David Varnes was born in 1978 in Ventura County, California. Growing up, there were a few constants in his life: a love of learning, playing sports, and being the "fat kid" in his class. That all changed in 1991 when his family moved to Camden, South Carolina. There, after getting run over by a car, he started his life long love of fitness and weightlifting. Using equipment best described as bare-bones, David rebuilt a shattered leg and body into a two-sport athlete, setting school records in the squat along the way. After high school, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point (where he met his wife), and served in the U.S. Army.
Figuring out that the Army and him were not compatible, David left the Army and spent a few years trying to find his passion. He worked at big-box gyms in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area while training with Greg Jackson, but quickly learned that A) the big box sales approach wasn't for him, and B) he wasn't going to ever be a UFC champion, having sacrificed too many brain cells to high school football, and was now glass-jawed. Leaving New Mexico, David eventually moved to Japan.
For the past five years, David has lived in Japan as an English teacher and private trainer, helping athletes and normal people make the most of themselves. He and his wife opened their own school, the International Academy of Matsumoto, in 2010, with the start of a full day children's school and family fitness facility scheduled for 2013, with the goals of helping people reach their potential. His greatest pride comes from his wife Karen and his son Christopher.