Friday, May 13, 2011

Danae Zaitz Interview

Danae Zaitz has competed twice and looked really good. Especially considering she is a mother of four, including twins. It was after the birth of those twins when she decided to get in the gym and get back in shape. She is recovering from a shoulder injury and plans to compete in August of this year. Her focus and dedication are obvious and I expect her to bring her best package ever in August.

Q: First, Danae, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: My Pleasure. Thank you for allowing me to share my story,

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am married to my wonderful husband Mike and we have 4 great kids (Jake, Natalie, Ben and Abby). I was raised in Mt. Prospect but have lived in the Fox Valley area for the past 13 years. I'm lucky to be a stay at home mom but believe me, a husband, 4 kids, 2 dogs and 2 bands (my husbands and my sons) is a FULL TIME JOB!!

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: Yes I did. I was a cheerleader in grade school, played basketball and softball. When I got to high school I continued to play softball and got into gymnastics. I was injured my sophomore year so I had to stop but continued to be active. I was a member of Orchesis (a dance group) my senior year and I loved it! I lifted weights in high school but nothing out of the ordinary, I left that to the jocks :)

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I was 210 lbs the day I delivered my twins in Dec. 2005. Once I healed from that, I realized that I needed to be active in order to get my pre-pregnancy body back (or close to it) so I started eating cleaner and going to the gym on a regular basis.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes, I love the gym and love the results I see after a workout. I worked out hard and heavy for about 6 months before I really started to see results of any significant magnitude. I've always been in rather good shape so training comes easy to me.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I was working out everyday, starting to see regular people, forming friendships in and out of the gym and one day a trainer in the gym said to me "do you compete?" I said, "huh?" Once he said that to me I was intrigued! I did research and looked at every website I could find about Figure competitions and once I found what I wanted, I went full force to get it.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Yes completely! My family has been very supportive. My husband however is my BIGGEST supporter. He will do anything to help me achieve my goals! I couldn't do it without him. Having 4 kids it's hard to do but we make it work. Thanks babe!!

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: It is amazing! Once I stepped out onto that stage I felt so alive! Training so hard for that one moment up there is all worth it. I have made many wonderful friends through this process and am so blessed to be a part of this community of wonderful people.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*NPC Grand Prix Sept 5th, 2009- 4th place Masters division
*NPC Mid States Muscle Classic Nov 14th, 2009 -5th place Masters division.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My upper body is my favorite. I'm working on leaning out my lower half for this upcoming show. Some people have naturally muscular legs, I do not, so I'm working hard at that this time around.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: My shoulders are my favorite to train (although I've been having to take it easy since I had surgery last year on my left one). I love incline military presses!! I feel super strong and I love the pump I get from that exercise. It's just an overall great exercise for building up your shoulders.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My training week looks like this:
M- Chest and HITT cardio
T- Back and SS cardio
W- Legs and HITT cardio
T- Arms and SS cardio
F- Shoulders and HITT cardio
S- Calves and Abs and SS cardio
S- and on the 7th day I rest :)
My diet is pretty clean all year round with cheat meals as needed. As far as contest prep goes, I alter it with the help of my diet coach depending on where I'm holding any fat or water. It changes weekly.

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: Believe it or not a lot of people still don't know what Figure is, I have to tell them. Then once they understand, it's very positive and they all say "wow, good for you!". It's all been very positive feedback.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "That can't be good for you" is the one that frustrates me the most. My diet is clean, I eat great food and they still say it's not good for me. Whoppers are not good for you, chicken is!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Most of the women of America think that if you weight train you will get HUGE and that's simply not true, believe me, I TRY to get that way and it's hard to do :) You have to eat tons and train hard and heavy for YEARS to gain large amounts of muscle mass so please ladies, hit the weights, it will actually help you.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part of training for me is the time in the gym. It's mine. I put on my Ipod and ignore the world and focus on me for those 2 hrs. I don't think there is a worst part. If I had to pick one though it would be the last week of contest prep. That's a tough week mentally and physically.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire many but I think Nicole Wilkins Lee is what I feel is the embodiment of the sport. I love her physique and I think she's amazing.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: That varies for me. I'm not really a big sweets person so I'd have to say a nice big slab of ribs! Yum!!

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: You have to be dedicated to it. You have to remain focused on what you want no matter what. I learned that the hard way.

Q: Do you think its becoming more common to see women using the weights in the gym as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: Not as much as I would like. I still witness the invisible line in the gym that most women do not like to cross. I wish they would because it would up their training and they would see amazing results instead of wasting time on the elliptical day in and day out.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love cars, I used to race them with my x-husband and I really loved it. I also really love music, it's my other passion in life and I'm blessed to know many artists.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Danae Zaitz.
A: Hmmm. Up at 6am for my first meal of the day in the peace and quiet, get the kids up and off to school, hit the gym, come back home to get them from school, start dinner, eat, watch a little tv and catch up with my friends online. Each day varies but that's a pretty common day for me. I'm lucky to be a stay at home mom.

Q: Describe Danae Zaitz in five words.
A: Emotional, Responsible, Intelligent, Trustworthy, Spiritual.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I cry all the time. In the great words of John Denver "Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry". I'm a HUGE softy!

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yes, I will be competing at the ABA Natural North American Body Building show on
Aug 13th 2011 in Bollingbrook, IL in both the Open and Master classes. Visit for more information.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I would love to take this opportunity to mention Iron Diva Fitness. My friend Sandy Wiedmeyer who owns it is a great NGA/IFPA PRO Figure Competitor and friend. My friends Jillian Reville and Jill Crean who have been there for me no matter what! I love you guys!! Muahz!! Please also visit and see what my friend Kellie Davis is up to. Also and obviously Promoting Women in Bodybuilding, fitness and MMA site :)

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Danae Zaitz the athlete and competitor?
A: I am always looking for sponsors. Please contact me at or find me on Facebook at I am a 38 yr old mother of 4 so if I can get in this kind of shape, anyone can. With the right training and the right supplements anything is possible! I would love the opportunity to promote these great companies in our figure industry!

Q: Danae, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you again for the opportunity to let people know who I am and what I love to do. I would love to thank my family and friends for their ongoing support and.... watch out for this girl, she's comin!!

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