Always Sunny in Philadelphia's eccentric-stud-muffin Dennis coined the term "glamour muscles" when he ridiculed Mac's showy, and allegedly useless, gym-body. Accusing him of being unable to scale a building for lack of true core strength, Dennis identifies Mac as something we are all too familiar with in the fitness world: "all bis and tris, and everything else is just fat and ribs." But not everyone who hits the gym is a glamour junkie. In fact, we depend on many a gym-junkie to save our lives when disaster strikes.
Firefighter Trent Vann has been saving lives with the Houston fire department for 7 years, and takes his health as seriously as he takes his job.
Since Houston firefighters also serve as EMT/Paramedics, he has to make sure that he is ready for absolutely anything, and that includes scaling a building!
What motivates you to stay fit?
"I appreciate my level of fitness every day I'm on the job. I can't imagine being unable to rescue someone just because I didn't have the strength or endurance. Being healthy and fit is so vital in all aspects of our job. We need to be well nourished, well rested, alert, physically fit, and my 6 Pack Bag promotes just that. My bag is packed the night before work, ready to tackle the day ahead."
How do you keep yourself motivated to meal prep after those long work weeks?
"Meal prep is super important to me. I love to eat, as all firefighters typically do. Unfortunately, we are constantly tempted by citizens bringing us cookies and cakes. That's where the discipline comes into play. Being disciplined enough to make the right food decisions and eat this, NOT that. Having food ready to go makes it easier to turn down those tempting treats. Cooking is fun, eating clean on the road is impossible, and so at the end of the day there is only one option and that's to meal prep. It helps me stay on track so I can keep my energy levels up during our 24 hours shifts."
Do you stay on point on your days off?
"This is easyÃ¢‚¬¦ YES, of course. I'm MORE on point on my days off. I don't keep those tempting treats in my pantry. Plus cooking and trying new recipes is a good challenge. Mixing it up each week from salmon, tilapia, turkey, chicken, and beef. Making healthy alternatives like gluten/dairy-free spaghetti, ground turkey taco bowls (even better tasting than Chipotle), lean burgers, and salmon with an avocado spread to name a few. My days off consist of personal training, awesome workouts, catching up on much-needed sleep, traveling, attending bodybuilding competitions with friends, and just anything active."
Did you always know you wanted to be a firefighter?
"I knew I always wanted to help people, but never knew I would become a firefighter. I couldn't picture myself in an office setting doing the whole Groundhog Day 9-5 routine, so I explored other options and became a volunteer firefighter. I fell in love with it and enjoyed the challenge, action, and reward it brought along with it. I pursued a degree in Fire Science and became a professional career firefighter in Houston."
Is it everything you dreamed it would be?
"Yes, I love my job. No day is ever the same. The brotherhood, which most any firefighter could tell you, is like a second family full of laughter, tears, and encouragement. I couldn't ask for a better job. I feel it's almost like someone is paying me to be a Boy Scout."
How do you work the gym into your busy schedule?
"The gym is a personal priority of mine. The easiest thing for me is to knock it out early in the morning so nothing gets in the way. And if I have time later in the afternoon there's always round two. We are fortunate enough to have a gym, rope, and tires at our station to use while on duty."
How do you balance work and family?
"My family understands my work schedule and knows I'm not always going to be at every birthday party or holiday. I try my best to give 100% of myself to both family and work. If I'm with family I try to zone everything out and focus on family-mode, when I'm at work I go into work-mode. I try my best not to bring work home with me, just as I don't bring personal issues to work."
Do you have a training partner?
"With my often crazy schedule and limited gym time it's hard to keep a steady gym partner. I have several friends who I bounce different workouts off of at the gym, but I don't typically train with a partner. Being friendly at the gym helps when I need a good spotter. I definitely enjoy the motivation of a training partner if time is not an issue."
His 6 Pack Bag is an essential part of his success!
"We work 24 hour shifts, so a 6 Pack Bag is a necessity for anyone trying to follow a meal plan. Physical performance is a priority in our job so going longer than 4+ hours without a meal lessens our ability to provide 110% to our citizens in need. Nothing is easier than bringing my bag to work and popping a container in the microwave for two minutes, considering we never know when the next bell will sound."
Ready for anything!
"I don't have a set day for meal planning given that our schedules change from week to week. I generally cook 8-10 meals every three to four days. The 6 Pack Bag is also great for housing protein bars/shakes, as well as almonds, recovery drinks, fresh fruit, oatmeal packets, and all other supps needed to get me through the day. And that is why I love my 6 Pack Bag!"
Trent Vann works for the Houston Fire Department. He carries an Originator 300, while many of his team members love the utility of their briefcases.
This interview with Trent has been brought to us by 6 Pack's social media maven Jade. Check out Jade's interview with Maribel Lalanne on how to love your body, as well as her posts on being proud to prep and how to build muscle as a vegetarian. Browse our meal management systems, gym totes, gym backpacks, and more to find the perfect 6 Pack Bag for you!