Dylan Arnold Will Make You Look Better In Your W(hatever)OCBD

Mr. Dylan Arnold doing it exactly the way I showed him.

Editor’s Note:  Dylan Arnold is a certified fitness trainer, and when I say certified, I mean elitely so.  Not sure elitely is a word.  You can read his credentials in the article.  He will be offering up tips and nutrition advice, and will answer questions in his column here.   You can email me any questions, or leave them in the comments… his first article will appear next Monday.

Nobody wants a trainer with charisma.  I mean, you want a trainer who looks like you want to look.  But you don’t want the screaming trainer.  Remember Jake and Tony Little?  You do, and not fondly. Dylan Arnold has charisma, but it is quiet charisma, so you are psyched without realizing, until after you have done something you didn’t think you were going to be able to do, how psyched you were.

More about Dylan in a minute.  It has always amazed me that there are fashion sites (THIS IS NOT A BLOG), there are fitness sites, but there are very few that combine both, and none, by none I mean zero point zero, that do both well.  But talk about intertwined.  Especially Ivy.  We do not enjoy the same solution to body shifts (there is not enough time in the universe to spend trying to use words for body changing that aren’t going to bother someone, but I am giving it a go) that other genres enjoy.  Specifically, we cannot throw money at the problem and just buy all new.  Yes, we can tailor.  Which works to some degree, and before you start your comment with John, a good tailor should be able to, let me tell you, there is an abundance of things that a good tailor cannot do.  But we cannot just go out and buy all new.

The more fit you are, the better you look in your clothes.  

That and.  Am I the only one offended at people’s knee jerk to expandable waistlines because they gained weight during Covid?   Offices are opening up –  and people are dressing, or people are dressing because their offices are not opening up but they have dignity.  Either way.  And there is another answer to going out in public again beside the drawstring.  

Yes, I am on a little bit of a Fred Astaire kick. But there is a reason this guy looked so good in suits. There’s a reason all dancers look good in their clothes.

Why a trainer?  I will tell you why.  I used to work for the guy who founded BlackRock.  He had this saying:  business begets business.  True, that.  Same thing with getting back in shape.  Yes, you can change what you eat, and you should.  Exercise is an accelerant.  And THE most under leveraged method of maintaining mental health.  Results beget results.  And you simply get better results, faster and safer, with a good trainer.

So back to Dylan Arnold.  Dylan is Ivy.   Dylan grew up in a small town in the middle of New York where opportunities for a smart, driven teenager were scarce.  The right opportunities, anyway.  Opportunities for distraction and “alternative entrepreneurship” – those his town had in abundance.  And a smart young guy with energy to burn would naturally find the wrong opportunities.  And leverage them.

But Dylan is Ivy.  And came to the realization, on his own I might add, that the Ivy values we talk about all the time, work ethic (he calls it hustle), the importance of thought, ethics, and dignity, those were not being served in the way he was leading his life.

So what did he do?  Soul searched.  And found out what many great people find out – that there is joy in serving others.  This was a revelation of sorts.  Dylan’s small town didn’t preach service to others as much as it preached survival.  But he figured it out, found the best school for trainers in the country, the Focus Personal Training Institute (check them out here, this is no 4 week course to get certification, this is a college, licensed by the State Of New York, where you either excel or get dropped), and gathered every dollar he could, and some he couldn’t, and went.  And graduated knowing as much as anyone about how to transform what needs transforming.

Including himself.

Here’s why you want to listen to Dylan.  I asked him about his personal training philosophy:

“I’m a firm believer in functional training. Improving your quality of life inside AND outside of the gym! I personally may spend the majority of my time inside of a gym but the average person does not.  You can do the right thing in the gym and the wrong thing outside the gym and spin your wheels.  Or, you can concentrate on whole, functional training.  Diet, sleep, water, stress management, and more.  So that you are simultaneously living and training a healthy life in every way.  These disciplines all support each other.  More water, better workout.  Better workout, better sleep.  Better sleep, faster recovery.  Faster recovery, better workout.  If you want authentic and lasting results, you change everything.”

I asked him, why be a personal trainer?

“Getting paid to help people improve their life.  WHAT’S BETTER THAN THAT?”  (his capitals, not mine).

So one day, I am working out.  And I have never been able to do squats.  Ever.  I did a triathlon, but never a squat.  So Dylan is watching me from behind this knee wall where I work out.   I should also tell you, Dylan has this grin when he thinks he can get you to be better.  So I am trying a squat, and it looks like I am birthing a calf from the standing position.  Dylan walks over.

Dylan and me. Ok. That’s not me. But that’s Dylan.

“Hey, you wanna do a squat… instead of that?”

(I told you, just enough charisma.)

He walks over to a weight rack, grabs two 5 pound discs, comes back, tells me to lift my heels, slides the discs under them, and tells me to try now.  

