IFBB Bikini Pro Juliana Daniell, our April cover model, clearly knows what it takes to be fit. The lifelong Atlanta resident is somewhat new to fitness shows— she started competing just two years ago. But in that time, Juliana has accomplished great things: she earned her pro card after competing in only three NPC shows, and last year she placed in the top 10 at her very first Olympia. She will also be completing in the 2012 Olympia, as well as the 2012 Arnold Classic— which is only a few short weeks away.
Here Juliana, who is also a cheerleader with the Atlanta Hawks, tells us more about herself, her training, and how she stays motivated. But there’s so much more that’s not covered here— make sure you pick up the April issue of FitnessRx for Women to read about Juliana’s Blueprint for a Sexy Butt and Abs!
How does it feel to be on the April cover of FitnessRx?
It is an amazing and almost indescribable feeling! I feel so honored and thankful to have been given this opportunity and am so excited to see it on the stands! It’s a dream come true and I couldn’t be happier!
How did you become interested in fitness, and when did you become serious about it?
At a very young age, my mom had my sister and I involved in sports. Whether it was swimming, gymnastics, tap, jazz or ballet, we were always doing something! I don’t know if people know this, but I went to Virginia Tech on a swimming scholarship and swam all four years I was there. With that being said, fitness has been in my life and very important to me ever since I can remember.
However, the competition world was not introduced to me until January of 2010, and that’s when I found the love for it. The drive and seriousness about it was always there because it had to be. But the love I found and built upon each day for true fitness wasn’t there till I started training and competing for shows. My love for swimming, sports and fitness are similar, yet so different at the same time! Maybe I’ll blog about it one of these days and let y’all in on some secrets I have found so you can love it as well!
This was something that I definitely didn’t figure out in college. I had to master this balance when I was very young or I would have never been successful in swimming, or really in life in general, because it all requires the same balance (in my opinion of course!). It’s definitely a combination of a lot of things but time management, willpower, personality, the want to get it done, to be the best, and please others is how I was able to do it. I hate when I let someone down or disappoint someone who believes in me and wants the best for me. And between my swim coaches, teachers, and my mom, I was always trying so hard to make them happy and be the best I could be and wouldn’t allow myself to fail. It just wasn’t an option.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have failed plenty of times!! I’m kind of a stubborn person and through my life have had the pleasure of learning the hard way. But I definitely learned a lot and am better for it all! And this is kind of why I can say I found a love for fitness two years ago. I always liked it and did it, but I didn’t love it and didn’t really do it for myself; I did it because I was told to and did it for others. But I wouldn’t change any of it because I wouldn’t be where I am today, or feel how I do, had I not had the experiences I had!
What’s your weekly training schedule like?
My weekly training schedule is crazy! I lift five times a week (sometimes six) and do cardio six days a week and sometimes do two a day, usually about 50 minutes each session. I do a normal split among the muscle groups and do a lot of supersets with lower weights. But, I am also a cheerleader for the Atlanta Hawks and we have practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays for three hours (45 minutes of that is either a cardio or weight session) so I am also doing that as well!
In the April issue of FitnessRx you say that you love cardio. When do you prefer to do cardio? Is it OK to do cardio early in the morning on an empty stomach?
Well, I prefer to do cardio first thing in the morning, but that doesn’t always happen! I hate getting up early, like absolutely HATE it! But there is something satisfying about getting up and working out and being done with it! It’s almost like a jumpstart to my day, and no matter how much I hate getting up, I ALWAYS feel better when I’m done with my cardio.
When I can’t get it done in the morning I like to go mid-day. I used to like going in the evening, but I don’t feel like I’m benefitting from it as much as I could and feel that I’m just working off the day and not what’s stored! In my opinion, cardio early morning on an empty stomach is wonderful! But I think it’s more of a personal preference than anything, and if your body can handle it.
I think first and foremost you have to understand that you are going to look and be like YOU and not anyone else! Everyone is different: from body type, how we look, how fast our bodies change, and how often our bodies can handle cheating on our diet. Also, you have to believe in what you are doing and truly believe in yourself. Everything is possible and we can accomplish anything we want, but you have to want it! The mind is a powerful thing and can be so helpful to us, yet very detrimental as well. If you doubt yourself, I can promise you your body won’t change the way you want it to. It’s a unit and needs to work as one machine at all times!
Also, keep the journey exciting. This should all be fun. Yes, it’s work and usually really hard, but the end result is far better than anything you will ever accomplish. Plus when you reach that goal weight, goal pant size, or just overall increase in self-confidence, it’s because of YOU, your hard work, your effort and not because of anyone/thing else!!
How do you stay motivated?
This is a struggle that I think everyone experiences at one time or another. I do a variety of things to keep me motivated, but really the people I surround myself with are my greatest motivators. My mom is my biggest fan and supporter, and between her words of encouragement to me and the times I can help her get better or motivate her to keep trying and not give up— I am more motivated than you can imagine. It’s so satisfying to me when I can help others. It drives me to keep going so that I can learn more and be able to continue helping and making a difference in someone’s life.
I also have a wonderful man in my life who not only pushes me every day to try to be better than I was yesterday, but supports, recognizes and compliments what I have already accomplished, as well as things I still hope to do. I also have a close friend who sends me motivational quotes every day, or almost every day at least, that really fuel my fire and make me think more positively and renew the drive inside myself. Silly things like buying new workout clothes, trying out a new gym, working out at a different time are also things that I like to do to keep it new and exciting, but most importantly enjoyable!
So what’s next for you?
Well first and foremost I have will be stepping foot on the Arnold stage for the first time in less than two weeks and have to continue preparing physically and mentally for that. And I’m so excited! As for what’s after that— more competitions, more photo shoots, more Hawks games, maybe a sponsorship?! I like to think there are no limits on what we can, and want to do so I’ll go wherever I can, whenever I can, and will continue for as long as I want to!
Thank y’all so much for taking the time to read this and I wish each of you the best of luck in all that you do! Chase your dreams and NEVER give up!
IFBB Bikini Pro