Damon Hayhow specialises in body recomposition. yet we can't help but think perhaps he missed his calling as a stand-up comedian. Damon is a much loved member of the Gen-Tec family so we thought we’d take the time out to see what makes Damon tick. We learned about the one thing he can’t leave home without, what his luxury item would be if he was stranded on a deserted island and how he spends his days. Join us as we dig a little deeper.
Who is Damon Hayhow?
I'm a bald guy who is not very tall. I'm a 1/16th Maori, but I cannot sing, dance nor cook kumara in a hangi. I am easily irritated by things that don't make sense; like flies wanting to land on my face, and athletes walking on treadmills in the hope of becoming superior athletes, on the basis of people with heart disease walking on treadmills to not die.
What's the most important thing people should know about body composition and what is it?
By measuring how your body composition changes (or not) in response to your diet and training, you can learn everything you need to know about what diet and training actually works, and what doesn’t. Measuring your body composition is ludicrously cheap and easy to measure, with a regular bathroom scale and a set of $15 skinfold callipers off eBay. No matter what training or diet program you want to follow, taking 1 minute per week to measure your body composition will tell you whether it’s working, or not, and how well. If you also take the time to set a goal body composition, then plan and measure your food intake, and the weights you will lift in the gym to achieve that body composition, then, without even really trying, you will be running a scientific study on yourself. And scientific studies on yourself are far more useful, interesting and relevant than reading 10000 studies on mice and on people doing one leg extensions in laboratories.
What are your competing goals at the moment?
Despite having won numerous titles in bodybuilding and powerlifting, and having set dozens of records, I have never trained for competition. I've always trained to build a physique that I wanted for myself, every day, and competed because it was good enough to be competitive. So I’ve never had any competing goals. I’ll probably do some more powerlifting comps at some stage, for fun. And I’m hoping to do a truck pull even with Jordan “Biggie" Stephens. But, otherwise, the only thing I compete in these days is IPSC race-pistol shooting.
What spiked your interest in body composition and how did you get started?
I was REALLY skinny, so a skinny friend and I went to a World Gym, saw a big bodybuilder sitting behind the counter and we both simultaneously said: “I want to look like that!”. My friend never went back. I never stopped. I instantly sucked at bodybuilding, worse than anything I had ever tried. I was ludicrously weak, ludicrously skinny, and my body did not give a damn whether I ate 1000 or 4000 calories per day. The challenge hooked me. It was both physical and intellectual. I had to solve the problem of how to make myself grow muscle and strength. It was the issue of solving the problem that kept me going back.
What do you do when you're not working out?
I only train 2-3 days per week for 30-90 minutes at a time, with full weeks off on a regular basis. I have many interests with no relationship to weight training; from art to music to fashion to design to electronics to superbikes to shooting and more.
What are your favourite Gen-Tec products and why?
Casein Custard protein powder is the only supplement I am a big fan of. Casein Custard is the holy grail of protein powders. It satisfies like eating food, but it does so without any bloating. It tastes absolutely delicious but does not leave my mouth feeling like it has been coated in plastic as the sweet American powders do. Nor does it turn me into a puffy water balloon, like the over-sweetened products do. It does not leave me hypoglycaemic like many whey isolates do; nor does it leave me wanting to eat off my own arm in hunger after 30 minutes like most other protein shakes do. It’s the best protein powder I’ve ever had, which is why it been my staple protein powder for over 8 years!
What's a typical day look like in the life of Damon Hayhow?
I get up late because I am NOT a morning person. I eat while preparing my day’s food. Then, mostly, I sit at my computer and work, run errands, make calls, etc. If I train, it will mostly be at 8pm - 10pm at night. Then I’ll continue working until about 1am. My most productive time is between 9pm and 1am.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Nobody lost anything by asking a question.
What would your last meal be, If you could eat anything you wanted?
My 6 fried eggs with rice and lots of salt. It’s my favourite meal of every day.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to focus on body composition?
Train to become as strong as you possibly can. It's all about the training. (note: ’strong’ does not mean skillful at powerlifting. It means strong. It means being able to lift heavy on everything, including exercises you never practice).
What's the one thing you can't leave the house without?
My watch. I feel naked without my watch.
What’s your most embarrassing gym mishap?
One time I did deadlifts with some figure-8 straps in a gym with an uneven floor. I fell forward over the bar and landed on my face, ‘hogtied’, with my hands still tied to the bar, and my feet in the air. I had to call out for help, for someone to untie my hands from the bar before I could escape.
If you could be stranded on a desert island with anyone who would you take. You're allowed one luxury item what would it be? Michael Brookes-Jones. He’s a military genius friend of mine who could turn the desert island into a luxury resort in just 3 days, using nothing more than a multi-tool pocket knife. The luxury item would be my Leatherman Surge multi-tool, for Mike to build the resort.
Favourite thing to do in your spare time?
Depending on my mood, listening to Jazz on vinyl, riding superbikes around a track, or IPSC shooting at Brodie McIntosh’s private range.
What's one thing people might not know about Damon?
I’ve never been drunk, never had a puff of a cigarette, never taken an illicit drug, never been married, never had children, and I have no plans to ever change any of those stats.