We here at Smooth Town have been pretty lucky with our guests and the following interviews which has so far included the founder of Arcen Games Chris Park and Grammy Award winning composer Christopher Tin. Well, throw another name into the hat as we managed a talk with DDPYOGA founder and one of the biggest names in professional wrestling, Diamond Dallas Page!
Smooth Town: I want to get this off my chest and just say that I was incredibly impressed and shocked, in a good way, about how your fitness program took a person like Arthur Boorman, a former Gulf War veteran, who was told that he could never walk unassisted again, who weighed close to 300 pounds and was completely transformed into a man who defied the expectations of everyone. How did this all come about? How did he come across your fitness program and were you in direct contact with Mr. Boorman throughout the entire journey?
Diamond Dallas Page: The Arthur Boorman story has been one of the greatest so far right now. In the video that has over a million hits right now where he shows how he dropped all that weight was because of the DDPYOGA workout. That’s how Arthur lost weight. In my workout “Kickass Cardio” there’s a thing that I developed called Dynamic Resistance that’s all about engaging your muscles when going from one position to another. When you’re lifting the weight, your body is engaged while moving. If you eliminate the weights, you eliminate the bars, you’re still engaged in the same way in the quads, forearms, et cetera. For anyone who is really overweight and tries this routine, then it’ll really get your heart going. I developed this workout called “YRG” where it’s built so that anyone can do it at any level and I can take one of those moves and make a top-level athlete go “Wow, this is really challenging!” and still make it more and more challenging while also keeping it simple. So, a man who can’t walk without the assistance of a back brace or a wrap-around cane needs to be doing something that may seem difficult to a person who thought he couldn’t any cardio. DDPYOGA contains the only type of workouts that’s accessible to everyone. Anybody who bought our workout DVDs received a personal e-mail from me where I’m open to helping out people with recommending other products, tips, and any further help whenever needed. But people mostly respond with “Is this really DDP? Is this a scam? I know it’s an automated response so I won’t answer anyway”. With Arthur Boorman, he really detailed his questions and was really thorough. When he tells me that he’s in trouble and needs help, I won’t give him a smart response. His first e-mails opened up with his background where he told me he’s a disabled war veteran who has been using knee braces, back braces and canes for the past fifteen years. He worked as a paratrooper. They drop fifteen to eighteen feet a second. You can’t fake gravity, as in professional wrestling, so he took a beating and through fourteen years, nothing quite like the military, he took 500 jumps. But in one event, he was either shot down in a helicopter or something happened, he fell 25 feet and his back and knees and hips were all blown out.
I have a special spot in my heart for the military mainly because I really appreciate those guys. I think the war right now is total bull—- but I love the warrior. I’ve been to Iraq three times and Afghanistan once, but when he told me that story I told him to send me pictures to see what I’m working with. When he sent me the first two pictures I thought “How am I going to help that guy?” Plus with the weight, I had to work to help lose that weight with the Dynamic Resistance. From the class I work with, I always use the word “diet” as something to avoid committing to. What’re the first three letters of diet?
Page: What does that spell?
ST: Die, sir.
Page: Right, when people go on diets they should expect to die. Well, in my eating class we learn steps to produce results forever. Long story short, I’ve worked with Boorman for about five years. He started with us at 81, now he’s 86. He just ran 21 miles on the beach last Thursday and he’s 86. When I tried to come up with ways to drop weight, I dropped 25 pounds using my methods without lifting weights in five weeks and thought I was losing weight too quickly but my trainer told me to put back the carbs. With DDPYOGA, I teach programs on what to eat along with proper workouts. Boorman asked me about nutrition and I told him to do three of the programs and wished him good luck and he wrote me back four words. They were some of the most powerful words I had ever seen. He wrote: “I can do this.” I then asked him for his phone number and that was the first time I called anybody I didn’t know. I called him up and talked for about an hour. If you’ve seen the first video (Editor: Link down below!), there’s a new video attached where he tells his story himself and it’s worth going back and seeing how he never gave up. In that new video, he talks about how when we were talking, I told him that if he didn’t take action soon he would develop heart problems and die. He tells in the video how that was a huge slap to his face and he took it literally from me. Arthur Boorman was a soldier and soldiers learn to take orders and he was ready to take orders from me.
