An Interview with Germany's New Pro Export, Big Dan Hill
To earn the privilege to compete among professional bodybuilding's best requires achieving a standard of excellence few will ever experience, even despite training and dieting in line with what is expected of an elite level bodybuilder. To become a good bodybuilder demands a rigid work ethic combined with sound nutrition and training practices.
To become an IFBB pro necessitates all of the above, and the genetic foundation needed to manifest these factors as an integrated whole: the pro bodybuilder physique: ripped, full and perfectly balanced.
One man who has accomplished such a look and who is well on his way to inclusion among the IFBB top order is Big Dan Hill. He will contest his third pro show on February 19, 2011: the Flex Pro Bodybuilding Championships.
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Daniel Hill At The 2010 Australia Pro Grand Prix X.
View More Pics Of Daniel Hill At The 2010 Australia Pro Grand Prix X.
Having shown excellent potential at the 2010 Phoenix and Australian Pro events, though still not, it must be said, in the same league as the Dexter's and Heath's of this world, Hill, at only 24 years old, and with his height and gifted with a wide structure and ability to get ripped and full, is very soon expected to make his mark on the IFBB pro scene.
For the upcoming Flex Pro, Hill promises to be at his best, but is, at this early stage of his pro career, also realistic in that a major part of his bodybuilding strategy will see him "try to improve even more and make further corrections for all successive pro shows." Still, with his structure and looks combined with marketability that has the big German booked solid for photo-shoots well into 2011, the future looks bright indeed.
In the following interview Dan Hill provides a look into the mind of an up and coming pro champ, and explains how training, nutrition, supplementation, positive thinking - and alkaline water! - have created a future IFBB frontrunner.
[ Q ] In recent photos you appear to show massive improvements compared to this time last year. Exactly what improvements have you made to your physique since you last competed in 2010?
My focus last year wasn't one hundred percent on making improvements body-wise but I definitely invested all the energy that was left into my workouts and gave my best, every day.
I needed to get my athlete's visa approved, had to find cooperation partners and sponsors to support my pro career financially and, besides, I had 35 photo-shoots throughout 2010 that kept me on my diet since July 2009.
This was almost without any kind of break. No matter how the upcoming contest season goes, I definitely cannot blame myself for being lazy last year and I have improved in many areas of life
[ Q ] What kind of physique are you hoping to present onstage at the 2011 Flex Pro competition?
I am still not experienced in achieving the kind of fullness that is rewarded the most on the pro stage. For me it will remain a hit and miss issue for the next few competitive outings, I expect. Competing with amateur conditioning - as we do in Europe (maximum definition regardless of the degree of volume) - no longer works on the pro stage.
That's one reason why I will compete four times over the next two months: to put my name out there and gather experience
[ Q ] What did you do differently to make your improvements - as far as weight training and nutrition are concerned?
Dieting for almost 20 months now has made it a normal process for me, to the point where I am almost never craving any junk. I optimized my nutrition through two big supportive companies: Chanson Water and Oxygen4Energy.
Both products helped me to combine old school dieting with the newest technology to secure maximum recovery after my workouts.
[ Q ] How have you structured your cardio this year? Has it changed compared to previous years?
The cardio has stayed the same during my diet. I begin with 30 minutes in the morning and after a few weeks add another 30 minute session in the evening. I increase both sessions slowly to 45-60 minutes depending on my fat loss progress.
Dan Hill's Current Training Schedule
- 45 minutes of cardio is done every morning. 30 minutes of cardio along with abs and calves is also done every evening of every second day
- Day 1: Chest
- Day 2: Back
- Day 3: Arms
- Day 4: Shoulders
- Day 5: Legs
- Day 6: Repeat (no more rest days at three weeks out from the Flex Pro)
Note: In the event of stressful photoshoots that take longer than three to four hours Hill takes the day off from weights, but he will still try to maintain his cardio schedule.
[ Q ] Along with the alkaline water you mentioned earlier, what other ways have you supplemented your diet? What changes have been made - if any - and how have these helped you with both the training process and in piling on the mass and getting cut?
As mentioned above I am a big believer in alkaline water. It prevents muscle soreness by bringing back your body back from an acidic to a more alkaline state, helps you to digest food better, gives you instant hydration and increases the speed of nutrient absorption, which is highly important in preventing muscle breakdown.
