Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Dana Jacober

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Dana Jacober! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Dana Jacober
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 26
  • Where: Los Angeles, California
  • Height: 5' 4"
  • Weight: 135 Lbs., Contest: 125 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :1
  • Favorite Bodypart: Quads
  • Favorite Exercise: Glutes
  • Favorite Supplements: Whey Gourmet Chocolate Peanut Butter, Redline, Glutamine

How Did You Get Started?

Ever since the first time I followed my mother and her trainer around a local gym when I was 12 yrs old I have had a passion and love for weight training. I had always been athletic and competitive playing tennis and softball growing up and I used weight training and power-lifting as a way to put more power into both of those games.

By college I stopped playing tennis and softball and started to teach Spinning at the University of Miami and work in the exercise physiology lab. I met Jenny Worth and Dodd Romero in Miami and began training with them. They inspired me to train like never before and I decided then that I would make my competition dreams a reality. My passion for fitness has continued to grow to this day.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

For many years I have trained using moderate weight and high reps thinking this was the way I had to train to shape my body to look like a Fitness/Figure competitor. I have finally realized that I don't have to train that way to get the results I want. Recently, I have started training hard and heavy with much lower reps (anywhere from 8, 6, 4 or even 1-2 reps) and I'm finding that my muscles respond much better to this type of intense training.

I weight train 4-5 days a week and split my workouts up by training and my split usually looks something like this:

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I take Thursday and Sunday completely off. I find that taking days off allows my body to rest and recover from the tremendous workouts on the other days. I also use these days to "refuel" by adding more carbs in my meal plan.

Cardio is obviously a very important part of my training as well. When I was training for my show I was up to as much as three 40 min sessions a day or more but when I'm not in prep I do cardio 6 days a week anywhere from 35 min to 60 min sessions. My intensity always varies as well. My all time favorite cardio machine is called the Crossrobics machine. I started using it when I attended the University of Miami. I would do cardio at the time of the day when the gym was very crowded and it was the only machine that was never taken. I decided to try it and fell in love with it! When I finally moved away from Miami I could never find a gym that carried that machine and I missed it so much.

I did a little research and found a gym going out of business in California who sold me their Crossrobics machine. Now I have it outside in my parking garage (because it didn't fit in my house!) and I use it to get most of my cardio workouts. It really works my legs and helps me get my heart rate up easily because it's so challenging. The other machine I have and love is my Spinning bike, which I have in my living room. I have watched many hours of movies, Soprano episodes and other TV shows while Spinning my butt off... literally! I love having cardio at home because whether it's first thing in the morning or late at night, I can always fit in my workouts.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

Getting ready for my first show I ate high protein, low carbs, low fat and LOTS of veggies. I'm a volume eater. I like to eat A LOT of food. Dieting was always so hard for me but when I realized that I didn't have to starve to get lean, dieting became something that finally worked for me! I would eat tons of Spinach and pile my plate high with zucchini and broccoli and I was one happy camper!

I had to become creative with my meals and make things taste good so I would never feel deprived or sorry for myself that I was missing out on yummy food. Cinnamon is a spice I can't live without!

My typical daily diet for my first show looked something like this.

Arrow Sample Day Diet Plan:

    1/4 cup Oatmeal, 3 egg whites, 1 tsp peanut butter, multi-vitamin
    1/4 cup oatmeal, 3 egg whites, mini box of raisins
    Whey Shake
    Chicken breast and lots of veggies
    Whey Shake with BCAA and Glutamine
    Tilapia filet and lots of veggies
    Whey Shake and Glutamine

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I owe a significant amount of muscle gain to Whey protein - it is such a great supplement. It has definitely made it easier for me to get in all my protein and I can mix in my other powdered supplements like glutamine, BCAA and creatine and have it with me anytime, anywhere!

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I have always loved the saying, "Put into something what you want to get out of it." I feel that in fitness this statement couldn't be more true. I love the feeling I get when I finish a hard workout in the gym. It's a sense of accomplishment that I just did something great for my body, my mind and my overall health and well-being.

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I love to be able to see results in my physical strength as well as my appearance when I put in hard work and dedication. I love the fact that fitness isn't a team sport. I'm the only one to blame if my diet is poor and my training is lacking. Yet, when I look and feel amazing, I know my training is on track and I know it's because I put in the hard work and dedication to make it happen.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

At the moment I just started a long on season after taking the summer off to work on finding more balance in my life, which I will discuss more about later. Now I'm back to business and I decided to do a show in February of next year. I decided to do a longer prep than I have in the past because I'm also working on adding some more muscle to my shoulders and back while also working on my overall conditioning. Having a longer prep also enables me to bring my weight down slowly and avoid having to crash diet to take off the extra weight I put on during my off season.

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I plan to compete a lot in the upcoming season and my main goal this year is to qualify to compete at the National Level. From that point, who knows! A lot can happen in a year. The sky is the limit!

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

One very important tip that I wish someone gave to me during my first season would be to have a plan set up for after your show. The intensity and work it took to get ready for my first show was so thrilling and exciting. I was so focused and knew what my job was everyday. Seeing my body change, hearing the feedback from everyone and finally stepping on stage to reveal my hard work really put me on cloud nine. But all along no one told me about what happens after the show.

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No one told me about the "off season blues." Right from the day after the show I felt lost. What now? How do I eat now? How much cardio? How do I find balance in my life outside of on-season? I fell into such a depression and gained almost 30lbs! I went from one extreme to the other and went from feeling so in control of what I was doing to completely out of control and miserable.

Now that I am back on track, I learned from my mistakes. Something like that will never happen again. Working hard on finding my off season balance as well as working hard during my on-season are equally important. I would recommend that all new competitors take both very seriously.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

My favorite competitors, Gina Aliotti and Pauline Nordin, both happen to be women I know personally. Getting to know them first hand is what made me admire and respect them so much more. It is no secret that placing well in a sport like figure takes a lot of hard work and discipline. Whenever I start to slack off on my efforts I remember that Gina and Pauline sure didn't get to where they are today by slacking!

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