I squat.  Not like a Russian weightlifter, but it is a real squat. 

Then, two things.  He spent five minutes explaining to me why that worked for me.  And then for the next three days, I didn’t sit.  I told him.  He laughed at me.  I was stoked, and Dylan was LEGIT happy for me.

Dylan is also a devout dog guy. Which automatically makes him wise.

Which is why I asked Dylan to write a column here.  I have had trainers who were accountants just recording the number of reps, but I never met a trainer who put as much into developing his expertise as he does in his workouts.  And I REALLY never met a trainer who was genuinely happy for someone when they do something they didn’t think they could do. 


15 Comments on "Dylan Arnold Will Make You Look Better In Your W(hatever)OCBD"

  1. Great idea JB. And welcome, Dylan. Happy with how the site is expanding. Where should I send questions?

    Thanks! Dylan is a real professional. I know from bad trainers. 🙂 Just email them to me – john_burton@ivy-style.com – JB

  2. Dylan is an outstanding personal trainer – smart -motivational – organized-explains exercise movements & benefits very clearly -designs programs to help achieve goals. Dylan is a personal asset to ones health & fitness. Dylan earns top marks across the board -Bill D

  3. Charles Dana | March 2, 2022 at 10:24 am |


    As William Shakespeare wrote: “You can never post too many photos of Fred Astaire.”

    I think it was “Thou” can never… – JB

  4. Frances M. Arnold | March 2, 2022 at 10:41 am |

    Please sign me up to receive his column.

    Hi – just stop back, he’ll be here! – JB

  5. Indeed, regular physical activity makes all the difference in one’s sense of calm, inner peace, or whatever else you might want to call it. I’ll put in a plug for cross-country skiing here (classic diagonal stride or skate varieties) with cycling and/or roller skiing in the off season. Stress, worry, and anxiety about almost anything disappear but fast. Walking a couple of miles a day ain’t bad either for this. A Swedish grad school friend suggest that Nordic Walking (with poles) is equally effective for the heart, lungs, and mind.

    Kind Regards,


  6. Does gin with tonic count as water?


    If it doesn’t… it should. – JB

  7. Expat Yank | March 2, 2022 at 3:34 pm |

    “The more fit you are, the better you look in your clothes.” Absolute truth, and acknowledging this fact keeps me, an overweight man, focused on the goal. A similar quote also resonates for me, though it was written by two women, for women:

    “The real first layer is a lithe, supple body.”
    – Carol Troy/ Caterine Milinaire, Cheap Chic

  8. “Offices are opening up – and people are dressing,
    or people are dressing because their offices are not opening up
    but they have dignity.”


    H E L L.

  9. whiskeydent | March 2, 2022 at 4:00 pm |

    From a collar roll to a belly roll, it’s all Ivy Style.

  10. Amazing piece! You paint a perfect picture of Dylan. I couldn’t agree more! Dylan is worth the follow! He changed my life and continues to impact my lifestyle daily. He is a very impressive individual. Not only is he a phenomenal Personal Trainer, but his knowledge and influence has helped me build and maintain an all around consistent lifestyle. I also can’t get enough of his programs and videos…I have never been so happy. I look forward to see what’s to come! You can expect greatness and a bright future for Dylan.

  11. Dutch Uncle | March 2, 2022 at 8:52 pm |

    Physical activity and exercise are certainly necessary for health and appearance, but does one really need a physical trainer for that? To each his own, I guess. I’ll just have to pick and choose what I read on this truly fine site.

  12. Philly Trad | March 3, 2022 at 12:32 am |

    @Dutch Uncle
    Perhaps we’ll also be advised to hire a personal style coach/image consultant.

  13. Prescott Forbes | March 3, 2022 at 1:34 am |

    With regard to the title/heading:

    Anyone already looks better in a white OCBD.

    You make a point. – JB

  14. Actually, a light blue shirt is far better for most complexions. Just is. White tends to ‘wash out’ — not good. I’d say “Google it” but honestly I don’t care if anybody does or not. Because it’s true. This noted, there’s a time-and-place for a white OCBD– like, for instance, a gray chalkstripe flannel suit. But even then a lighter shade of blue is probably better.

    Again, you misread what was written. The commenter didn’t say a white shirt was the best, he said everybody looks better. And they do. I mean, can you get one thing right at least? – JB

  15. “The guy who founded Black Rock.”

    Lots of people created Black Rock– simultaneously.

    Interesting time to make note of that.

    “Business begets business” has been around for decades — and I’m guessing it’s a longtime favorite of, among others, used car salesmen.

    Actually, 8 people are credited with founding BlackRock. But not all 8 would say they did. So then you have to pare that down. Why is this an interesting time to make note of that? I didn’t say he invented the term, I said he said it. That’s a lot of energy spent for no return, S.E. Oh, and I didn’t coin that phrase either. – JB

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