Talking Fitness with New Mom Danyelle Mastarone
Hi Danyelle, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us! First off, we have to congratulate you on your baby boy being born! How has life been since having the little bundle of joy?
DM: Thank you so much! I feel so blessed! Life has definitely changed A LOT, but it’s all for the better. Dante is my number one priority, so it takes some clever juggling to balance all of the other parts of my life.
Q: Is getting back into a normal training routine hard after having a baby?
DM: I’m not going to lie, it is absolutely a challenge getting back into what was previously my “normal” training routine or a typical bodybuilding training routine. My new “normal” is still giving it my all in the gym, but accepting the fact that “my all” is not what it used to be; I don’t have the strength and endurance I had before.
Q: What’s your number one tip for new moms/soon-to-be moms about shedding the baby weight?
DM: First of all, don’t be so hard on yourself! (With that being said, it isn’t always easy to follow your own advice). I’m not saying you have an “excuse” to carry that extra weight, but I am saying give yourself adequate time to lose it. It took you 9 months to put it on, it isn’t going to disappear on your way home from the hospital. I don’t endorse going on a strict diet, but at the same time, you want to make sure you are continuing to eat whole, clean foods. My rule is always, if you are going to indulge in a treat, plan it, eat it slowly and enjoy every bite. It’s always the calories you don’t even realize you ate that will destroy your progress, hence the planning.
Q: I know it didn’t take you long to get rid of the baby weight; so now what’s the next goal you intend to achieve?
DM: Well thank you for noticing! I have to credit my healthy pregnancy for that, and the amazing genes from my own mother! But to answer your question, I definitely want to get on stage this year. I am shooting for a few shows in the late fall. In the meantime I have some short-term goals focused on regaining my strength. I WILL do pull-ups again!
Q: You’ve talked about getting back up on the figure stage; what type of nutrition plan/training program are you following to help get you there?
DM: Right now my focus is on actually eating enough protein to fuel my workouts and to help me put back on the muscle I lost during pregnancy. I ate a clean, healthy diet while pregnant, but it was far from the protein rich, 6 meals a day plan of a bodybuilder. I can’t believe the same person who struggled to diet is the same person saying this, but there were days when Dante was first born that I would have to remind myself to eat. Ask any new mom, when you have the choice between eating or sleeping, you choose sleep! Now that I am back at work and on a more structured schedule, I am eating 5 meals each day, all including a protein source.
As far as training, I started off just going to the gym and rotating between upper body and lower body. No set days or amount of workouts per week, I just went when I had the time or energy. I then moved on to a push/pull rotation and focused a little more on specific muscle groups. I also snuck in a lot of at home workouts while Dante was napping or after my husband would come home from work.
Q: What’s your favorite part about competing in figure?
DM: Definitely the glitz and the glam of being on stage. I love the hair, makeup and the sparkly suit!
Q: For someone new to competing in bodybuilding what would you tell them?
DM: I always advise anyone new to bodybuilding to first take an off-season. You want to slowly convert the way you eat and also build some muscle before you try to lean out for the stage. I did this before my very first show and it definitely helped me to be successful on my first endeavor!
Q: Besides stepping on stage do you have any PR’s you would like to hit in the gym?
DM: Pull-ups!!! Prior to pregnancy I could easily do 15 pull-ups, so that is definitely something I am working towards.
Q: How has PEAK ATP helped you in your training?
DM: PEAK ATP has been so valuable in my post-pregnancy training. Although I continued to lift and train during pregnancy, I wasn’t exactly throwing the weights around. Because weights that used to be a warm-up are now heavy, every workout is taxing. Even though I am really pushing myself, I don’t have the sense of fatigue or soreness that you would expect from the intensity of my workouts.
Q: Any other shout outs you would like to throw out there?
DM: I would like to thank both Team HMB and Team PEAK for not only providing me with great supplements, but also for all of the well wishes and support during my pregnancy and the early days of motherhood. In addition to these amazing companies, I want to also thank Reaction Nutrition. Not only did they sign me while I was still pregnant, but together we are going to chronicle my journey as a fit mom back to the stage. And finally, I want to thank Shawn’s Couture Cuties for selecting me as one of the first sponsored athletes and making sure I am perfectly glitzed and glammed for the stage!
I am so honored to represent all of these amazing companies and to have them in my corner during my comeback year!
Thanks Danyelle for talking with us today and we wish you the best of luck in reaching all of your fitness goals!