Well in the first two weeks he lost 20 pounds and 4 inches off his stomach. He asked me how that happened and I told him it was because he changed how he ate and cut out the crap and processed foods. He then asked me how he could keep it going like this and I told him to at least be thankful on losing 10 pounds each week since he started. However, he said he didn’t want to go back. I told him how his workout schedule looked like and he said he was doing the 25-minute workouts for five days a week. I said, “Good. Now, make it seven.” “Really could I do that?” I said, “Arthur, when I blew my L4 and L5 discs out, which is where this workout came from, I would do DDPYOGA three hours a day every single day until I came back to the ring. I told Boorman to push himself to go longer for maybe an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes. Back then, he only wanted to be able to walk again. But I kept pushing him to try a two-a-day routine and he was soon doing those five days a week. He lost 20 pounds at first, then 36 pounds and he soon lost 100 pounds in 6 months. 297 pounds, 5’6″, and the progess was showing but I told him to take the six pictures. I tell everyone to take the six pictures. Well, he took the six pictures every single month. You could see his body changing. That’s why we have all that footage because after I first talked to him, I took it to YouTube. Remember, nobody knew YouTube six years ago, I didn’t even know what the hell YouTube was six years ago. But I had videos up there and talked to people through video blogs. Back then, Boorman kept sharing videos showing his progress. Remember that Dynamic Resistance?
Page: He said take a look at this. He grabbed his heart monitor to show us his heartrate. He showed it to the camera and it read 89 beats per minute. He leans back on his bed, you can’t tell it was his bed but I knew because he can’t stand without his canes, and he does these big cutters and holds up his Diamond Cutter and puts his monitor back on the camera and it read: 139 beats per minute. You can find it on YouTube still. I got in contact with him and asked “Was that you in that video with the heart monitor? Was that you stretching?” He goes, “Do you want me to take it down?” I told him not to and encourage him to continue and to get a new camera because that camera sucks. He kept at the program and in 8 or 12 weeks he sent an email where he says, “I will walk again.” The second most powerful words he sent me and I thought it was a bold statement. What you didn’t see in the video was after he falls, he had to use the walls to get himself back on his feet. After six months, that’s when he starts walking well enough. He stopped using his braces and canes and left them at home and I told him to go for a short walk and get this on video. He did it and it got almost half a million hits. There’s a movie called Inspired coming out that models people’s journeys which is directed and produced by Steve Yu, which by the way is just finishing up. Steve Yu approached me about getting someone for the movie and I brought to him the Arthur Boorman story. I told Steve that I have the guy. Steve chuckles and goes, “I thought I had the guy too a couple of times.” I told him, “I have the guy. We need to get him now.” We got to him and took footage of his journey. Inspired is going to debut at the Sundance [Film Festival] this year. Arthur started this journey five years ago and when you look at him today, he’s doing stuff I can’t do. It’s just really amazing to see how far he’s come and really that’s just the extent of our relationship.
Right now we’re preparing an informercial that’s as real as real can be. We have real people but not all are going to be shredded up but I’m gonna show guys who are shredded up, like Chris Jericho who got shredded up through our workout. He has an eight-pack, he’s wrestling at 41 and he uses DDPYOGA. People who use DDPYOGA as their lifestyle will soon achieve their results. Keyword, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not a textbook workout, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
ST: Touching briefly on the Inspired film you talked about, I know you said that it could appear at the Sundance Film Festival but apart from that is there a solid release date for it?
Page: It’ll go [to the Sundance] first and we’re going to push the hell out of it after that. Going back to the first video, we’re taking a lot of things from it but the film isn’t about me, it isn’t even about DDPYOGA, it’s about a guy who turned his life around.
ST: How about an origin question for DDPYOGA? Just what let up to your decision to get this started? Was there a defining moment where you just knew then and there that you wanted to create DDPYOGA?
Page: Well, I didn’t start wrestling at about 35 and I tried yoga when I was 20 in college but yoga was like spirtual mumbo jumbo, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I wanted to do other things. But I didn’t start wrestling until 35 but my career didn’t actually take off until I was 40 in 1996. When people watch wrestling they can say what they want to say but you can’t beat gravity. But in 1996, I was 40 and in ’97, ’98, ’99 I was top of the card, I was a rockstar. In 1998 going into ’99, I blew out my L4 and L5. Do you know what that is?
ST: Of course.
