David Tilley writes regularly for Vegas Beat to highlight the importance of fitness and to share some of our members’ fitness routines and secrets. If you would like to be profiled, feel free to reach out to him at D14202T@lvmpd.com.
Years on the Department: Nine
I’m going to start this interview with a question you probably get a lot: Do you compete as a bodybuilder? If you don’t, would you like to someday?
I don’t actually compete. It’s something I’ve contemplated many times and have had mixed feelings about over the years. Recently, in the last year, I was actually prepping to do my first show and made the final decision not to go through with it. I had a lot on my plate and my area of focus during that time, so I turned my attention toward testing for sergeant.
I understand you played football and baseball before you became a police officer. How do those experiences help you in the gym?
It is true, I was an athlete my entire life, until that quickly derailed due to a lot of severe injuries that I just couldn’t come back from. What I learned most from those years being so competitive was not so much about actually working out, but rather just being consistent. I learned through recovering from major injuries that it becomes hugely psychological. You have to actually learn to train your mind, and not always your body, before you can get your body to where you’d like it to be. Once I was able to learn the mindset of staying fit, as opposed to just going to a gym and tossing weights around, my workouts, routines and knowledge exploded, and I was able to break so many barriers I battled with while playing on those teams.
What motivated you to start weight training?
I think there’s no secret that growing up, I always idolized the big names in sports and movies … Jordan, Payton, Jackson, Griffey, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, etc. Those were a guy’s guys — tough, strong, superhero status. So like most little boys, I aspired to be a superhero in some capacity. I’d sit for hours watching, emulating every word, move or play I saw just for one moment to replicate that in my own life. I believed that I could hit a last-second jumper, or score that 80-yard rushing touchdown to win the game, or jump from a helicopter and save thousands of people by taking out a whole army led by a mischievous dictator. Seeing all those people somehow always winning and saving the day by defeating the bad guy? Yep! I was all in, so I started lifting weights around the age of 11 or 12, just like Arnold and Sly did, in hopes that one day I’d have my opportunity to be someone’s hero just like they were.
Do you have any tips for my readers on how to keep that motivation going?
I’m frequently asked this question by numerous people at work and in the gym. The key goes back to what I mentioned earlier, and that is find the right mindset. Keeping motivated has less to do with the actual act of working out and more about finding the real reasons you want to get healthy to begin with. I read a lot, I study a lot and what I come across most often is this negative dialogue that you have to be selfish, self-centered and egotistical to always be in the gym. That’s the furthest thing from the truth. The key here is to stay motivated, and you need positive people in your life who aspire just as much as you do and genuinely want to see your success just as much. When people become unmotivated, it’s because they don’t see results, get injured from bad training advice or get a crash course on terrible diet plans, all of which have never worked and never will. It’s simple things each day I look for to keep me positive and motivated to go to the same gym day in and day out. That’s the best starting point I can offer. Be thankful you are afforded the opportunity to wake up, go work out and make an impact on someone, whether directly or indirectly.
That being said, what is your current workout routine?
Right now, since my wife competes, I’m at the gym seven days a week. Yes, that seems fanatical and not feasible for most people, and I get that. I’ve made many decisions in my life, one being that physical fitness will always be on my top priority list because it’s what keeps me stress-free and happy. Each day I go in with one goal: just train one new body part. I don’t overdo it. I simply do four or five major exercises for that muscle group, finish off with light cardio and abs and head home. I complete all my workouts in roughly one hour. Yes, it’s very possible if you preplan and take time to organize what’s important in your life.
What is your current diet?
Currently, I eat approximately eight times a day, roughly every two to three hours to be exact, and without fail. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m constantly eating. Portion-wise, I hit about 6 ounces of protein combined with 4 ounces of carbs and 4 ounces of vegetables. I have zero sugar or salt in my food and I stay away from any sports drinks. I stick with water and coffee.
Keeping the fit lifestyle in mind, where do you see yourself this time next year?
Well, hopefully, still doing this great job and continuing to educate my co-workers and the public on how to get fit and stay fit, using LVMPD as a major avenue to get my voice heard.
If you were the Sheriff, how would you incorporate fitness into the Department?
This is a bit of a tricky question to answer. In private, when I’ve answered this question, it was met with lots of backlash and uproar. The biggest issue was finding some way to have a standardization that was fitting for males and females. As we all know, we had to meet a “minimum fitness standard” upon employment and were tested for that accordingly. The problem with that basic program is that it’s outdated and not necessarily suitable for everyone who wants to become an officer. I truly believe that you need to be fit to be able to do this job day in and day out, but my idea would be to somehow implement a tier system that allows you time to reach pinnacles, and upon reaching those pinnacles, you gain points. As you gain points, you’re placed into categories or brackets, if you will, that help you stay motivated to keep on top of your fitness once you’ve graduated from the Police Academy. I see it all too often that upon graduation, officers fall back into their old daily routines and let everything they spent the past six months working so hard to gain go to waste. Why not keep up all that hard work and continue to thrive from it? After all, we have inherently one of the most stressful and dangerous jobs on this earth. Exercise combats so many of the negative effects created by this career, it would be nice to see everyone unified through fitness and rewarded for it.