We sat down with the California based actor, producer, and athlete extraordinaire, Devyn LaBella, to discuss her active lifestyle, motivation, and training for the incredibly challenging American Ninja Warrior.
Hear from Devyn herself in our exclusive interview below.
When did you start living an active lifestyle?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been extremely active…I loved climbing on things, jumping across furniture, and hanging off rails. My mom put me in gymnastics at just three as it seemed like the perfect fit for me. I also loved track and field. For years, I trained in both sports, eventually winning a few California State Champion titles in gymnastics and going to the Junior Olympics in Track and Field. When I went to college, I took a step back from athletics and really enjoyed the full college experience at the University of Redlands. It wasn't until after I graduated that I found HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Bootcamp and Aerial Silks. Years later, I also returned to gymnastics. All of this jump-started my fitness journey and lead to where I am today.
What motivates you?
I love fitness, because the amount of work you put in directly affects the results you see. The harder you work, the stronger and faster you get. Fitness is not a luck game, it's about dedication, consistency, will power, and not giving up. I look at my fitness goals for metaphors in real life. If I can push myself to limits I didn't think were possible in the gym, then I can push myself to accomplish goals I set outside the gym. Fitness makes me feel alive and unstoppable. It’s an amazing feeling.
Why did you decide to train for American Ninja Warrior?
With my gymnastics background and elevated fitness regime, it seemed like the next step was to train for races that would combine all these. So I started training for Tough Mudder, but I still wasn't feeling completely fulfilled. I wanted something that would combine all my skills and really test my limits and training. That's when I decided I was going to train for American Ninja Warrior. For years, people have told me to try out after seeing my ninja girl videos. I always considered it, but I never really put the work in to train for it. This year, I decided I would change that, even enlisting a veteran American Ninja Warrior contestant to coach me. I have been working really hard this past year and I am ready to put my training to the test, hopefully snagging a spot this next season!
What kind of training do you do?
I do a lot of stuff! I do HIIT training, calisthenics, gymnastics, weight lifting, running, aerial silks, and yoga mostly. I try to do something active every single day. I aim for workouts 5-6 times a week. And yes, sometimes I miss workouts and that's okay! I am still a human! A good recovery day is also amazing and much needed sometimes, too!
What kind of extra training will you be working on to help you prepare for American Ninja Warrior?
I have really good forearm and climbing strength from aerial silks, and pretty good swinging skills from gymnastics, but I am planning on incorporating rock climbing into my routine to really get that grip strength strong. It's really important to have great upper body strength for ANW. I’ll be upping my pull up game and working hard to make sure that area is really on point.
What are you guilty pleasures?
Movie theater popcorn. I generally eat really healthy; I am vegan and try to eat very clean, but all that goes away when I go to the movies. I always get a large. I always finish it!
What do you do for fun?
Since fitness is such a huge part of my life, I love combining my social life with fitness. My favorite things to do are to hike or go to a workout class with a friend... and maybe grab a smoothie after. I also love spending time with my three rescue pets, being outside and going on adventures, and cooking vegan food!
Be on the lookout for Devyn on American Ninja Warrior. We'll be watching to cheer her on!
Seen on Devyn: Power Surge from the August collection.