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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Dana Linn Bailey: Health Icon

Interview by Ron Harris

Dana Linn Bailey, identified merely as DLB to her thousands and thousands of followers and followers, cast a novel path for herself in our business as an athlete who grew to become an entrepreneur and in the end an icon who transcended our little world and gained mainstream attraction to thousands and thousands of younger girls over the world whom she impressed. Although she solely competed briefly as knowledgeable, Dana embraced social media and YouTube from the beginning and used these platforms to unfold her messages of feminine empowerment and loving your physique whether or not or not you match the cultural beliefs on the time. I sat down and spoke with Dana about why she retired, if she is going to ever compete once more, the unending “natty or not” debate that’s all the time surrounded her, and her not too long ago becoming a member of the group at complement powerhouse Redcon1.

Dana, you had been the primary girl to earn a professional card in Ladies’s Physique, and also you had been additionally the primary Ladies’s Physique Olympia champion. However after taking second place to Juliana Malacarne the subsequent yr on the Olympia after which second once more to her on the Arnold the next spring, you by no means competed once more. Why did you stroll away from the stage so quickly?

Most individuals don’t notice I had been competing for 10 years at that time. As an beginner I might do 4 or 5 reveals a yr. That slowed down as soon as I turned professional. I gained the primary Olympia, acquired second at the second, and getting second place was the perfect factor that might have occurred to me. I do know it sounds bizarre. I really like profitable and being first was superior, however I began placing numerous pointless stress on myself. Satirically, I regarded higher on the second Olympia after I took second. After I misplaced the title, I believed all the things was over, my entire world was going to collapse. I assumed everybody would comply with the winner, that all the things revolved round being onstage and profitable. Rob and I had been each like, now what? What can we do now? We went again to the expo and there was a five-hour lengthy line to satisfy me, and I noticed nobody gave a fuck that I’d misplaced. That was an awesome factor to appreciate. Individuals weren’t there as a result of I had been first place. They had been there for me lengthy earlier than that. They loved watching me compete and watching my journey on YouTube, not as a result of I’d gained. It was virtually a aid figuring out that.

The evolution of bodybuilding is a pure factor. I used to be getting higher, however everybody else was getting greater and tougher on the identical time. I acquired second once more to Juliana on the Arnold, and he or she regarded superb. After that, Rob and his brother Drew sat down with me, and we had a gathering. Bodybuilding adjustments you, for the nice but in addition in different methods. I don’t have an consuming dysfunction, however it may make you consider meals and coaching in another way. After 10 years of competing, I felt like a robotic that solely cared concerning the health club and consuming. We might go on trip, and I’d be frightened about coaching and consuming clear the entire time. Rob mentioned Dana, you’ve acquired to dwell a bit! He instructed me he wished his spouse again. He wished to have the ability to take me out to dinner with out me having to leap up on a StairMill after we acquired dwelling. I did eat a wholesome, balanced food regimen, however there was nonetheless a bit little bit of loopy happening. He requested me to take a break and see what occurs. It was solely going to be a couple of yr. The yr after that, I simply couldn’t get my head again in it. We already had Flag Nor Fail, after which I began my very own enterprise DLB Each day, the place I give out completely different exercises and applications each week. Now we have them for dumbbells solely, body weight solely, full gear, and so on. We do challenges, and I give substantial quantities of cash away. I’m capable of assist change individuals’s lives as a result of I’m not engulfed in competing. After I’d been away three years, I noticed I couldn’t return. The division had modified a lot in that point. Right here we’re, virtually 10 years later. I’m in the perfect form of my life, wholesome and completely satisfied. I really feel very lucky. Finally I spotted the stage isn’t the place you make your cash. It’s only a platform. I’m very grateful to the IFBB Professional League for that platform, however it’s what you do offstage that units up your future.

I truthfully really feel that had you saved competing, you by no means would have turn into the “DLB” phenomenon that you just did. You traveled the world and had 1000’s of followers ready to satisfy you in all places you went. You opened up a health club and did so many issues. I feel you’ll have missed out on so many alternatives in case your life had purely revolved round your exercises, cardio, and meals. The irony is that most individuals assume competing and profitable is the holy grail, the one path to success.

Competing was an awesome expertise, and I all the time say that bodybuilding has taught me a lot about myself. I can faucet into and go locations that not many individuals can. Each present you do, you’re like, I don’t assume I can do that. Then you definitely come out the opposite facet and it’s, holy shit, I did it! I realized a lot about coaching, weight-reduction plan and vitamin and now I’m capable of share all that with individuals.

Have you ever ever been tempted to compete once more?

I’ve by no means used the phrase “retired,” as a result of there’s a foolish a part of me that all the time thinks, possibly. I do have a look at myself now and I’m in higher form now than I’ve ever been. I type of want to see what I’d seem like. I’m turning 40 in a number of weeks and I nonetheless assume, possibly only one extra time.

You’ll be eligible for the Masters Olympia in August. Did anybody attain out to you from that occasion?

No, however for me, I would wish about 30 weeks to prep for a present.

Severely? You all the time look fairly lean to me. I’d guess you’re by no means greater than 12 weeks out when it comes to situation.

