Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Danielle Dunham

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Danielle Dunham! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Danielle Dunham
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 25
  • Where: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Height: 5' 7"
  • Weight: 140 Lbs., Contest: 130 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :2
  • Favorite Bodypart: Abs
  • Favorite Exercise: Legs & Back
  • Favorite Supplements: Glutamine

How Did You Get Started?

Growing up, my parents had me involved in some sort of sport year round. Which, I might add, I am extremely thankful for. I also have a brother who is 4 years older than me and whom I idolize. When I was around 12 or 13 our parents bought my brother a cheap piece of equipment and some free weights. Naturally, I wanted to do everything my brother did, so I asked him to show me how to use the equipment. He also had a copy of Arnold's encyclopedia of exercises that I would read when he wasn't around. Sophomore year of high school I started going to the gym regularly with my dear friend, Melissa. Throughout adolescence, I had been fascinated with women who obtained a muscular physique while maintaining a feminine appearance.

In college, I played Division II Field Hockey. Having a weight training regimen significantly influenced my performance on the field. Not until I implemented proper nutrition is when I really noticed the difference. After graduating from Bryant University, I started running in 5-10k races and a half marathon. It was not enough for me. I had a passion for hitting the weights more than hitting the pavement.

In the winter of 2005 a friend of mine told me to think about competing. That August I took a chance and competed in my first NPC show, the 'Debbie Kruck Classic' and placed in the top five. From there, I was thirsty for more. Recently, I took home the overall trophy at the 'All South Bodybuilding Championships' in St Augustine, Florida. Everyday, I try to learn and implement different training styles and nutritional recipes, because there is always room for improvement. Bodybuilding is absolutely fascinating due to the unlimited supply of useful information.

Visit My BodySpace:

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

My new trainer/nutritionist, John Mier from Premier Physiques gave me a workout split that catered my schedule. He had me work my quads and hamstrings on separate days. By doing so, I was able to create the glute to hamstring tie in as well as giving my quads definition. I kept moving on leg days by doing giant sets with medium weight.

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I lifted heavy in the 8-12 rep range on my upper body and implemented supersets. My goal each workout was to walk out of the gym feeling like I put in every last ounce of energy I had, because it was one step closer to show time. Cardio was also done twice a day (pre meal one and post pm workout) at an hour each session.

arrow Sample workout plan:

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I eat 6 meals evenly spaced throughout the day. During the course of a week, I eat clean 90% of the time and allow myself one cheat meal which is usually followed by chocolate. Meal replacement shakes and bars are only used as a last resort. Otherwise, I stick to fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grains and essential fats such as Udo's Oil or Flax Seed Oil. Water is key in my diet as well. Drinking roughly 1.5-2 gal/day, it provides energy, keeps me full, hydrated, and aids in digestion.

In order to keep my meals organized and save time, I will cook a whole lot of chicken or fish, brown rice, and sweet potatoes on my days off. In order to compete, it is important to stay on top of getting each and every meal in. Proper nutrition and frequency are vital components.

arrow Sample Contest Diet:

    Meal 1: 8 egg whites + 1 yolk; 1/2 cup oatmeal; 1 tbsp Udo's Oil
    Meal 2: 1.5 scoops whey protein powder; 1/2 cup oatmeal
    Meal 3: 6oz lean meat; veggies; 4oz sweet potato
    Meal 4: 6oz lean meat; veggies; 3/4c brown rice
    Meal 5: 6oz lean meat; veggies
    Meal 6: 8 egg whites + 1 yolk; veggies

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Multivitamin, Glutamine, BCAA's

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

Fitness is most of all a life learning experience. Not only do I enjoy dieting, walking out on stage and shaping my physique, but also the fulfillment of educating others around me. Friends, co-workers and family members are enlightened by my discipline and strive to change their lifestyles as well. This sport has helped me prove to others that feeling good about his/her self is obtainable by remaining active and healthy. It's rewarding to know that I am the "go to" person when someone is looking for advice, is excited to share that they ran in their first race or recently lost 10lbs.

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Not only has fitness changed my life, but has also touched so many other lives around me. Therefore, resulting in a ripple effect. Most people do not know that I use to be extremely self conscious of myself. Fitness provided me confidence, motivation and certainly made me realize how disciplined I really am.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

My long term goal is to obtain a stable career in the industry as well as one day open my own business. As for short term, I will be at the 2007 nationals. So, I am in search of sponsorships, donations and endorsements to aid in all the expenses that come along with this sport. Ultimately, I want to continue educating others, especially children, on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Stay focused on the main reason why you are competing and NEVER give up!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I know everyone mentions her but; Monica Brant-Peckham, Jenny Lynn and a fairly new face to the scene, Mary Elizabeth Lado. These three women best exemplify what a professional competitor should be. They demonstrate beauty, confidence, poise and modesty. When I am in need of motivation, I look to these ladies. I also find Dexter Jackson and Jay Cutler to be terrific role models in the bodybuilding industry. Just when you think they have reached their peak, they surprise us and improve even more. You never know what to expect when Dex and Jay step onto the stage.

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