BodySpace Member Of The Month: Dana Linn Bailey

We admire anyone who puts in the effort to get on stage and compete, but please give us muscle! Dana splices attitude and amplitude.

Trainers and athletes of the past relied on books, magazines and fliers to spread the good word on fitness, but the modern athlete must use technology to garner a following. Social media and video-sharing sites like YouTube link global strangers to their favorite friends, athletes, and competitors.

You may have first heard of Dana Linn Bailey from her viral videos, but this bastion of muscle now has a pro card with her name on it. She wants to take the physique world by storm. We just want to be there when she makes it rain. Join us in congratulating Dana Linn Bailey as the March BodySpace Member of the Month!

Name: Dana Linn Bailey
BodySpace handle: danalinnbailey
Age: 29
Weight: 132-134 lbs, 125-127 lbs contest
Height: 5'4"
Occupation: Owner (with husband, Rob) of
Education: BS Kinesiology minor in Nutrition
Contest History:
IFBB Desert Muscle Classic 2012: 4th
IFBB NY Pro 2012
Athletic Background: I was a 6-sport athlete up until high school: swimming, soccer, basketball, field hockey, track, and softball. I went on and was recruited to play soccer in college for West Chester University as a starter on defense.
Super Powers: God I wish I had super powers! I wish my power was to fly, then I wouldn't have to take a plane everywhere, I would just fly!
Ultimate Goal: My ultimate goal is … keep inspiring and motivating both men and women to get in shape and be healthy and happy!

What led you to the decision that you needed to get in shape?

I've always been in shape, but it was more sports-related shape. I could run and sprint for days with college soccer. It wasn't until I played my last year at WCU, when I finally got into lifting.

My boyfriend (and husband-to-be) Rob was at the gym everyday and I didn't get to see him much with school and work. So he told me if I wanted to see him more I should just come to the gym. Little did he know that he had helped to create a monster!

What is more important to you: strength or aesthetics?

To me, strength and aesthetics are equally important. I don't want to just look like I am strong, I actually want to be freaking strong. What's the sense of having all these muscles, and not being able to lift heavy sh*t up like an animal? But because I'm judged based on my aesthetics in physique, I need a good balance.

My training is a mix of powerlifting and bodybuilding. I absolutely love the challenge of powerlifting, so I usually will have one or two exercises where I go HAM, and then the rest of the workout is more focusing on building and sculpting.

How did you discover BodySpace?

Gosh, it was so long ago. I'm pretty sure Rob signed me up for it. He is king of social media!

What did it mean to you to win your IFBB pro card?

There are no words to describe what a feeling it was to win Jr. USA's and become the first pro in history for women's physique. It didn't feel real! It had been a dream of mine since I started competing in figure back in 2006 to become an IFBB Pro.

For a while there I thought it would always just be a dream, but when they came out with the new physique division, I knew I would make that dream come true. I just didn't know I would be the first one! Besides getting married to my amazing husband winning my Pro card at Jr. USAs was the second best day of my life!

How do you think BodySpace has helped you reach your goals?

BodySpace is amazing! It helps you follow other people's progress, which makes me motivated. It also allows you to motivate others and by sharing your own progress.

You got started with sports at an early age. How has that shaped your fit career?

At age five, I was the youngest swimmer on the swim team. I got up early and went to practice every morning, just like the big kids. For me, I think my involvement in all the sports I played year round has helped me with discipline. To be a bodybuilder, you must be self-disciplined with both training and diet. You need to get yourself to the gym every day and sometimes even twice per day.

There were always parts of a practice that I would dread, like the last 30 minutes of conditioning we did after every soccer practice. And there are parts of my training and prep that I dread, like boring cardio and diet. When you are self-disciplined, you make yourself do those things you dread, because you know it will help the outcome and get you to your goal!

How do you think you'll fare in the 2013 competition season?

I know I'd like to see myself doing well this year. I was extremely happy with my prep and my conditioning for both Desert Muscle and NY Pro in 2012. I didn't do as well as I would have liked to, of course, but there is always room for improvement.

My goal this 2013 is to bring up my legs more so they match my upper body as far as conditioning. I have always had a hard time with my legs.

They have always been muscular and big, thanks to many years of soccer, but they lack the detail of my upper body. So I'm working hard on dem wheelz for 2013.

I haven't even decided on a show yet, because we are traveling so much now. We are in a different state or country almost every weekend, so finding a show that is going to fit in my schedule is becoming difficult, but I will be ready!

How much does personality factor in to physique competitions?

I think personality is important whether you are physique, fitness, bodybuilding, figure, or bikini. Your personality is what will set you apart from everyone else. You need to engage the judges and you need to engage the audience. If you are just stale and going through the motions, no one will be interested in watching you! I'm not sure if it's a factor in the judging, but it will help to get the judges attention.

What is your favorite muscle group to train and can you give us a sample workout?

I love training anything upper body. Chest, back, and delts are definitely my favorite days of the week because I can just go as heavy as I want. Leg day is sort of a love/hate kind of relationship.

On the days I do heavy legs, I enjoy it. My goal with my legs is to lean, sculpt, and separate, so a lot of times I'm not lifting as heavy as I can. I do higher rep ranges, which for me is not as fun as just going heavy like I do with upper body.

You've been on BodySpace for a few years. How do you stay motivated for the long term?