To ensure enough energy to work out, after having experienced months and months of dieting, I use an oxygen inhaler during my workouts and I have become a big fan of Monster energy drinks. I don't use too many protein products, but I definitely need to have high quality amino acid products.
For my next off season I will work again with supplements such as pre-workout shakes.
[ Q ] And how do you address post-training nutrition? What do you do following your workouts to commence the re-building process?
This for me is achieved through having the support of alkaline water and a higher oxygen level in my bloodstream. I just am sure to have a frequent meal schedule and eat every two to three hours. I also take glutamine and amino acids before and after my workouts.
Dan Hill's Current Meal Schedule
Meal 1: 6AM
- 10g Glutamine (upon waking)
Meal 2: 7AM
Meal 3: 10AM
Meal 4: 12AM
Meal 5: 3PM
Meal 6: 6PM
Meal 7: 8PM
[ Q ] There are some pretty good pros competing at this year's Flex Pro Bodybuilding Championships. Dexter Jackson and Dennis Wolf will certainly make things difficult for you. How does it feel for you to get the chance to be compared with these high ranking competitors and how do you think you will compare to them?
I will give my best and present myself well. Both of them are not known for making mistakes but I know that my time will come. It feels great to be able to compete at this level already.
[ Q ] Has your mental approach to training changed since you turned pro? How so and how has this provided you with an advantage?
Last year I began to read a lot during my cardio sessions. In being a professional athlete you face a lot of negativity; people have always spoken badly about and have been jealous of successful athletes, but the internet gives them a chance to express it openly under fake names and hidden identities.
To be successful you need to work on your attitude and, most importantly, on how to approach things and deal with negativity. Books that have helped me a lot have been Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, The Power by Wallace D. Wattles and the Practicing The Power of Now by Eckhardt Tolle.
[ Q ] What do you do to get fired up for a training session? What process do you usually go through prior to working out?
Sometimes my schedule is so busy that I hardly have any time at all for metal preparation.
LA traffic makes you sufficiently aggressive so you arrive at gym with the right training mood anyway. Other than that I like listening to hard rock music while working out or read some quotes by Vince Lombardi.
[ Q ] What do you consider to be most important when training for a pro show: training, nutrition or supplementation or motivation? Although that it is important that they all fit together to ensure success, is there one that supersedes the others, do you think?
The mental side is the biggest part for long term pro bodybuilding success. The person with the strongest mindset will win in the long run.
[ Q ] Are you, at this year's Flex Pro show, expecting to be the best you have ever been on an IFBB pro stage?
I cannot really judge it myself. This time I am working without any coach or nutritionist. I have to admit that it is a lot harder this way, as your mind plays tricks on you.
Sometimes you feel like you are out of shape and at other times you may have feel good, even without any significant changes to your nutrition or training schedule. I hope to be at my best and I will try to improve even more and make further corrections for all successive pro shows.
[ Q ] When the dust settles, where do you realistically expect to place?
I hope for the best, expect the worst and I will be happy with whatever I get.
[ Q ] At your age you still have much more room to grow as an IFBB pro. How do expect you will ultimately look, once you do hit your professional peak?
I am trying to approach my pro career based on my long term goals. If I act smart, I can be on the scene for about 20 more years.
After having gathered more experience, learned more about my body and achieved enough stability in life I will try to reach my ultimate peak. I cannot yet predict when this will be but so far everything has come faster than I expected.
[ Q ] What are your plans for the remainder of the IFBB pro season following this year's Flex Pro?
After the Flex Pro I have many photo-shoots planned. I will go to Columbus to have photo-shoots and eventually will work at the expo there, compete in Australia, Spain and Germany and right after that I want to open a supplement store in Germany, extend my personal online consulting business and work some more on my website, www.bigdanhill.tv, where I want to show the first ever weekly-based bodybuilding documentary.
[ Q ] What message would you like to give to those fans that will be coming to watch you competing at your best three weeks from now?
I hope that everyone will enjoy the show. I worked as hard as I could this past last year and I am proud to be among what are officially best bodybuilders in the world.
Visit my new website www.bigdanhill.tv and sign up for an almost live-documentation of my travels and my lifestyle as a pro bodybuilder.
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