Being My Own Competition
No Nonsense Magazine Vol 22, #2
By: Danielle Smith, IFBB Figure Pro
At a Glance: Danielle Smith
Occupation: Stay at home mom
Family: Married 20 incredible years to my amazing husband Lee, mom to 2 fantastic kids Sam (17) and Lily (14)
Current Residence: Pickerington, OH
Years in Training: Weight lifting for 30 years, competing for 6 years
Weight: 140-145lbs (off- season), 130-135 lbs (stage)
Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Without a doubt it has always been UMP chocolate pudding mixed with 1 tbsp almond butter and fresh strawberries.
Favorite Beverly Supplements: UMP is my all-time favorite off-season and in-season supplement. I love ALL of the flavors and it is so incredibly versatile. I use it in everything from pancakes for the family to protein bars and shakes.
What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly Supplements before? First step, call Beverly’s incredibly knowledgeable Advisor Team at (800) 781-3475 and speak to their highly educated specialists. They are beyond friendly and helpful with never any pressure to buy. They will walk you through a program that suits your needs. Also, I tend to share samples of UMP with friends to try and it’s always a winner!!!
Music: I’m constantly listening to the Foo Fighters. My all-time fav!
Hobby or interests outside of bodybuilding: Family time, traveling, new adventures and riding and showing my horse.
Words to live by: “Try everything that can be done. Be deliberate. Be spontaneous. Be thoughtful and painstaking. Be abandoned and impulsive. Learn your own possibilities.” -George Bellows
It has been 5 years since my first article in Beverly’s No Nonsense magazine. At the time I had just won 1st place in the 2013 Arnold Amateur Tall division and 3rd place Masters overall. I was on cloud nine. After about a month I knew I needed a new goal. What was going to be my next step? I wanted to see how far I could push myself so I set my sites on trying to achieve my IFBB Pro Card by competing that year in the NPC Masters Championships in Pittsburgh.
That competition really opened my eyes to the incredibly conditioned top-level physiques who were vying with me for a pro card. I don’t think there was any way that I could have adequately prepared myself for seeing so many amazing competitors in every division. I competed in the 45 and over Masters Figure Tall class and was more than happy to place 6th. Once the competition was over, I knew I still had a good amount of work to put in. Specifically, I needed to increase my muscular development, as well as create a more symmetrically balanced physique. This would take time and formulating a smart plan would be essential. I gave myself 18 months off from competing to adequately put in the work and hopefully see the results I knew I needed to achieve. This could not be done without some serious outside expertise. I was lucky to retain Anthony Castore as my trainer and we started to work together immediately.
I decided that I was going to be my own competition. I would work as hard as I could and give it everything I had to bring my absolute best to the stage.
I knew my Beverly International supplement protocol was right on the money, and continued using the tried and true products that I had come to depend on. Anthony changed my training a bit to create a nice balanced split giving each muscle group its own day (see Weight Training sidebar) while I continued HIIT sessions with my long time trainer Brian Taylor. This time away from the stage was just what I needed and began to see the results I was hoping for.
Road to Pro
In 2015, I competed in the Flex Lewis Classic and placed 2nd in the 45 and over. I was certainly starting to see more muscle development, but was still needing more balance and symmetry in my overall physique if I was going to be a viable competitor going for my IFBB card. We continued to focus on lagging muscle parts, having fun and enjoying every challenge each session brought.
2017 was going to be my hardest push yet. I was determined that this was going to be “it.” I needed to qualify as well as get back on stage before going for my pro card. The Arnold in March would be a great opportunity to qualify with still enough time to improve before the Pro Qualifier in September. The Arnold was another amazing experience and I could not have been more grateful for the guidance and support I was given. Hearing and seeing your trainers, family and friends is more satisfying and humbling that any trophy. I placed 4th in the 35 and over division. Once again I was beyond happy and more determined than ever.
Since I turned 50 years old in November and was now qualified, I would be able to compete in the Masters 50 and Over category at the NPC North Americans Championships in September. I truly felt this was my time.
