No stranger to hard work and certainly no stranger to winning, Danielle Lipksi knows what is takes to stay on top of her game. Not only as national level bikini competitor, but as a full-time student, successful business woman, personal trainer and model, she is confident that she has what it takes to get what she wants. For her, it is just a matter of having the right mindset, and going into the USA National Championships she has her sight set on that Pro card. Join us in our support of this Sexy-Strong sponsored athlete!
When and how did you begin training for bikini competitions?
I had my first assessment the weekend after USA’s in 2015 so almost 1 year ago. I had been working the booth at Muscle Contest for Sexy-Strong for the year as a brand ambassador and just became very involved into the industry. I never had a passion to compete at first. I came from the glamour world as a successful internationally published swimsuit model and I wanted to transition over to the fitness industry. My main vision was to be successful fitness model but I slowly began to realize in order to be credible I have to prove myself. There would be times I worked at the booth and would overhear people talking like “who is she, why is she even here, she knows nothing about the sport, she’s just a pretty face.” That was just the fire I needed – I had my first assessment and 8 weeks later stepped on stage for the very first time. Since October of 2015 to July of 2016, I will have competed in 5 shows, so I did not waste any time! I developed a passion for the stage and this lifestyle immediately after my first show and the rest is history.
How long have you been training with Meriza [co-founder of Sexy-Strong, IFBB Pro, prep coach]?
I have been weightlifting for 2 years now. I went hard that first year but didn’t have a scheduled diet and did a more conventional style weight training program. I didn’t really push myself too hard with weights. I started training with Meriza immediately once I decided to compete. Since then, she has been my only coach and runs everything. She does my nutrition, my workout program, my posing, and I train with her twice a week. She has really pushed my body to the next level, one that I never dreamed to be possible. We do 2-4 exercises at a time in a fast paced circuit and stay in the 15-25 rep range and man does she push me with weight. I lift heavier now than ever, partially because I am stronger but mainly because Meriza pushes you to grow. In just the 1 year that I have been training with her, she took a skinny bikini model and has made me an athlete that I am proud of.
What motivates you to compete?
Success! As plain and simple as that. It is about the gratification and confirmation of all your hard work paying off; taking your mind and body to the next level. With each show, ultimately, your goal is to achieve your best version of you. It can lead you to believe there is no way to improve on that package, and sure enough after each prep, you find a way to be better. It’s fascinating to see what you can do with the body and it’s even more gratifying to get rewarded for it. I’m not saying winning is everything, but there is nothing more motivating than being crowned 1st place.
What are some of your goals?
Short term – turn pro at the USA’s and then take the rest of the year off to grow mentally and physically. Come back in 2017 beginning of the year, win my Pro-Debut and qualify for the Olympia. Long-term – to make a difference in people’s lives. To create an online platform where women and men can go to for motivation and guidance in becoming a healthier and happier version of themselves. I don’t want to train competitors, if you want to compete I always refer you to my coach. Meriza created an athlete out of me and she can for you. I want to help the general public that is struggling with their weight, nutrition, training, and happiness. I truly want to show people that they can do it – it just takes time and consistency.
I firmly believe that this is an extremely confusing industry with a ton of misinformation out there… People don’t know where to begin and that can be intimidating. I want to take away the confusion and the intimidation and give people hope that they too can change their lives.
How do you feel about your upcoming show, the NPC USA Championships *IFBB Pro Qualifier?
I feel really good about this show. Every prep is different from the other, you go through different things in life, you have a different plan, you’re just in a different place in your life with each prep. My last show in May, The California Championships, was probably my hardest prep to date. Not from the plan but just where I was at mentally. I was discouraged and just wasn’t feeling where I was at. I had to bulk quite a bit so we were battling my weight through the whole prep. I started that prep heavier than I have ever been. That definitely messed with my head and I just didn’t like my body going into that prep. This prep going straight into USA’s my mindset is completely different and i’m extremely confident with the package we will be bringing to that stage. Overall, this prep is harder because I am truly dieting now and I just have a lot in life going on but mentally I am 100% all in and that’s what makes the biggest difference. Once the mindset is right you can achieve anything.
Have you made any changes in your prep for this show as far as training, nutrition, etc?
Yes, this prep is very different than any other prep I have done. My first 3 shows in 2015 we were battling my weight so my cardio was very limited and my cheat meals were extremely loose. That didn’t give me a very good idea as to what a real prep is all about, but man did I get a rude awakening this time around. From November-March we focused on making some quality gains and just get to a weight that I can have room to play with and get to a level of leanness without looking too skinny. With that said cardio has increased, cheat meals are non existent, and training has definitely stepped up a notch. For USA’s specifically I am on the least amount of carbs I have ever been on (51g total a day) and have switched to all white fish which I have never had to do before. My other shows I have been on chicken and ground turkey and red meat for my last meal. This show all red meat is gone and just go back and forth between chicken and white fish. My cardio is also very different. I usually had to power walk on a treadmill at highest incline but now I am having to run and for much longer. Overall this prep has required a lot more from me training, nutrition, and cardio-wise but I am powering through better than any other show I’ve done before. My mind is in the right place and I have tunnel vision on obtaining that pro-card.
Do you have any cheat meals or major cravings?
