Saturday, January 14, 2012
Dawniel King Interview
Q: First, Dawniel, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: It's my pleasure : )
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am from Ohio, but currently reside in Tennessee. I started out as a hairstylist and worked as a cosmetology instructor before joining the crazy world of fitness. I have been happily married for 11 years and have 2 wonderful boys to show for it. I have the honor of staying home with them and they are without a doubt my greatest accomplishment.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was always active growing up. I captained my high school cheer-leading team and went on to cheer in college. I also danced for a semi-pro basketball team in my hometown. Weight training never really entered the picture until I got married. My husband had always wanted me to train with him and after many years I finally gave in. I got serious about my training when I was 30 and now you can't get me out of the gym.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: It started with my husband who always thought that I could compete. Like most wives, I didn't pay much attention. LOL! I read an article about a woman who was 33 and had 3 kids who competed at the Arnold and I thought she looked great. I called my husband and asked if he really thought I could do this? Of course, he was ecstatic and it was that day that I made a change.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Cardio was very easy for me to move into. As a woman it was something that I already had experience with. The weight training was harder for me to understand. I was so afraid that I was going to get huge and lose the feminine look! Once I saw positive results of weight training and got serious about it, I responded well. It was like my body had been missing something and I finally figured out what it was. I started seeing results in about a month and I liked it. I seem to respond well to training and can make adjustments as needed.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: Once I started to see changes in my body and showed some interest in competing, people started to get concerned. I think that they where trying to protect me from disappointment. It's hard for people to believe in you in the beginning. I went to a camp and met Jen Hendershott and she encouraged me to keep going. The next month I was standing on a stage. At that moment, I knew this was for me.
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: They have always wanted me to succeed but like me, they had little knowledge about the sport and so they didn't know how to support me. I was fortunate to find people early on who had already established themselves in the industry who gave me the encouragement I needed. My husband has always stood beside me and he without a doubt is my biggest fan and my rock.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I really didn't know what to expect. I was so nervous and so hungry that I didn't understand why anyone would want to do something like this but my husband wouldn't let me quit until I did my first show. We had invested so much at that point that he wanted me to see it to completion. As bad as the prep work was leading up to a show, that all went away when I walked out on that stage. I guess you could say that it did surprise me! I was so overcome with emotion that I could hardly stand it. I compare it to having children. You go through so much to prepare for it and you are so exhausted when the day comes, but when you hold that new life in your hands for the first time it is all worth it. When they put the trophy in my hand I immediately started thinking about the next show.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: My first show was June 2010 at the Battle at the River and I took 2nd place. I then competed in the Knox Classic in August and won my class which qualified me for Nationals. I went to Nationals in October of that year and finished 16th. I took some time off and didn't compete again until September of 2011 at the North Americans where I finished 11th. I realized I needed to make some changes to my training and went to Nationals again in November where I finished 14th.
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I really feel that my legs are my strongest body part. I have always had good quads and calves.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love to train shoulders and love Military Press, unfortunately my shoulders are what I feel are my weakest body part.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I normally stay around 1500 calories and train 6 days a week. My cardio consists of 6 days a week and weight training for 5. I usually try to split it up into 2 workouts a day. As a show approaches I take my calories down to 1000 and add another cardio session and another weight training session. The last few months, I 'm in the gym 7 days a week for 3 sessions a day. Diet is extremely clean with high protein and minimal carbs. I have to eliminate most fats because it is very difficult for me to stay cut if they are in my diet.
Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: When people see me for the first time their first question is, "do you work out?" It's usually followed up with, "how much do you bench?" They are shocked when I tell them that I don't bench. Most people are very positive about it but make the mistake of calling me a body builder. I have to explain to them that body building and figure are two different animals.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I get tired of people asking, "Do you even eat?" They are shocked to find out that I eat 6 times a day.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I wish that people understood that I enjoy this. It's not that I have to do it, but I choose to do it. I also wish that women understood that lifting weights is not something that is going to make you look like a man but rather empowers you as a woman.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part is knowing that I can control something in my life. I love seeing the reflection in the mirror and knowing that I am able to make whatever changes I want to make. The worst part is knowing that my husband and kids are in the car eating pizza and I'm having Tilapia again. LOL!
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire the Mom's the most. These woman have so much more to overcome with family life and the way that your body changes after having kids. For these woman to get on stage and be able to hold their own with a younger crowd is so inspiring for me.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Nothing beats a good cheeseburger.
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: Make sure that you have someone who will support you unconditionally. There will be days when you feel that you can't go on and you need that 1 person who you can lean on to help carry you.
Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: Without a doubt! I know weight training is becoming more popular because I have to wait on my bench now! LOL! It's a great thing to see. The promotion of the sport and the exposure that many of these woman are receiving is helping to bring about this change.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
I like to volunteer at my son's school. When the time and money is there I love to travel.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Dawniel King.
A: My day starts about 5:15am. I try to get a cardio session in before getting the boys off to school. I get my first meal in and respond to emails and work on diets for other competitors. I then volunteer at my Son's school and get 2 more meals in. After school, I head to the gym for a weight training session. Then I usually get my 4th meal out of the way. I then head back to the gym for another cardio session and finish up with my 5th meal. My evening is my time to prep for the next day and finish up my 6th meal. I then put in the Friends DVD and fall asleep by 10:30pm.
Q: Describe Dawniel King in five words.
A: A Girl after a dream
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: It doesn't bother me to go days without showering : )
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yes, going to bring it this year. Planning on Jr. USA's if things work out the way I want them too.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Working on my own website but in the meantime you can find me on Facebook. Also on Facebook, I have a group of girls that my husband and I are getting ready for shows. They would love your guys support and you can find them at Girlsofdfit. Be sure to get the February Issue of Oxygen, I am in the Future of Fitness section.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors. If so how can they reach you?
A: I would love to have a Sponsor! I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.
Q: Dawniel, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: It was my pleasure, thank you guys for what you are doing. Lift Hard and Live Strong.