Saturday, August 21, 2010

Danielle Pezzuto Interview

Before I talk about Danielle Pezzuto, I must apologize for this taking so long. There was a mishap on my part with her interview. That being said, I am so happy to post Danielle's Interview. Danielle is the picture of dedication. Juggling a demanding job with training, and doing it so well. A combination of beauty and a great physique that is hard to match, she is bound for huge things in this industry.

Q: First, Danielle, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: You're welcome! Thanks for featuring me on your site.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am 29 years old, was born and raised in Brooklyn New York. I am the oldest of three children. I just recently got married, in Aruba. 29 of my closest friends and family made the trip down there - it was a blast!! I also have a rewarding career on Wall Street, which I need to spend many hours devoted to.

Q: Before the gym were you an esepcially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was always athletic my entire life. I started with dance at the age of three. I danced until I was about ten, and then took up judo. I competed in that sport until the age of thirteen. In high school, I ran track & field and was on the varsity team my freshman year. I did not play any team sports after that.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: It was being on the track team that lead me to the gym. I ran 100m hurdles and my legs, while fast, were not strong enough to get me to three-step those hurdles. I hit the weight room and started training in order to increase my performance on the track.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes, it was. I hit a max bench press of 140 lbs at the age of 16, weighing only 98lbs. That was a big accomplishment for me and was a record at my school. I enjoyed the sense of personal satisfaction that weight training brought. I saw results right away. In college, my priorities shifted away from sports, and more towards staying fit in general. I became a “cardio bunny”, and while thin, didn’t have an athletic look. Believe it or not, I never trained my shoulders because I didn’t want them to look “too big”!

Q: Your first show as the 2007 Bev Francis Atlantic States. What made you decide to compete?
A: There were a few things that led me to compete. My good friend and mentor, Grace Rivera, trained at the same gym as me and saw my potential. She saw how focused I was when in the gym, and saw that my body responded to weight training. She encouraged me to go to one of Mike Davies’ bootcamps with her. I had no idea what I was getting into! I met Mike in January 2007 and was inspired by both him, and the girls I met at his camp. Another reason why I decided to compete was because I was at a low point in my life after some personal issues and needed something to focus on. Training for the show brought me out of a state of constantly feeling down.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: NO! They thought I was crazy!! I lost 10 lbs initially and everyone thought I was sick. They questioned why I was doing that to myself, why I couldn’t go out to eat, go out to drink, etc.

Q: Was competing what you expected? Any memories of the show?
A: It was more than I expected. I was ready physically but not mentally. Being backstage for the first time, especially at one of Bev’s shows, is very intimidating. However, all of the girls I met backstage that day were extremely nice, and it made me feel like part of something. Like part of a sisterhood. That is also where I met my two best friends, Betsy Albetta-DiGiovanni and Shelly Albetta. We have spoken every day since that show!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2007 2nd place short, Bev Francis Atlantic States
*2007 2nd place short, Xcalibur BB/Fig/Fit show
*2008 1st place and Overall, Delaware States/Open
*2008 5th place, B class, Team Universe
*2009 11th place, B class, Junior Nationals
*2009 7th place, B class, USA's
*2009 14th place, B class, Team Universe
*2010 4th place, A Class, Atlantic States
*2010 16th place, Class B, Team Universe

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My back. It has always been wide, thanks to my judo days!

Q:Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I love to train triceps, although I’ve had to lay off as of late, because they respond very quickly.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Mike Davies does all of the thinking for me. He provides me with my nutrition and workouts. My body tends to hold water, so I keep my carbs lower in comparison to other macros, and my fats higher. My body also responds very quickly to cardio so in the offseason I tend to do a lot less. I never have to do more than 60 minutes of cardio a day during contest prep, and sometimes as little as 20. It all depends on where I’m at in my prep and how I’m looking.

Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, waht is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Positive. My sister in law’s friends all met me for the first time while I was prepping and they had so many nice things to say about my arms, legs, etc. It was flattering!

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Don’t you eat?" Or "You got so skinny!"
Q: What is teh biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I think that people think we starve ourselves. We eat more than most people do! Also, not every figure competitor is on steroids. A lot of people have that misconception.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part is seeing your body become this work of art. The worst part would be altering yourself to accept your offseason body. I think it is also difficult to manage your time when you are preparing for a show, so if that is a problem for you, maybe you should give competing a second thought.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Gina Aliotti. She has one of the best physiques ever. But I really admire her because she is at the top of the sport, yet took the 2010 season off to focus on her marriage and business. I admire a woman who has things in perspective and puts her life FIRST and competing SECOND. I think more women should emulate this kind of behavior.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food
A: Pizza

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: I’d suggest that she been good with balancing her time and priorities. I would also talk to her about how you will never look at your body the same way again once you go from onseason to offseason. Many women aren’t prepared to ease back into “normal eating” and I’d tell her about rebounding and how mentally and physically damaging that could be.

Q: Do you think it is becoming more accepted in society for women to be in the gym training as hard as men?

21. Considering what you do for work, It obviously keeps you busy. Is it hard to find time to train?
A: It looks hard on paper, since I am out of the house from 7-7 for work. I have a schedule set, which I adjust if needed, but I always make sure I get my workouts and cardio in. Once you get in a groove, it becomes part of the routine.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activites you enjoy?
A: I enjoy relaxing and watching a good movie. I also enjoy spending time with my family, because those times are few and far between. When the weather is nice, I love walking along the water near my home.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Danielle Pezzuto
A: Wake up, cardio, eat, feed the cats, work, eat 3-4 more times, train/cardio, eat, wash dishes (which I HATE!), sleep.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I had a tongue ring from the ages 16-28

Q: Desrbie Danielle Pezzuto in five words.
A: Friendly, Focused, Smart, Responsible, Driven

Q: ANy set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yes, I plan on doing four shows this season. The Bev, Junior Nationals, Team Universe and USAs. (Note: Danielle has sicne done some of these shows)

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Mike Davies and the Fitness Factory!! Greatest trainer there is :-)

Q: Are you looking for sponsors?
A: Not actively but if someone is interested, I am willing to listen

Q: Danielle, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. ANy last words before you go?
A: It was my pleasure. I’d just like to remind people that I will be competing under my married name this year, so look out for Danielle Pezzuto in Figure B class.

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