Page: Well for anyone who doesn’t know, it’s in your vertebrae that’s like a gel disc that keeps your vertebrae from going bone on bone. When you rupture your L4 and L5 discs, it’s like squeezing a jelly doughnut. Where’s the gel gonna go? It’s gonna go everywhere else and leave your vertebrae to go bone on bone and that’s really uncomfortable. I went to three different doctors, the best in their field. I went to Alabama and then Atlanta. Three of the best guys and they said the same thing, “You’re done.” They said it was forever screwed up and that it’ll take forever to come back if at all to the ring. I went with the rehab people and my wife at the time was like, “Why don’t you try yoga to heal your body?” I said, “F that. I don’t want to try yoga. I wouldn’t be caught dead doing yoga.” But, I was desperate. Eventually she talked me into it and I tried it and it blew me away on how much it’s helped me. This video I was watching everybody was doing these crazy, twisty things and I couldn’t do any of them. In my videos, there’s always someone modifying. It starts easy but then gets more challenging. There’s always some sort of spiritual mumbo jumbo and I hated it but when I started doing it at home, I fixed it by doing my own versions. In DDPYOGA, we don’t just work one part of the body, we work the whole body. We do crunches, spots, push-ups then we throw in some MMA. But the real kicker was where I was in about seven weeks and I was still using my Stairmaster and I thought I had to do some cardio. That’s where, well that’s when I called it Yoga for Regular Guy but that’s actually copyrighted so I’m glad I didn’t hold onto that, but I made it where I didn’t overwork myself because when I was working out I had my heart monitor and I read that it was at around 140. When I kept doing push-ups, I went to 142 then 143. When I went to do a bench press it was a slow burn and when I got up, I stood still and did crunches and everyday I just watched my heart monitor’s activity. Now, using the Dynamic Resistance, I keep it steady. After 30, you don’t play tennis to stay in shape or basketball. The best option would be for yoga.
ST: As a fan, I think it’s really surprising to see how someone who was at the top of the card for wrestling, as you said, leave wrestling and then go on to dominate a whole other venture such as yoga and take it to a whole other level. Even more so now, people are paying attention. However, what else is on the card for Mr. Diamond Dallas Page? Are you looking to do any other film appearances such as your role in The Devil’s Rejects or are you content with just continuing with DDPYOGA and taking offers as they come by?
Page: Being an actor, I built up quite the body of work with The [Devil’s] Rejects and Ready to Rumble, I’ve been looking at about three other roles but I knew coming out to Hollywood, I’ve been out there for two years, nobody is going to believe in some 46 or 47-year old actor. I made my own way and my own relationship and my own brand. Acting was a hobby to me and in some ways wrestling was a hobby for me. Not only did I become the top World Champion and made millions of dollars, but what I did with DDPYOGA was that I built the brand from scratch. I spent three to five years taking DDPYOGA around and I have made it something big. I’m old and my body’s tired but when I get on the mat, I stretch and go into the greatest workout ever. Reading all these success stories through e-mails and the YouTube videos of people dropping weight and seeing their bodies improve then I know the program worked and I just keep going. I tell everyone, like the [Arthur Boorman viral] video says, “Never Give Up”. We’re getting ready to go in the next few months to go with Disabled Veterans and Wounded Warriors and helping guys out who are messed up mentally as they’re coming back from the bull—- war and we’re working on helping them out. The next one of my goals is with the collaboration with the Wounded Warriors project. We’re really busy right now. Everything I said was going to happen has happened. All of my guys are working 24/7. Right now, one of the goals is to do the infomercial and during it people found me pretty entertaining. They see me and go “Hey that’s the DDP guy! I wonder if he can act.”. Now, we’ve come full circle.
ST: It has inevitably led to this but how about one final question regarding just professional wrestling? Have you been in contact in coming back to some nationally-televised promotion and I’m not sure if you’re watching consistently, especially with the work with DDPYOGA, but do you have any opinions on today’s wrestling product?
Page: Pretty much when Chris Jericho came back I started to pay attention but actually when CM Punk cut his promo last Summer I started to watch then and he was real, he comes off as real. I liked it when Jericho came back for many reasons and he started a program with Punk and wanted to wrestle with him. Jericho does DDPYOGA and I can’t afford him because he’s a million dollar guy but I’m grateful because he talks about DDPYOGA and its benefits. I helped him get back to the ring so to help pay me back Jericho goes around and tells everyone about the yoga. He’s also turned Santino, Kane, Miz, Daniel Bryan, Ryback, the Broski Zack Ryder to the program. He goes on the road and comes back with 20 guys who are trying out the yoga and I watch them because of that to see their progress. About the product, I thought The Rock coming back and starting the program with John Cena was awesome for the business. I thought Brock coming back was awesome even though it was a s— fight but I know they knew what they’re doing but it was awesome. I think it’s all good for the business and that’s all I got to say about it. I don’t think they’re ever going to do what they did in the 90s because it was such a different time.
ST: Well, thanks a lot of your time Mr. Page. It’s been great hearing from you and everything that’s been going on with DDPYOGA and some insight into the wrestling product of today. Quick question, can we expect a possible WWE Hall of Fame induction for next year?
Page: [laughs] You know, I’m sorry I haven’t gotten there yet but there are guys like Jake Roberts and “Macho Man” Randy Savage who should be in the Hall of Fame and are all top players. I may not be in there yet but those guys need to get in there first because they are nothing but Superstars. But whatever happens, happens.