It takes a very long time for me to get my legs dialed in. We will speak concerning the “pure or not” topic later, however I’ve been competing naturally my complete life. I don’t begin seeing the deep cuts in my legs come out till I’ve already been weight-reduction plan for 25 weeks.

All of the divisions change and evolve over time. Males’s Physique execs now are thrice the dimensions they began out at. The distinction between you and the perfect girls in Ladies’s Physique like Natalia Coelho and Sarah Villegas is big. When you wished to do properly at present, that’s the kind of look you would wish to deliver to the stage.

There’s simply no method I may seem like that. I’m very real looking with myself. A part of me would like to go up there and never even care that I’d be the smallest and much from probably the most shredded. I’d simply need to get previous figuring out I might be standing subsequent to them and the way I might examine. I’d simply need to have the angle that it’s superb, who cares? I’m certified for all times as a previous Olympia winner. However the previous ego would most likely really feel a bit insufficient.

It additionally begs the query, is it higher to focus all of your time and vitality for months to look nice on in the future, or have a extra balanced and productive life and look actually good on a regular basis such as you do?

That’s the best factor about not competing. I by no means did the bulking factor anyway. You’ve seen me in any respect kinds of occasions through the years and I’m all the time in form. I didn’t even do bodybuilding the “proper method” by taking time so as to add numerous dimension. As soon as I turned professional in 2012, I felt I wanted to look skilled always. I by no means wished individuals to see footage of me onstage after which meet me in particular person and say, “she doesn’t even seem like that in actual life.” Competing is excessive. You’ve taking place to the bottom physique fats potential, then you definately flip round within the low season and acquire a bunch of weight. I by no means did that. I’ve seen women who gained 30 kilos inside a month or two after competing. Going up and down in weight like that isn’t wholesome. Staying in form truly acquired simpler for me as soon as I finished competing, as a result of there was no extra fluctuation. I used to food regimen for 30 weeks after which lose that peak look in a number of days after the present. I’d quite look good and be wholesome year-round. At 5-4, I keep proper at 135 kilos.

OK, right here we go on the “natty or not” debate. You’ve been accused of utilizing PEDs and being a “faux natty” for a few years. I defend you despite the fact that you don’t want me to only as a result of I’ve been round so lengthy and know the telltale indicators. You’ve regarded the best way you do for properly over a decade now, and your look doesn’t change a lot. You put up new images and video content material on a regular basis. I’ve by no means seen any drastic adjustments in muscle dimension or power in all these years as you’ll anticipate with anybody who cycles on and off PEDs. And had you been on even reasonable doses of medicine this entire time, there could be adjustments to issues like your voice, hairline, pores and skin texture, and so forth. I’ve identified many ladies whose voice and look modified over time attributable to PEDs. Truthfully, if I believed you had been a liar or a faux natty I wouldn’t have even introduced this up. I don’t benefit from placing individuals on the spot or making them really feel uncomfortable. So, does this entire topic annoy you, amuse you, what?

It makes individuals so indignant, and I used to get actually upset about it as a result of I knew I wasn’t mendacity. Individuals actually hated me as a result of they thought I used to be. It bothered me till I believed, you understand, I should be doing one thing proper if I can seem like I’m on steroids with out being on them. The explanation I’m so vocal about it, I don’t care what anybody does. I actually don’t. You are able to do all of the medicine on the earth if you would like. They simply don’t make sense in a feminine physique. You’re placing a bunch of male hormones into a girl’s physique, which isn’t presupposed to have greater than a miniscule quantity. You’ll begin morphing into a person. I don’t care who will get upset listening to that. You are able to do what you need along with your physique, I don’t care. I don’t like after I hear that coaches inform girls, if you wish to seem like Dana Linn Bailey, listed here are the steroids you will want to make use of. False! How about working onerous for 10 years? I’ve been an athlete since I used to be 5 years previous. I performed six sports activities and performed soccer in faculty. Then I acquired into lifting, and I’ve been coaching onerous for over 17 years now. I skilled a minimal of six days per week, usually seven, and my food regimen was constant. If I can change one lady’s determination to begin utilizing PEDs, then cool. I’ve achieved my half. I’d like to alter extra minds than that. Doing it naturally simply takes longer. It’s a must to be extra constant and affected person. It’s not one thing you do in a single day or in a few months. It’s years and years. It’s been 17 years and I’m nonetheless solely 135 kilos!

I feel lots of people get butthurt seeing nice pure physiques and assuming they’re liars as a result of they don’t perceive that there are individuals such as you who’re extra genetically gifted than common. Then when these individuals practice very onerous for years, they give the impression of being unimaginable. I’ve seen you practice in particular person a number of instances, and only a few individuals, males or girls, can sustain with you within the health club. I’ve seen you hit what I believed was failure on lateral raises, and the rattling set goes on for an additional 5 minutes!