Trusting the Process
As fate would have it, I ran into a dear friend, Kelli McCall, in June. When she asked what was “next” and I told her what my goal was she immediately and without hesitation said, “let’s do it!” I know I needed posing work, an extra set of eyes and to see where the weaknesses were. She and Michael Moore were the most giving, enthusiastic, and dynamic pair of people I could be blessed enough to come to know and their support of my dream and goal was limitless. I felt they both wanted it as much as I did! The three of us battled hard the next 3 months to leave nothing behind, nothing undone. The two of them could see what I couldn’t and they could motivate and coach in a way that just made me feel incredibly grateful. Each week’s progress pictures really blew my mind as I was really starting to see it all coming together. The plan was working!!! This is where you just “trust the process.”
As any competitor knows, the training is fun, the meal prep and eating becomes routine, but the posing is…exhausting and hard!!! I could not give less than 150% in my presentation as this area can make or break any competitor on stage. I trusted both of them implicitly and by far this was the best prep EVER!
Hitting the Stage
Finally, it was competition time. In my mind and heart I knew I had done everything I could to have the prefect plan in place. Thanks to Beverly International, my supplementation was spot on (as always). Thanks to my long time trainer Brian Taylor – HIIT was spot on. Anthony Castore – muscle development training was spot on. Thanks to Kelli and Michael - training, posing, meal protocol – spot on. Thanks to Tamee Marie – my suit was spot on. Family and friends – love and support- AMAZING. I was really ready!
As determined as I was for that coveted IFBB card, when I hit the stage I knew that I had accomplished everything I had set out to do, regardless of placing. I had achieved my goals of muscle development and size, symmetry and shape, and sheer happiness along the way. The whole experience that day was surreal.
Prejudging had me in the middle but honestly you never know. I was my own competition that day – I beat the competitor that stood on that stage 4 years ago. Time seemed to stand still during the finals. The emotion that I felt as my name was called as a new “IFBB PRO” was indescribable. I accomplished my goal!!! My mind immediately went to thanking everyone who made this possible.
My love for this sport and the journey that got me to my goal was summed up that very day. I relied heavily on so many extraordinary people, their expertise, guidance, love and support. It’s a feeling that will always stay with me, remind me of their kindness, and knowing you can accomplish anything if you give it your all and surround yourself with greatness.
Daily meal plan at start of prep – 12 weeks out
Meal 1: 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, handful of spinach cooked in 1 tsp of coconut oil
Meal 2: Preworkout - 3oz chicken or turkey breast, 1/3 C oatmeal, 1/3 C green beans
Workout - Glutamine Select
Meal 3: 5oz lean beef or bison, 1/3 C rice, 1/2 C green veggies
Meal 4: 5oz Greek yogurt, 1/4 C blueberries
Meal 5: 5oz chicken or turkey breast, 3oz sweet potato, 1/4 C black beans
Meal 6: 1 scoop Beverly UMP w/water and add 1 tbsp PB2
At least 128oz of water a day. One “relaxed” meal on one of my upper body workout days.
Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) – Used in meal plan, Meal #6
Glutamine Select – During training sessions
3 ZMA 2000 – before bed
Fit Tabs – 2 tabs with Meal #1 and Meal #5
A sample of some workouts
|Monday: Bicep & Triceps, Abs
|Seated Cable Curls
|Cable Hammer Curls w/Rope
|Single Arm Kickbacks
|Cable Pushdowns w/Rope
|Hanging Leg Raises
|Tuesday: Shoulders & Chest
|Incline Chest Press
|Flat Chest Press
|Standing Front Plate Raises
|DB Lateral Raises
|Rear Delt Raise
|Wednesday: Quads & Abs
|Walking Lunges W/20lb weights
|15 paces down and back
|Weighted Sit Ups
|Wide-Grip Pull Downs
|Seated Cable Close Grip Rows
|Standing Cable Rows
|Heavy Single Arm Row
|Friday: Hamstrings & Glutes
|Lying Leg Curls
|Straight-Leg Dead Lift
|Weighted Hip Thrusts
|Ab Scooter and Planks
Saturday: Vinyasa Yoga