We've made some changes we think you will like! Continue to myHMB.com to continue learning about our products.Continue to myHMB.com
We sat down with our new athlete Danyelle Mastarone to talk about how she got into competing in figure and what’s to come with her fitness career.
Q: How did you get started in competing?
DM: At the time I was a regular at the gym and a part-time group fitness instructor but never had a goal, other than being in shape. A girlfriend and fellow instructor decided to train for a Figure competition and encouraged me to do it as well. Absolutely not... no way I was giving up brownies and French fries if I didn’t have to. I thought I was fit already. But after watching her transformation I became much more curious. Then two more friends competed and I decided if they could do it, so could I, only I would do it better!
Q: Did you have a trainer throughout the process or learn on your own?
DM: I was lucky to have a lot of people willing to help me out at the beginning and teach me the ropes. But for the most part I was on my own to put the information together and find a plan that made sense for me. I fared well on my own, but was always stressing as to whether I was doing the right thing. I work with a coach/trainer now who is absolutely fantastic. This is the most relaxed and excited I have been during competition prep so far.
Q: When was your first competition and how did you end up doing?
DM: May of 2010. I placed 1st in Figure Novice! I was hooked after that!
Q: What would you attribute to you being on the fast track at being successful at this sport?
DM: Working hard but also working smart, although the fast track can be more of a slippery slope. If you decide to compete, I recommend starting “prep” before the standard 12 weeks of competition prep. Depending on what your diet and exercise routine are now, I would suggest starting to increase weight training and build some muscle while staying lean, but not “dieting down.”
Q: What made you decide that the figure division was where you wanted to be?
DM: I think the Figure look is best suited to my body type as well as how I like to train… which is heavy! I truly love to lift heavy weights! Haha! Training is fun for me. I love to challenge myself and I absolutely love feeling and being strong.
Q: What is your favorite part about competing? Is it the training, diet, feeling on stage?
DM: Definitely being on stage! I love the sparkly suit and getting all dolled up to show off my hard work! I am a total ham in front of an audience.
Q: During contest, what’s a sample day of eating look like for your diet?
DM: I eat six meals per day, pretty typical bodybuilding foods.
Meal 1: (Preworkout): Protein Waffles, Cashews (see future blog for the recipe)
Meal 2: (Postworkout): Protein Shake, Yam
Meal 3: Chicken, Rice, Green Veggies
Meal 4: Turkey Burger, Yam, Salad
Meal 5: Tilapia, Rice, Green Veggies
Meal 6: Egg whites, Peanut Butter
And of course I take my HMB and other supplements throughout the day!
Q: Along with your diet do you incorporate a cheat day for the week or not? And what is your favorite cheat food?
DM: Up until about 4-6 weeks out during contest I have one cheat meal (not a whole day) for the week. My go to is always a burger, fries and dessert, either apple pie with ice cream or something chocolate covered with more chocolate! I realize it seems silly, but I pack my low sugar ketchup to go with my cheat meal. Everything still counts!
Q: Do you have a certain training program that you follow during prep? And what type of cardio do you incorporate?
DM: For upper body I am still trying to build and maintain muscle, so I lift heavy with lots of volume. For my legs, they have the size but need the shape and lines, so I incorporate plyometric supersets and giant sets with traditional leg exercises. As far as cardio I try to keep variety. I have a Precor Elliptical at home which is typically what I would use for fasted cardio. If I do a second session later I love (hate) the step mill. I also vary between steady state and HIIT on the different machines. If the weather is nice I will run outside but so far, it’s still snowing and I am a fair weather runner for sure.
Q: What would you say is your most memorable experience you’ve had while competing in this sport?
DM: It is hard for any moment to compare to the first time I stepped on stage, but this past August did surpass that feeling. I didn’t place as high as I would have hoped but you never would have known that based on the cheering squad I had. My mom, sister and all of my girlfriends were there to support me wearing shirts that read “Danyelle’s Divas.” When I stepped off stage through teary eyes, my girlfriends were clapping and screaming and I remember hearing, “I’m SO Proud of you.” It took me a moment to understand how they could be so proud of me and my 11th place finish. They were acting as though I had just won the whole show. But I realized in that moment I had won. I beat the old me. I had done everything I possibly could to bring my best physique to date.
Q: What advice do you give to other women wanting to step up on the stage?
DM: Plan, plan, plan. Stress can destroy your results faster than almost anything else. By being prepared you can just trust the process and enjoy this amazing and challenging experience. You will learn so much about yourself from competing in a show and learn how strong you are both mentally and physically. You will learn how much you are truly capable of…just always remember is it “You vs. You.” I love winning, don’t get me wrong, but my goal is always to be a better me than I was last time.
Q: What are your future goals and how do you think HMB can help you achieve those?
DM: I will be stepping on stage in just under 5 weeks at the NPC Pittsburgh and six weeks after that to compete for an IFBB Pro Card at Jr. Nationals. HMB is essential during my training to keep me strong during workouts and speed up my recovery. It will also be exciting to step on stage knowing I am supported by the entire HMB team.
Q: Last but not least, what are some fun facts about Danyelle that most people don’t know?
DM: I was part of a belly dance/folk dance troupe.
I graduated Top 10/Summa Cum Laude from College.
I bought my first smart phone about a month ago.
Thanks Danyelle for your time today and we are very proud to have you representing Team HMB! Best of luck with your upcoming competition in Pittsburgh!