- 2010 USAPL Georgia & Southern States 198 Raw Medalist - Set Men's Raw 198 Junior Records for bench press, deadlift, and total in Georgia.
- 2011 INBF Southern States Novice MW 2nd Place - First bodybuilding show.
What is your athletic background, and how did you get involved with powerlifting and bodybuilding?
I played football all 4 years in high school and was a varsity letterman. I got hooked on powerlifting through the strength program with our football team. In high school I competed locally and state wide through GHSA (Georgia High School Sports Association) with bench, squat and power cleans.
It wasn’t until I got to college at the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) that I started deadlifting. I competed with our club team in 2010 at the USAPL southern states in Duluth, GA and totaled 1234.6lbs raw at 190.5lbs. I also set some records statewide (bench, squat, and Overall total) for my class.
I started bodybuilding because I needed a new challenge. I needed a change and I needed to prove to myself that I could have abs and still be strong! (I hadn’t seen myself with abs before I stepped on stage for the first time in July of 2011) I’ve had friends in the industry that have always told me to compete because I had big legs, but I never really wanted to diet.
But one day I took the leap and got hooked seeing my body change. I went through a 14 week prep and ended up placing 2nd in my class, being the youngest kid there competing, 20 years old at the time. Shortly after that I was lucky enough to get sponsored by Beast Sports, and fast forward to today where I’m just weeks out from stepping back on stage with a bigger and better package thanks to them.
What do you love most about bodybuilding?
I love the fact that there is no finish line and you make your own destiny. Sure at the end of the day, unlike powerlifting where there is an objective, definitive total, there’s a subjective answer in the sport of bodybuilding - but if you’re bodybuilding for the judges, you’re already setting yourself up for failure. It’s a constant self-challenge, physically and mentally, and there’s no "end point" because there’s always room to improve.
What were the major milestones that gave you that "extra" motivation boost?
Picking up a sponsorship with Beast Sports in the fall of 2011 and getting to work with the company and other athletes at the Beast Booth at the Arnold Classic 2012 was a surreal experience. Networking and making friends within this industry all around this country and world and keeping in touch is a good feeling—also knowing you have friends in iron across this world that support you is pretty awesome.
What keeps you motivated?
Progress - this sport would be nothing without progress. You will never be the biggest or strongest or leanest for forever and there is always improvements to be made.
What are your future goals, dreams and plans?
Future goals are to be featured in a national fitness print magazine somewhere out there, to achieve an IFPA pro card, and to keep networking, motivating, and inspiring anyone and everyone who happens to stumble upon me.
What does your current training and split look like, and what do you like most about it?
Currently I’m prepping for a show and I’m on a 4 day split:
- Hamstring/Quads (I start with hamstrings first because my quads seem to dominate)
Sometimes I’ll throw an extra arm day if I feel like I need a good pump.
How often do you perform cardio?
I’m doing cardio 6 days a week right now, on the Stairmaster for 60 minutes a pop; before I was about 8 weeks out, I was doing 3 days of low intensity steady state and 2 days of high intensity interval sprints.
Do you supplement your weight training and cardio with any other physical activities?
I still have an inkling to go back into powerlifting during my upcoming offseason, but we will see. And a fun fact about me is that I was a cheerleader at the University of Georgia (I used to say I lift weights AND girls).
How often do you change your training routine, and do you periodize your training?
I listen to my body. If I’m getting stagnant, I change it. So no necessarily time period or periodization schedule. I’ll up the volume, lower the sets, the reps, up the weight, whatever it may take. The only thing that stays the same is the intensity at which I get after the weights.
Which do you prefer, and why…stead state cardio or HIIT?
They both have their place in this sport. Both an necessary evil. Either way, cardio sucks.
What are some of your best training tips for someone who just wants to look good and ripped, but doesn’t want to compete?
Set goals, even if it’s not to compete. Have something to work towards, if not you’re just going to stay stagnant in your training.
How important is progression of weight in some form, in the muscle building process?
Coming from a powerlifting background I have to say that it’s still important to me, but it’s not the most important as when I was training for solely strength. Find a balance - granted you might not be hitting a one rep max every week, but you still want to lift heavy as possible with some sort of volume to stimulate growth.
What are some of the most common mistakes made when someone is trying to build muscle and/or get ripped?
They focus too much on supplements and not enough on food. They’re called supplements for a reason: to SUPPLEMENT your nutrition that you get from whole foods.
What are your favorite 5 muscle building exercises and why?
- Squat - People ask me how I got big legs and the only real response I can give is heavy squatting for 6 years. No amount of leg extensions and curls will get you a set of wheels like squatting.
- Deadlift - Deadlifting is a total body, central nervous system shocker. It induces growth like no other and it will get you that thickness everyone looks for on stage.
- Incline Barbell Press - I was good at flat benching; I sucked hard at incline pressing. My chest was wide, but there was no thickness when I started bodybuilding. I started implementing the incline barbell press to start building that “upper shelf” that gives you that full look.
- Overhead Press - Right behind legs, shoulders are my favorite body part. An overhead press is a good way to build those shoulders into boulders and get your delts and overall arm appearance to pop.
- Pullups/dips (tied) - Nothing like moving your own bodyweight, and once you start moving your bodyweight, progress it by adding a weight belt. Plus it’s a good way to get a big back, chest, and arms.
What advanced training techniques work well for you?
Giant sets, supersets, and drop sets are great for my arms and shoulders. My arms were definitely a body part that lagged when I changed over to bodybuilding, and once I started to lift heavy and lift with volume with my arm work, they started to grow.