For this show, no not really. After Nationals last year all I wanted was pie. Every single type of pie. Literally… every.single.type. I definitely had quite the Thanksgiving! Before I started competing I was never much of a sweet-eater. I wasn’t a fan of desserts and just never really craved sweets, but when you deprive your body of something for so long or are told you absolutely can’t have it, you naturally develop a desire for it. I also developed an obsession with those Tasty videos all over Facebook. Those things are ruining my life! After my last show, all I wanted was some crazy brownie/Reese’s/S’mores concoction. For this show I really don’t have any cravings though. I think I am just so focused and have tunnel vision that my mind isn’t even going there, and I definitely avoid those Tasty videos like the plague. As far as cheat meals go they are only on Sunday’s for my re-feed day and it’s just extra carbs, but still with my normal plan of chicken and white fish. I do get one meal that day of either sushi (spicy tuna roll and sashimi salad) or a burger (no cheese, double patty) – that’s really about it. I have seen competitors have a total crap load day where they can eat whatever they want and my re-feed days definitely do not have that luxury. Everything is still very calculated, clean, and to the plan.
How do you maintain such discipline?
Honestly, I feel like I have such control over my mind that it keeps me so in-line. I never allow myself to think there is a plan b, or that cheating is an option, or that anything other than the plan is an option. As soon as you let your mind go there its game over. The second you entertain the idea of eating something you’re not supposed to, or skipping a workout, or slacking on your cardio then that becomes the pattern and you only hurt yourself in the end. This is an individual sport. You can have a team and a coach but at the end of the day you are standing on that stage all alone and only the work you were willing to put in will shine through. I would never allow myself to step on stage knowing I didn’t give it my absolute all or potentially make a fool of myself by my lack of discipline. This is one sport you cannot fake and that’s what I absolutely love about it. You have to put in the work every single day and do what it takes. No one woke up as an athlete. No one woke up with the body it takes to win on stage. Consistency and discipline is the only thing that will get you there and those that try to cheat the system stick out like a sore thumb. So to answer that question, mindset. Always mindset. Being in complete control over your mind will really help you succeed in not only this industry but an facet in life.
Competing on stage where judgment is quite subjective, how do you keep thoughts of doubt from deterring you?
Great question.. I don’t know if I can answer this questions 100% honestly because I have done extremely well so far. I have never had to feel what it’s like to get anything but first call-outs. My very first show I battled a 2 time overall winning champion for 1st place, I won the overall at my second show, my first national show I placed in the top 12, and I won my class at one of the largest shows of the year, and now i’m in prep for my 2nd national show. For Nationals in Miami I was first to be called in second call-outs and that still was a tremendous accomplishment for me. So with that said I’ve never had to be disappointed with myself and the results that I have brought to the stage. The first and only time I have been slightly thrown off was when I did not win the overall at my most recent show. I am going to be honest that I was heartbroken, but looking back at comparison pictures I agreed with the judges choice 100%. The girl that won without a doubt beat me. Not because of my lack of work into the prep or anything else but because she was just better than me. I gave that prep my all, I posed the best I knew how to at the time, and I rocked it on stage! She was just better. And that’s ok, that’s whats amazing about this sport! You are in competition with other girls but mainly yourself. I was very proud of the package I brought to that stage and my stage presence was the smoothest it has ever been. For me, that show was my personal best. So now, I need to beat that best and create a new personal best. That’s how I stay motivated and not deter from this sport. It’s the journey you’re on with yourself and the progress you make after each prep that really defines who you are as an athlete and ultimately a person. So many people bitch about politics and that the judging isn’t fair and honestly, to me that person is someone in denial and can’t accept their defeats and grow from them. It’s more than the bigger badder person. There is so much that goes into competing and with each division there are a million factors that can take part in your placing. If you are not at 100% in every single aspect of the sport, then you risk the chance at getting beaten…that’s on you, no one else.
What advice can you share with women looking to taking their fitness to the next level and want to compete?
Oh man, you’re in for a wild ride! One that will give you an experience of a lifetime and one that will either make you or break you. You need to be mentally prepared for everything it entails. This isn’t for the weak minded or instant gratification type of person. This takes work and patience.
For me personally, I am very anti ‘the check in the box’ type competitor. This sport isn’t for someone that just wants to do it once and then never again, in my opinion. This is a controversial topic but that’s where I stand with it. This sport takes dedication, time, discipline, and selfishness. You have to be so fixated on yourself to do well it honestly can put a lot of tension in other areas of your life. Work can start slipping, relationships can start failing, but if you can find a balance and a way to make it all work, this will be one of the most exciting most rewarding times of your life.
To understand it is EXPENSIVE. AS. F… You’re going to have to get over it. It is what it is, it’s an investment and do not go cheap. If you’re making a commitment to the sport go all out or not at all. It shows when you try to go the cheaper route and it’s just pointless to put so much time and energy into something and then skate by on the other areas that really do make the full package and then potentially not do well.
Understand your relationship with food will change. You are no longer eating for taste, you’re eating for purpose. If you can’t get passed that and immediately, then this will not be the sport for you. Understand that cravings may happen and it’s natural. Be cognizant of it and move on. Do not buy into those cravings or you are done for.
To remember you chose this lifestyle and no one else. Other people shouldn’t have to suffer because you chose to do this. IE, getting mad when other people eat like crap around you, or being a miserable asshole to be around (trust me this is easier said than done.)
Stay off the scale except for weigh-in days, don’t let weight become an obsession and to remember muscle does weigh more than fat. Take measurements and a ton of progress pictures and use those as comparisons, not the number on the scale.
Be PATIENT. This seriously takes a lot of time and work and consistency. You will not build a booty in 30 days. If your coach is telling you that you can, then you might want to look into getting another coach. Understand everyone’s body is different and everyone changes differently and at a different rate than others.
And lastly, don’t lose your morals and values. Stay true to who you are and what you are comfortable with. This industry is saturated with people trying to shove drugs down your throat or other alternatives to get to a result faster, or needing plastic surgery etc. Stick to who you want to be and don’t let anyone guide you in a direction you are not comfortable with.