Sunday, January 16, 2011
Danny-J You Asked It
The third installment of You Asked It is a special one for me, because it is with my trainer Danny-J. Danny is a respected trainer, competitor, fitness model and other things. Her dedication to her clients and genuine enjoyment she gets from her clients success are one of many things that make her special.
For those who don't know, You Asked It, is a way to switch up the interviews I do. It allows you to ask the questions. You may have some that I don't ask, and this gives you a chance. SO here is the You Asked It, the questions you wanted to ask Danny-J
Q: Jason gives you so much credit for his success. Whats it been like working with him, and how does it feel to have such loyal clientele?
A: It has been interesting working with Jason in many ways. For one, he makes my job so easy because he listens to what I say and he communicates with me. This is why he has been successful. Too many clients don't put enough trust in their trainer (and some really shouldn't) but if you are "doing your own thing" then its hard for the trainer to know what adjustments need to be made to the program.
I am honored that I have someone who speaks so highly of me and is so loyal, but I must admit, its a little much at times. I don't think I deserve so much credit, but I appreciate that it comes from a place of deep gratitude. Jason isn't always easy in other aspects and gets down on himself a lot, I've had to "talk him down from a cliff" a few times, but he always bounces back, so its been a great experience.
Q: I have seen some of your modeling photos and hey are so beautiful. I would like to break into fitness modeling. How much work should I do to make sure a photographer is legit?
A: You should absolutely look into your photographers. Also, be aware that you may be approached by photogs at shows that work for fetish sites. They will pay you for shoots and some of it is just posing and flexing, but just remember how you want to see yourself out there. If you sign a release, sometimes you may not have the right to what happens to those photos.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Keto diet?
A: The Keto Diet works... however, at what cost? I have seen so many girls lean out on it and then have a HUGE rebound and fat gain afterward. It may be due to the fact that the calories were too low, and not that it was keto, however, the body needs carbs for energy and I don't think its healthy or safe long term to stick to that kind of regimen.
Q: Will we see you on stage again?
A: Yes, I plan on competing in the Kansas City WBFF show on May 21, 2011. Then possible the WBFF World Championships in August.
Q: I have tried very hard to loose weight. I have periods where I drop a lot, then a week where I gain a couple pounds, even though the diet didn't change. Is this common, and if not, what can I do to prevent it?
A: It is very common, and I'm not sure you can prevent it. My weight, even though its generally stable, can fluctuate up and down 5 lbs on a given day.
The key is to not obsess over the scale. Bodyfat and lean body mass index measurements are much more reliable as to what is going on.
Also, I tend to have clients weigh daily and then average their weight over the week. If the weekly average is still going down, then they are on the right track. If there is a gain, the diet and cardio routine needs to be looked at to make changes.
Q: People say cardio should be done early on an empty stomach. Early cardio does not fit into my schedule. Is their a reason cardio is better early, or is that a myth?
A: Well, there are a lot of studies that show the validity of this.. however, I NEVER do cardio early OR on an empty stomach. I have tried, and I get sick or I feel like I am starving all day. I have still gotten very lean by doing my cardio when I feel the most energetic (which is later in the evening)
there's more than one way to skin a cat, they say. Studies aren't relevant for everyone's lifestyle. The important thing is that you DO it, not WHEN.
Q: Everyone likes abs. Yours are so impressive. How did you get them? I know "abs are made in the kitchen" but is there more to it than that?
A: Abs are definitely made in the kitchen. I don't do any particular ab exercises, in fact I cut waaaayyy back on ab training. However, some is also genetics, I tend to store body fat elsewhere (legs, butt, hips) so even if I gain weight, I still have the abs.
Q: I see a lot of people say they train legs twice a week. Do you advise this?
A: If legs are a weak body part, then its fine to train them twice a week. If you do though, I suggest splitting it up with hams/quads/calves, etc.
Leg exercises require a lot of work, so make sure to rest in between leg days.
Q: What are some of your favorite cardio exercises?
A: Lately, I've been making up little circuit routines that I try to complete quickly
Here's an example:
7 rounds of 7 for each exercise:
- SumoDead lift high pull
- body rows
- box jumps
That I can finish in 15-20 mins but it wipes me out!! (intense)
I also like the step mill a lot. I no longer run, as I have issues with my IT Band that causes knee pain.
Q: What made you decide to get into training other people?
A: I started first learning just to train myself. Much later I had so many people asking me to train them, I realized I could really make a career out of it
I made a strong effort to become as much of an expert as I can be in weight-loss, disease prevention, proper technique, etc.
Q: Where did No Excuses come from?