What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?
Right now, even during contest prep, I make sure I have 50g carbs (from oats) and 50g of protein (from Beast Sports Beast Whey).
What does your off-season bulking (eating) plan look like?
I make sure I eat for my body to build muscle, but I also am not afraid to splurge. The way I treat off-season is like this: eat like you’re on contest prep, your 6-10oz of protein, get your good carbs in at every meal, and on top of that add your guilty pleasures and extra calories. This does two things:
- It makes sure you get the good stuff your body needs to build.
- Hopefully after you eat your regular meals, you won’t be as likely to keep over splurging on your cheat foods.
But it is offseason, so calories are up - just keep track of your macros as well.
What does your cutting (eating) plan look like?
- Upon waking: ¼ oats, 5 egg whites, 1 whole egg.
- Meal 1/post cardio: 6oz chicken, veggies, ¼ cup nuts.
- Meal 2: 6oz chicken, veggies, ¼ cup nuts.
- Meal 3/pre-workout meal: 5oz chicken, 50g of carbs (from brown rice or sweet potatoes).
- Meal 4/post-workout shake: 50g protein 50g carbs.
- Meal 5: 6oz chicken, veggies, ¼ cup nuts.
How do you prepare meals? Do you cook daily or cook for the week?
I cook my first meal daily, and I cook my rice daily as well. I mass cook my protein, be it chicken, turkey, fish, etc, usually on Sundays and just Tupperware it. That way I can just take it out from the fridge, weigh it out, and go.
What are your favorite cheat meals and foods?
Right now I’m particularly craving an Elvis Burger (peanut butter, banana, bacon double cheese burger). I’m also a fan of good old fashion southern home cooking (i.e. fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, corn, etc). I’m also a huge fan of brownies and cheesecake.
What are some of your best diet, nutrition and supplementation tips for someone who wants to look good and ripped?
People say it’s 70% nutrition, 30% training. I say it’s 100% nutrition and 100% training. You have to take your nutrition just as seriously as your training if you want to make serious gains.
What does your current supplementation plan look like?
- Beast Sports Amphetalean (pre-cardio) – energy/focus/fat burner/thermogenic
- Beast Sports 2 Shredded – Contest prep caliber fat burner/thermo
- Beast Sports Creature – Creatine
- Beast Sports Beast Mode – Preworkout
- Beast Sports Predator – Preworkout
- Beast Sports BCAA capsules– BCAA pills
- Beast Sports Aminolytes – BCAA/Electrolyte intra/post workout drink
- Beast Sports Whey – Protein Powder
What are some of your favorite supplements and why?
Beast Sports Amphetalean actually makes cardio tolerable. The newest form was just released as a powder, flavored “Orange Cool”-- with its great taste, fast energy, fast thermo effects, as well as the focus factor it gives when I’m slaving away on the stairs. Beast Sports Aminolytes is also a staple for me as well - keeps my energy up intra-workout.
Beast Sports Creature, probably Beast’s most popular product, is their most popular product for a reason - because it’s one of the best creatine sources in the industry. It also comes in 2 forms, powder, which mixes very well and tastes great, as well as capsule form, which is super convenient to carry around.
Which athletes do you admire any why?
Of course the pioneers of bodybuilding: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Sergio Oliva, Robby Robinson, Brian Buchanan, Lee Haney, Franco Columbo. As well as the more recent: Evan Centopani, Jay Cutler, Phil Heath, Ronnie Rockel.
Bodybuilder/Chef Christian Coronato, my coach, but more importantly my good friend in this sport. Also a huge fan of the newest division in the sport, Women’s Physique. I love the balance of feminine muscularity it showcases (shout out to my good friend and IFBB Pro Jill Reville!)
Workout music – Don’t care, or MP3 player?
Must have for me, especially during cardio and the commercial gyms I train at... I can’t squat heavy to Katy Perry and lady gaga (no offense to either). A Day to Remember is my go to “pump-up” music as well as Eminem. Other than that I could listen thousands of artists.
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
- “Wor(C)k—Own what you do. The Copyright symbol in the word represents ownership. Whatever ‘work’ is for you: own it... it’s growth, it’s progress: not by leaps and bounds, but inch by inch and pound by pound” - Josh Halladay.
- “Bigger than yesterday, Smaller than tomorrow” – G. Diesel.
If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?
All my blogs and sample writing (both fitness and motivation) that I’ve done for Beast Sports:
- Blog: http://www.beastblogger.com/?s=danny
- Facebook - My “Beast Sports Athlete Page”: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Danny-Quach-Beast-Sports-Athlete/264370466994656
- Here’s my Youtube channel with samples of video logs, Q&A’s, and lifting videos: http://youtube.com/user/dquachinator
- And I’m also on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DANIMAL_Beast
What attracts you to the natural side of sports and competition?
At the end of the day, it’s 100% me and how I sculpt my body... building it up and breaking it down through nutrition and lifting the iron.
Favorite activities and hobbies you enjoy when away from the gym?
Writing (motivational as well as poetry), blogging (recently been getting into video blogging or “vlogging”), hanging out with my family and friends.
Movies and TV shows you’ve enjoyed recently?
My favorite TV shows are It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Arrested Development, Big Bang Theory, Futurama, and more recently Adventure Time with Jake and Finn.
Which college or professional sports teams do you root for?
UGA of course… GO DAWGS, SIC EM!