HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH FITNESS/BODYBUILDING?

I’ve always been active playing basketball and soccer competitively when I was younger. As time went on my friends went down a not so healthy path which made me decide to take up another sport so I tried weight lifting.

I absolutely fell in love with it. The great feeling you get when your muscles get pumped up when working out coupled with the fantastic stress release and confidence attained, are all benefits of bodybuilding.
The structure and discipline bodybuilding has taught me has been very valuable in all aspects of my life. It teaches you the importance of determination, commitment and success achieved through challenge. Of course, it’s a great feeling to be in shape as well.

WHAT IS IT THAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED?

I have always had this high standard for myself. I’m never satisfied with just being good. I always aim to be great in everything I do and am continually looking for the next big challenge.
I receive a vast amount of feedback from others telling me what an inspiration I am to them, as well as how helpful I have been to them achieving a better health and lifestyle. This truly pushes me to continue on, when I know how much of an impact I’m having on so many others to be healthy.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WORKOUT LOOK LIKE?

I wish I could answer this with one straight answer. My routine has evolved into such a variety of structures, which I found to be most beneficial. It all depends on how I’m feeling and how I’m looking.
With weights it might incorporate pyramid style sets, drop sets, super sets, rest/pause, high volume, full range, partial range, slower on the negative … I could go on and on. Even some power lifting type exercises from time to time. I have found for my physique to continue progressing, I need to change up my routine often. I am a big fan of free weights more often than machines however.
Same goes with cardio. Sometimes it’s slow paced the whole session, or high intensity interval training, or whether cardio is completed in the morning, night, or even after weights sometimes. I always mix it up.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DIET LOOK LIKE?

That’s another question that can’t be answered with a simple breakdown of what food types to eat everyday and the serving sizes. It all depends on how my physique is looking and the number of weeks before a competition.
I can give you an idea of the types of foods I eat. For protein sources, I tend to stick with chicken, eggs, egg whites, lean ground turkey, extra lean ground beef, ground chicken, tilapia, salmon, steak and whey protein shakes.
For carbohydrates, I tend to go for white potato, sweet potato, rice cakes, white or brown rice, raw oatmeal, and even whole grain bread. Lastly for fats, I tend to stick to omega 3 liquid, coconut oil, natural peanut butter, natural almond butter, and raw almonds.
Again, these are all just a guideline, as sometimes I will stray into other food types if necessary.

HOW DO YOU FIND CUTTING FOR COMPETITIONS AND ANY ADVICE FOR NEWBIE’S?

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I’ve adapted to be very strict for competitions now. Going on to my 9th show in a few months I’ve certainly become comfortable with a precise food plan. My advice for newbie’s first and foremost is to have somebody with experience guiding you.

I’ve seen too many times a 1st time competitor that had no help in their contest preparation come into the show unprepared and not satisfied with their end result because of it.

2nd piece of advice I’d give for newbie’s is to remember “one day at a time”. Bodybuilding is a sport of progress and you are simply not going to go from an ‘average Joe’ physique to the biggest, most shredded athlete in the world in 12 weeks. It simply won’t happen.

Bodybuilding is a patient sport and over the years of being structured and disciplined you will see tremendous results in all aspects.

IF YOU HAD TO PICK 3 FAVORITE EXERCISES WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

That’s a tough question, but if I had to pick just 3, the three that come to mind first are preacher curls, one arm dumbbell rows, and dumbbell chest press.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENT SO FAR IN FITNESS/BODYBUILDING?

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I have had many tremendous moments from winning competitions, having a great company with FUSION Bodybuilding sponsoring and supporting me (http://fusionbodybuilding.com), to being featured in the media.
The next moment I’m looking forward to, is that I will be the athlete representing Canada at the IFBB World Men’s Classic competition in Bulgaria at the end of November 2012.

DO YOU BULK AND CUT OR DO YOU STAY LEAN ALL YEAR ROUND?

I have actually done both strategies. I find being a natural bodybuilder that I’ve found bulking for the off season is great but not to go too far off the mark.
Staying within 20 to 25 pounds of contest weight at max I’ve been able to achieve the best results without the risk of adding too much body fat. Adding too much weight can make the contest prep significantly more challenging which can be risky for timing and peaking properly for contest day.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH CRAVINGS FOR JUNK FOODS, SALTY FOODS AND SWEETS?

I usually suggest sugar free gum, or diet pop etc. when I’m asked this question. But since I steer away from those temptations and have for quite a long time, I find the cravings simply go away.
Back when I used to crave junk food in my earlier training years, I would remind myself of the goals I have set out and how important they are. Having 30 seconds of satisfaction is no where near worth it when you take into account all the sacrifice of eating properly and training hard.

HAVE YOU HAD TO FACE ANY ROADBLOCKS OR OBSTACLES ON YOUR JOURNEY AND IF SO, HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?

Challenges are all a part of bodybuilding. Whether it’s a lagging body part I’m focusing on, an injury that I’ve had to deal with, a judge’s opinion I disagree with, I’ve had many obstacles to overcome.
The best way and only way to deal with them to move forward is to be positive. This might sound typical but it truly is the most efficient way to deal with struggles. Take it with a positive attitude and strive to make it better the best you can.

FUN QUICK QUESTIONS FOR OUR READERS:

Favourite color? Blue
Favourite food? Steak
Favourite TV Show? CSI
Favourite movie? The Avengers
Favourite Band/Singer? Akon
Do you have any pets? Many people see me as being a dog owner. But I actually have 4 cats.

FINAL WORDS?

I’m a huge ambassador of natural bodybuilding, health and fitness. My goal is to inspire and help others become, and be, healthy. Please contact me with any questions you may have and join my Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.

HOW TO REACH DAN GREFFORD:

You can reach Dan and stay up to date with any news related to dan at: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube

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