MTI Biotech

Barbells and Babies with Danyelle Mastarone

Q: Thanks Danyelle for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us!  What’s new in your fit mom life?
DM: Fit mom life is as amazing as it is challenging. Every day I have a perfect plan that never happens exactly as it should. It is a complete balancing act, but I couldn’t imagine it any other way!

Q:  I know you’re currently prepping for the NPC Mid Atlantic Grand Prix, how’s prep going and how has it changed from previous contest prep now that you’re a mom?
DM: This prep is so much different than ever before in every way imaginable. My training and diet are a lot different for starters. I have never started contest prep as physically or mentally ready, as I was this time. I knew that being a mom and having new priorities would be challenging enough, so I wanted to use prep to fine tune rather than to lose that last bit of baby weight.

And as far as prepping with a baby, it is hard. I mean really hard. I have always been honest about my struggles and this one takes the cake! Some days I get it right, others I breakdown and cry in the car. Mom guilt is also real. At the end of the day I know that I am a healthy and a positive role model for my son. To me, the best moms are happy moms. Competing is something that I do for myself and makes me happy. I want my son to see me living my dreams as well as being his mom!

Q: What type of nutrition plan do you follow leading up to a competition?  What are your go-to foods?
DM: A nutrition plan is everything with prep. My plan changes weekly based on my progress, but it always consists of six meals, with carbs centered around my pre and post workout. Some of my go-to foods are egg whites, sunshine eggs (look for the recipe in a future blog), chicken, tilapia, cream of rice, spinach and peanut butter; which keeps me sane!

Q: Obviously, nutrition and diet are key in leaning out for a contest, but what supplements do you incorporate to assist?
DM: Once I educated myself on supplementation, I truly learned their value. You have probably heard me say before that HMB is my not so secret weapon to my recovery and that still holds true. I take it religiously with my first meal, post workout and before bed.

Recently though, I’ve added a few more weapons to my arsenal. I start the day with Peak ATP and Thrive (a CLA and L-Carnitine blend from Reaction Nutrition). With my first meal, I take my first dose of HMB along with a multivitamin (Life by Reaction Nutrition), Fish Oil, Vitamin C and B-Complex. During my workout, I will sip on BCAAs (Reaction Nutirtion). Post workout I take another HMB capsule along with L-Glutamine. Before bed, I take my third dose of HMB, more Vitamin C, Reflex (Joint Supplement by Reaction Nutrition), and Omegas (Reaction Nutrition). I am truly blessed to work with three amazing and supportive supplement and ingredients companies that keep me perfectly fueled each and every day!

Q:  What training style do you implement?  And how much cardio do you include in the last few weeks before the contest?
DM: Currently I have a six day body part split. I do legs twice a week and hit shoulders twice as well. As far as cardio, I like to get up first thing and do 45 minutes of fasted cardio. I am fortunate to have a Precor Elliptical at home and it is worth its weight in gold after 11 shows! Usually I can finish before the baby wakes up! Closer to the show, I will add in another round of cardio a few days a week post-workout or in the evening. Don’t you dare bother me while I’m lifting, but while I’m doing cardio, I love a chatty buddy!

Q: What’s your favorite part of competing?
DM: This is an easy question. The stage! I LOVE everything about the day of the show, from the hair and makeup, the suit and of course the strut! I am a total ham for the camera!

Q:  On days that you are lacking motivation, what do you do to get yourself to the gym and a good workout in?
DM: I wish I could say that I kill it every single workout, but that is unrealistic. If I am extra tired or just feeling sluggish, I may switch up my workout split and do something less strenuous and save the larger body part for the next day. Another trick I have is switching up my workout style; again, if I am really tired, I’ll lower the weight I’m lifting and go for a high rep range. This will naturally increase my heart rate and hopefully get me going. I also try to buddy up to do my cardio. That definitely makes the time fly by. To me, sleep is important and if I don’t get enough, look out! Some days you just need to rest!

Q:  What are your goals going into this competition?
DM: When I first decided to compete, I just wanted to be in contest shape. Not everyday fitness shape, not I’m good for having a baby shape, but CONTEST SHAPE!
I always go into a show looking to be better than my previous showing. But I didn’t think that was fair because I had a unique starting point. So I just wanted to look respectable.

I have been working so hard and making great process, so I guess I’m going to just put it out there. I want to win the Overall! I have won my class before, but never the overall title. Let’s see if this mama can be her best yet!

Q:  If you weren’t competing in figure, what other sport would you try doing?
DM: I played community softball as a child, but mostly I was into dance and cheerleading. My size doesn’t lend itself to many sports. My husband is dying for me to try golf, but I’m not quite sure I have the patience for that. I agreed to go to the driving range and at least try; I’ll let you know how it goes!

Q: Who has been an inspirational athlete to you growing up?
DM: They may not be the traditional style of an athlete, and I am definitely dating myself here, but I grew up with aerobic videos. Everyday you would find me dancing and stepping away in my living room! Secretly I yearned to be in the videos, backing up Jane Fonda or Denise Austin and helping other women to achieve their fitness goals! Maybe that is why I started my fitness career as a group instructor!

Q: What advice do you have for someone who would like to compete in a physique sport?
DM: Start slow and learn as much as you can. I actually wrote an article on this topic (another blog to look out for). The overall message was to educate yourself on the sport and the specific division you want to compete in. And then give yourself enough time to change your body. I always recommend starting with an off-season or a building season before diving right into contest prep. Also, this sport can get expensive, so be smart about what you spend your money on. Breaking the bank on a suit but refusing to pay for posing lessons, for example, is going to leave you disappointed. And finally, talk to other competitors. Trust me, people are more than willing to share their experiences and offer references! I have made my best friends through fitness!


Thanks Danyelle for your time and we wish you the best of luck as you step on stage in a few  weeks!

Posted on October 28, 2015


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