + Perspiration = Success!
Yes, the eastern religious trappings present in the majority of traditional yoga programs were consciously removed from DDPY as the program took on the personality of its founder who would rather Educate, Motivate & Inspire people to live the best lives they possibly could through healthy eating, daily exercise, positive mental outlook, tireless work ethic and strong determination.
DDPY workouts have often been described as “yoga meets boot camp”, as Dallas Page comfortably takes on the role of part motivator and part playful drill sergeant, requiring loud group participation and cadence counting throughout the many DDPY static and active movements.
We’ve found that this leads to more of a jovial group atmosphere and could be very useful when looking to create a strong team building environment.
Different styles of popular music are often used in DDPY classes in order to garner an air of lightness and fun.
Cognitive brain function gets challenged in the workouts as full attention, sharp awareness and vocal participation is required in the many starts and stops in the “Diamond Says” portions of the workouts.
The DDPY program does not begin and end with Diamond Dallas Page. In fact, the company has a rigorous certification program that trains its instructors to deliver classes in a similar manner as its founder.
DDPY certified instructors are trained to educate their students on the various facets of the program, which includes being well informed of the most updated healthy lifestyle information. Instructors are taught to deliver their classes with plenty of Tone N Attitude as they are strongly encouraged to be energetic, supportive and entertaining.
We have found that delivering the classes in this manner tends to keep people engaged and motivated to work hard so they can eventually realize their health and fitness goals.
EVERYONE Can Participate in the DDPY Program
From the very beginning, a “modifier” participant has been present in each workout, which played an integral role to the special attention paid to offering appropriate modifications for each DDPY move. This has been a staple for the early DVDs and the DDPYOGANOW fitness app workouts, in order to make them accessible to all fitness levels and especially for those with special health challenges. This is just one more consciously created aspect of the program that provides the support necessary to realize the wealth of incredible health/fitness transformations.
And if that wasn’t enough, Diamond Dallas Page took all of the modifications and highly effective principles offered in the DDPY workouts and further modified the program in order to make the workouts more accessible to those 55 and older, those recently cleared to exercise after surgery and for those who are working through chronic or acute musculoskeletal injuries that suffer from greatly limited mobility.
The name of that series is called, DDPY Rebuild, which takes its participants through workouts from their beds, to those who can only exercise while seated in their chairs, and finally to those who can stand but still need assistance from nearby chairs for support. The creation of these workouts and the company’s dedication to discover and teach these modifications truly gives everyone an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the DDPY workouts, especially those who are working through various physical disabilities and health challenges.
What’s in a Name?
Unfortunately, many people in the western world refuse to try yoga programs due to its historic origin to the Hindu religion, its Sanskrit terminology and its promise to improve one’s spiritual state of health and well-being. While others confuse yoga to be an exercise routine for women only, even though it was originally created and performed by men.
In the early incarnation of the DDPY program, Dallas Page was often quoted as saying that, “DDP YOGA was created for those who wouldn’t be caught dead doing yoga.” But after years of proclaiming & exclaiming that, “It Ain’t Your Mama’s Yoga”, we still met with some level of resistance due to the presence of the word yoga in our name. In an attempt to remove all excuses from those who would otherwise enjoy the benefits of the program, Dallas decided to re-name the program DDPY.
Although the word “yoga” has been recently removed from the DDPY healthy lifestyle program, each workout still delivers the scientifically researched health benefits explained in the many paragraphs above, by strongly adhering to the vitally important biomechanical principles, position/posture sequencing and flow protocols along with the deeply focused breathing and movement techniques found in successful traditional yoga programs. Couple that with all the other innovative aspects such as heart monitor use, Dynamic Resistance and enhanced physical training moves and it’s easy to see that DDPY has been carefully re-packaged in order to create maximum accessibility.
Thanks to the books, workout DVD’s and the DDPYOGANOW fitness app, Diamond Dallas Page and the growing group of certified DDPY Instructors have been teaching the DDPY healthy lifestyle program all over the world.
DDPY has received a great deal of social media, printed media, radio and television coverage over the years and is presently growing all over United States, along with places like Australia, Italy, the UK, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Canada.
In fact, Dallas taught early versions of DDPY to the U.S. military troops stationed in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
Hundreds, if not thousands of people have reported incredible health & fitness benefits that range from 100 lb. weight loss, to allowing them to stay active, energetic & healthy as they age, right on up to helping people continue to perform their occupation and maintain their livelihood on a daily basis.
Professional, college and high school athletes of all kinds are using the DDPY workouts to keep them fit, flexible & strong. Many professional wrestlers have credited DDPY with saving their careers which most likely convinced the WWE to incorporate the program into their performance and training facility in Tampa, FL.
DDPY has certainly evolved & improved over the last 15+ years to become a very complete health & fitness program that Educates, Motivates & Inspires people to live the best lives they possibly can through healthy eating, daily exercise, positive mental outlook, tireless work ethic and strong determination.
DDPY has been very consciously and carefully created for maximum accessibility so that virtually everyone can participate and enjoy the myriad of benefits available, regardless of their present fitness level.
This is precisely why DDPY is the perfect program for a broad range of healthy living applications and can be easily incorporated into the health & wellness programs for the military, law enforcement, department of corrections, sports teams, public and private educators as well as large & small corporations.