tephanie Danae is a Texas girl at heart, who was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She grew up competing in gymnastics, equestrian showmanship, and polocrosse. She moved to Southern California about 4 years ago with her fiancé for the love of the ocean and Cali life. She is now a personal trainer and fitness model/athlete for the ImSoAlpha team. As an active teenager, she started pumping iron at 15 years old and stopped competing in other sports. She never had a very great hand eye coordination, so she skipped the high school athletics and kept lifting on her own. She always found herself with different trainers and checking out different gyms. she trained with multiple professional athletes and eventually grew a huge passion for fitness.
Take us back to your very first fitness competition. Can you tell us about your overall experience, how you prepared for it, and what you learned from it for competitions today?
SD: My first competition was August 2013 with WBFF in Los Angeles, California. I needed a challenging goal and that is why I chose to do it. The training for me was a no brainer. I love training hard, but the dieting was a bit tough for me. I ate about 6 times a day, lots of fish and veggies. There are lots of different dieting methods and theories out there, and I personally do not think there is one perfect plan.
“I think everybody is different and should eat according to what their body needs to achieve, with the aesthetic they are shooting for. I am still learning everyday.”
Were there any major obstacles or setbacks you had to overcome on your journey to become a WBFF Pro? On the flipside, how has your experience been as a Pro?
SD: I achieved my Pro card with WBFF after my first show winning 1st place. I was in shock and so happy. My biggest obstacle was walking that stage. Posing and smiling on complete display is not my forte; I get extremely nervous and it will be a huge challenge for me to overcome at WBFF Worlds in August 2014. Gaining my Pro card has given me the confidence I needed to push me to do what I have been wanting for so long, which is to make fitness my career. I am now sponsored by the ImSoAlpha iX3 Movement and we are doing big things that are going to get bigger and better each year.
With living a healthy and fit lifestyle, we’re curious, what does your daily diet look like? Do you give yourself “cheat days”?
SD: While not prepping for a competition, photo shoot, or appearance, I eat lean meats and low carbs, use coconut oil, and do eat nuts and avocado for fats. The carbs I do eat are not processed. I eat clean not only for my looks, but because I enjoy being and feeling healthy. I have one cheat day a week, maybe 2 if I’m not prepping for anything. Most people have cheat meals, but I have cheat days. I give myself one day to eat whatever I want and I don’t really want that much, so it’s not a big deal. But, I wouldn’t recommend that for all. When prepping for a photo shoot or appearance, I tend to lower my carb intake and make sure to drink lots of water. During those times, I eat small portions every 2-3 hours.
What does your training routine consist of? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
SD: I like to be a well rounded athlete., so along with heavy lifting, I like CrossFit. I mix in high intensity short duration work-outs with my lifts and also do kick boxing once or twice a week. I have a leg day, back day, shoulder day, and usually mix bis and tris during shoulders. Most of my lifts are heavy 15-20 reps at 4 sets and I power lift every other week or so as well. I love uphill sprints and prowler pushes. I don’t do long duration cardio since I’d rather eat clean and superset than do any cardio over 15 minutes. I isolate abs everyday: 100 reps of something, anything that kills the abs. I love learning new circuits and/or lifts to improve my physique. Lots of my lifting routines have been inspired by my coach, Mike Rashid.
In addition to your diet and training, do you believe in supplements? If so, which kinds do you use and what results have these given you?
SD: I use all the iX3 supplements. I do not work out with out iX3 pre-workout, it keeps me going when I want to stop. There is no cracked out feeling like I get with most pre-workouts and no crash at the end. It’s a very balanced product and I am proud to endorse it.
We had the opportunity to work together in creating amazing photographs. How did you discover Natalie Minh Photography? How was your overall experience?
SD: Natalie Minh has done a lot of work with Mike Rashid, which is how I discovered her. I worked with her on my very first shoot with ImSoAlpha and was extremely pleased with the results; it was as if she knew exactly what I wanted. If I had an idea, she would run with it and make it even more amazing than I had thought. I also had the pleasure of shooting with her again with the ImSoAlpha team for Better Bodies. Even though it’s professional, it’s always a laid back and very fun atmosphere. She makes her hard work look effortless. I needed lots of help on my facial expressions along with posing and Natalie took a lot of time to work with me. That I was very thankful for.
Aside from living a fitness life, what else do you enjoy during your free time?
SD: Besides fitness, I love to ride horses and hike in my second home in Big Bear. Being from Texas I still love to just sit in the sand on the beach. 🙂
What advice would you give someone who wants to transition their life towards a more healthy and fit lifestyle, but don’t know where to start?
SD: I’d tell them to start out with small goals, begin to eat for fuel and not for pleasure, know that this is a process and be ready to be patient, and most of all to have fun!!!
What is next for you in this current year? What are your future plans and goals?
SD: For the rest of 2014, my goals are to build muscle and strength while staying nice and toned to be ready for anything that comes my way! I will be helping the ImSoAlpha team expand into what I know will be great for the industry! I will also be competing in the August WBFF Worlds, which will be my first Pro competition! I am very excited!!! I am ready for it all, and anything and everything that comes my way! 🙂
Any shout outs?
SD: Without the Original Iron Addict gym, Metroflex, I would not be who and where I am today! Thank you Eddie Avakoff. As you know, you have provided a second home to a lot of people who needed it, and have been open and giving to anyone and everyone! Awesome!!!
Lastly, where can we find you on the Internet?
SD: Most of my info is on Instagram. I also have a Facebook and am working on expanding my social media at the moment. I am on a few of Mike Rashid’s YouTube videos and I will have my own YouTube channel soon.