My fans and followers keep me motivated. I travel all over the place for guest posing, expos, and appearances to meet them. To me, being that I have a professional status, I think you should look professional at all times no matter if it's your offseason or on-season. You should always look the part! Knowing this keeps me consistent with my training and diet all year round.

What training mistakes did you make when you first started?

Most of my mistakes came from my diet. I wasn't nearly as strict as I am with myself now. I try to stay consistent all year round with my diet, so I am always in good shape for shows and expos, but I'm also making lean mass gains and not sloppy offseason gains. You can still build and be lean at the same time!

Are you bothered by some of the stereotypes of female bodybuilders? What can you do to offset those opinions?

The reason we have stereotypes is because a lot of times they are true! That's where stereotypes come from. But, anyone who follows me and actually knows me and what I stand for would know that I like to go against the grain. I don't like following trends. I don't like following, period. I like being a leader.

If you go right, I am going to go left. I like to go the road less traveled. A lot of times that road is harder with a lot more bumps, but I enjoy that road much better. I get more of a reward for myself by using that road.

So whatever those stereotypes might be, I am probably 100 percent the opposite.

What has the biggest impact on muscle growth and recovery?

It is a combination of all of these factors. Your diet has a significant impact on your muscle growth. The main point of weight training is to convert protein to muscle mass.

You can train all you want, but if you are not fueling your body with the appropriate nutrients and appropriate amount of protein, you will just be wasting your time. This goes vice versa too. You can diet all you want, but you will not make any gains without proper training and overloading the muscle. Supplements are a positive influence in your growth and recovery.

Supplements like whey protein, BCAAs, and glutamine are standard in any type of bodybuilder or fitness competitor's diet. Whey protein is extremely helpful for getting adequate amounts of protein in your diet. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is the macronutrient responsible for making muscle. They help in providing metabolic energy while you are training and also play a huge role in muscle protein synthesis. And glutamine helps support a healthy immune system and can help reduce muscle breakdown.

Sleep also dramatically impacts your entire body. During sleep, your body recovers from exercise, repairs itself, and grows new muscle tissue. Depriving yourself of sleep impacts the most important hormones for muscle-building in your body. Your cortisol levels, testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin levels are all compromised through lack of sleep, which will make it harder to lose weight and make muscle gains.

Someone will read this feature and consider joining BodySpace. Why should that person become a part of the largest fitness social network?

BodySpace is such a great social network full of motivating people. You can follow other people's fitness journeys and also share your own fitness journey. It's a great way meet new people who also have the same interests and goals as you and share ideas!

Is there anything you would like to say to your fellow BodySpace members? Have any of them made a special impact on your life?

One person I would like to thank and who is one female that I look up to in the fitness industry, Jamie Eason. Not only is she super gorgeous with an amazing physique, but I also look up to her overall personality and how she carries herself. One thing I respect her for is how she treats people.

She is one of the top girls in the industry, but when you meet her, she is incredibly humble and sweet. I met a lot of pros through my journey, and there were a few women I looked up to, but when I met them in person they didn't give me the time of day.

My advice to everybody is to never to feel like you are better than anyone else, no matter who you are or what your status is. At some point, we were all beginners. I never want someone to feel the way I felt four years ago when I was basically ignored after introducing myself to someone I really looked up to in the industry—I won't reveal her name. I lost all respect for her that day, and she will never regain that back from me!

Treat everyone how you would like to be treated. Stay humble and always be helpful. Also be proud and confident in who you are! Don't just follow; take the road that no one else follows. You will get a greater return in the end!

Do you stick to one type of training, or do you vary your exercise attacks?

Every week is a little different than the last. I try to change the order in which parts are hit. For example, if I started with incline bench this week, I would start with decline or maybe flat the next. I change the equipment I use for exercises. I incorporate dropsets, and supersets, or pyramid sets, ascending or descending, the rep range, and so on. It is forever changing.

Your YouTube videos are a great watch, how have they helped increase your popularity?

I would like to thank my amazingly talented husband, Rob, for his videos. Our videos are pretty much how people started learning about us. We don't just do cookie-cutter workout videos. We like to show ourselves and our personality along with working out. They're lifestyle videos.

I'm just a big weirdo and I don't like to take myself too seriously. I like to have fun, and I guess people enjoy watching me goof off and lift heavy shit! Thank you everyone for watching. There's plenty more to come!

Bodybuilders have school, day-jobs and families, and still dedicate hours in the gym each week. How do you strike a balance? What happens when you get tired?

I live on coffee! I wish I could have an IV coffee drip so it would just keep me going. I'm basically busy 18 hours out of 24, but those 6 hours I am sleeping. I live by set schedule day-by-day. It's tedious and repetitive, but it keeps me in check so I have enough time for work, cooking, and the gym.

I also travel almost every weekend, so planning is a must! Preparing and packing enough food is usually what I struggle with the most. Stay organized and stay prepared—no excuses!

Has BodySpace changed much since you joined? How so?

You added an "Accept All" key for friend requests. Thank you! I hated clicking one by one.

Would you like to add anything else?

If you have the dream, the desire, and the determination, nothing is impossible.

How can your fans find you on other social media?

BodySpace: Danalinnbailey
Facebook athlete page: Dana Linn Bailey
Instagram: @danalinnbailey
Twitter: daydayknucks
Sponsors: MHP, Nutrition By Design, 6Pack Bags, Liquid Sun Rayz