A: After a traumatic physical illness, I was feeling sorry for myself. I started to see other people, who were worse off than me, doing things they "shouldn't" be able to.
Like an 80 yr old running a marathon, or a wheelchair bound person skiing, or someone with no arms doing fitness competitions.
I realized there are NO excuses for me to think I couldn't do anything. The only limits we have are the ones we create in our own minds,.
Q: Have you or would you ever decide not to accept a client or stopped working with a client?
A: Yes. I have "fired" a few clients before. I don't want my clients to waste their money or my time. If they say they want something (like: to lose weight)
but they are consistently getting milkshakes at Jack N the Box, how can I take them seriously.
It also reflects badly on me. If my clients don't get results, people tend to blame the trainer, not the client who is sabotaging themselves.
Q: With so many people offering their training, how can someone decide who is the best for them?
A: I would really suggest "interviewing" your trainer and asking lots of questions. You will spend a lot of time with them and your personalities should mesh as well as the trainers understanding of your goals.
Some trainers have their own goals for their clients, which can be very different. They need to listen to what you want and give you their expert and REALISTIC assessment on what it will take to get there.
Q: Have you ever thought about putting up a blog or site to share recipes?
A: Well I have some recipes from another competitor on my "discussions": tab on my fan page. However, I see a lot of girls doing this, and I personally am NOT a cook, nor do I get very creative with meals, so I figure what they have is much better than anything I could think of. If anything, I would just copy recipes from other people that I have tried and recommend them
Q: I find the gym intimidating. I go to the weight area and there I am with my ten pound weights watching men and even women using thirty pounds, and feel I am out of place. How can I overcome this?
A: Get over it! We all started somewhere. Sometimes even THOSE people shouldn't be lifting that heavy and their form is bad. I used to lift at my college gym late at night when no one was around the weights, and if anyone came by, I would leave. What helped was reading about different exercises before I went, so I knew (or at least appeared to know) what I was doing when I got there. That helped me build confidence.
Q: If you were not in the fitness world, what do you see yourself doing for a living?
A: I may have continued performing or even coaching gymnastics, which I truly loved.
Q: What is the backstage area of a competition like? Are the girls catty?
A: Every show is different. The smaller, local shows, where more people tend to be first time competitors, tend to have a friendlier vibe.
The national shows have soooo many girls, there are a few more cliques, and some girls are pretty cranky from diet, but there are usually a lot of friendly faces.
I have never really seen cattiness, just more tired and grumpy girls because they are hungry and the days are long!
Q: So many different kinds of protein shakes out there? Are there any you recommend?
A: I recommend the one that you will use!! I have found that flavor and texture are very much personal preferences. Most proteins nowadays are pretty sound, nutritionally.
I like thicker shakes and fun flavors so I like PVL Whey Gourmet for the flavors and I like Gaspari Myofusion, Nutrex Program, and BSN Syntha-6 for the thicker texture. You also want to choose your protein based on your goals; casein, isolate, etc.
Q: I am hoping to compete one day. People say prep is grueling. What is the hardest part for you?
A: Prep can be grueling, it can also be fun. For some the workouts are the hardest, for some the diet is. I would say the hardest part for me is the mental aspect at the end. I tend to get very tired and want to sleep a lot, but I still have things to do. Organization and time management are crucial
Q: Do you like any sports or sports teams?
A: My husband is a Steelers fan, so I have learned to watch football. In general, I like individual sports (Olympics) vs team sports
Q: I have seen videos that you did on youtube. You seem comfortable in front of the camera and very outgoing. Would you ever want to get involved in acting?
A: I did theatre in high school and I REALLY wanted to act. My mom said that was dumb and I needed a "real" career, so I veered away from it. After I graduated college I started performing again, but as an acrobat. I went to auditions and had fun. I could definitely see myself acting or working as a performer.
Q: Who are some of the other people in fitness you are a fan of?
A: I'm a fan of Jillian Michaels, because she has brought fitness to the mainstream where I feel more people need it. I am also a fan of Jamie Eason and Jennifer Nicole Lee for their business sense and marketing. Ava Cowan has a top notch physique and I've always liked Valerie Waugaman who had her own style.
Q: How many sets, reps, and exercises should someone do for their back?
A: Depends on what they are trying to achieve.
Q: What made you decide you wanted to compete? Was it a goal from day one?
A: Nope. I didn't know anything about competing, I had lots of people at the gym telling me that I should compete, and I didn't even know what they were talking about
I started to look into it and once I saw those physiques, I thought "I could never look like that!!" LOL
but after a few years I decided to go for it