I’ve skilled with many of the prime bodybuilders on the earth. Jose Raymond give up on me midway via the exercise! Kai Greene was one of many few who may hold. Usually, the ladies may hold with me as a result of we usually have extra endurance. I really like coaching and I thrive on quantity and depth. I feel if I even touched a bit bit of medicine, I might have been on the identical stage as Iris Kyle. Once more, I don’t care what guys take. These are male hormones. And I wish to see the freaks up there in bodybuilding, like Ronnie Coleman and Kai Greene. I’m additionally glad now we have Ladies’s Bodybuilding for them and for many who are followers of that. I simply by no means wished to go that route.

Let’s transfer on to some new, thrilling information. You had been not too long ago signed by Redcon1 which I truthfully thought would have occurred a few years in the past. I do know you and Rob have been mates with Aaron for a very long time, so how did you lastly get on board along with his firm?

That’s humorous, we hold saying we should always have achieved this a very long time in the past! Again when he had Blackstone, we began our personal complement line referred to as Run Every thing, and he was part of it to start with. We purchased him out a few years later and we had that firm for a minimum of eight years. A few years in the past, we realized that despite the fact that we had nice merchandise, it was nonetheless simply one other complement model. We did a complete rebranding to give attention to girls in sports activities. The complement business has all the time been targeted on males. I keep in mind way back making an attempt to get a sponsor, and we weren’t paid the identical as the lads. Why not have a model devoted to the feminine athletes, to offer them a platform and share their tales. It was nice, however over the previous yr Rob and I needed to admit we had an excessive amount of on our plates and we couldn’t give the corporate the like it deserves. We’ve identified Aaron for 15 years. I wished to see Run Every thing in Goal and Walmart, however I don’t have the bandwidth. Aaron has an enormous workers and all these connections. He supplied to purchase Run Every thing and make it develop. On the identical time, he needs Redcon1 to develop, so he introduced me in to assist in that space. I really like all their merchandise. They’ve a a lot greater line than Run Every thing, and I’m excited to be a part of such a giant model. I used to be with a giant model a very long time in the past, however they didn’t know what to do with me. They complained individuals had been having a tough time attending to their cubicles at expos as a result of there have been too many followers ready to satisfy me! I’m pumped to be a part of a very large model that “will get me.”

What are your favourite Redcon1 merchandise?

I really like BIG NOISE, their non-stim “pump” pre-workout. I already drink method an excessive amount of espresso, so I don’t want so as to add any extra caffeine on prime of that. The MRE RTDs and bars style so good. I wish to attempt their greens product, GI JUICE, as a result of I’m all about well being. Their protein powders are superb, and when you haven’t tried their MRE PROTEIN MUFFINS but, you don’t know what you’re lacking. They’re fucking incredible! The one factor I’ve to go straightforward on is their pre-workout, TOTAL WAR. I do half a scoop and it’s insane. Even opening up the can, the vapors that come off the powder make me cough! However for anybody who needs an actual kick for his or her exercises, TOTAL WAR would do the trick.

To wrap this up, let’s discuss your future. You’ve already achieved and completed a lot in lower than 40 years on earth. What do you continue to wish to do earlier than it’s all mentioned and achieved?

I’ve achieved loads of seminars and interviews, however I’ve by no means achieved knowledgeable, hour-long presentation or speech with simply me onstage. I did my first one a couple of month in the past at Coach Con in Atlanta, the place coaches from all disciplines come to be taught. They requested me to talk, and I used to be like, what? Simply go up there and speak? I used to be so nervous that I broke out in hives a few days earlier than. It’s bizarre as a result of I’m so snug in entrance of individuals and on digital camera. I’ve achieved seminars everywhere in the world. Q and A? Straightforward-peasy for me. For some purpose, this scared the shit out of me. I believed I used to be simply gonna go up there and freeze. However I went up and instructed my story. I had my speaking factors, and I acquired via it. After I acquired dwelling, I believed, possibly that is my subsequent factor. Possibly that is what I do now. I do have an inspirational story that individuals can relate to. I went via numerous self-doubt and physique dysmorphia and hated my physique for thus lengthy. Then I threw myself right into a sport that’s all about my physique being judged! Not getting breast implants was an enormous a part of that. I made the issues I hated most about my physique into the issues I’m the proudest of. I wish to train individuals the best way to get there. I really feel I’ve one thing to say that may assist others, and that’s my new journey. Over the past 9 years since I finished competing, I felt like one thing was lacking, that there was a void in my life as a result of I’m a competitor at coronary heart. That’s what I’m, that’s all I do know. After doing that speech and folks coming as much as me afterwards, I felt that very same success the stage used to offer me.

Instagram @danalinnbailey

YouTube: DanaLinnBailey







‘I really like all their merchandise. I’m pumped to be a part of a very large model that ‘will get me.’ -Dana Linn Bailey

For extra info, go to redcon1.com

Ron Harris acquired his begin within the bodybuilding business throughout the eight years he labored in Los Angeles as Affiliate Producer for ESPN’s “American Muscle Journal” present within the Nineties. Since 1992 he has revealed practically 5,000 articles in bodybuilding and health magazines, making him probably the most prolific bodybuilding author ever. Ron has been coaching because the age of 14 and competing as a bodybuilder since 1989. He lives along with his spouse and two kids within the Boston space. Fb Instagram

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