👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Danae Vasileiadou and I am 32 years old. I was born and raised in Greece and moved to New York, which was a dream of mine, 7.5 years ago. I have been a swimming instructor for about 16 years and a personal trainer for the past three. I was a professional swimmer most of my life and had some European and world distinctions.
When I moved to New York, due to working seven days a week for 10 – 12 hours, I didn’t have much time to workout or work with what I loved. As soon as my life became a bit more steady, I started spending time working on myself again, fell in love with fitness all over again and got a certification as a personal trainer hoping to share my passion and knowledge with others.
I believe that fitness needs to be in everyone’s life more or less. It is very important to treat our body with love and respect and be able to feel good in it. As soon as we start seeing the results of our work, we build self-confidence and with that we can be unstoppable in every area in our life.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
My workouts usually are separated in a 12-week period. I believe that in order to get the best results you have to follow a workout plan with a beginning, a middle and an end. This gives you the ability to cover all muscle groups, know in advance what your day looks like and also challenges you more.
Typically, I split my sessions in lower body and upper body, resistance training five to six times a week. I don’t do much cardio but I do try to get enough steps daily. The most successful program I have done is planned that way, focusing on progressive overload.
I train at powerhouse gym and I always prefer to workout alone. I don’t like to get distracted during my workout plus I can’t afford to waste too much time at the gym.
I don’t take a lot of supplements but I do include my protein powder daily from 1rst Phorm.
Currently, I am 30 weeks pregnant so I am modifying my plans a lot. I still try and do a five-day split with less weight and I have added long walks whenever weather allows it, since the gyms are closed at the moment.
I changed my supplementation as well. I currently use protein powder from Truvani and Twenty2 Nutrition, a prenatal vitamin, some extra iron and calcium to ensure I am giving my body and my baby what it needs.
It has been more challenging, during a pandemic, to follow a proper workout schedule but I am doing my best and taking everything day by day. As long as we have a functioning body, we have a gym. The options are endless even without access to all equipment.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
It is common that the motivation comes and goes. I always believe that discipline is more important than motivation. A few hacks that I use for myself and for clients are:
- Creating a schedule (find the days and the hours that work for you and put them in your calendar. If you let it lose, it is easier to come up with excuses daily to skip your workout)
- Take progress pictures. We are always the hardest judges to ourselves so seeing results printed in pictures instead of just our mirror is working miracles.
- Repeat this: You don’t have to workout. You get to workout. It is a blessing being able to move your body and you are doing this just for you. Not for your trainer, not for family or friends.
- Surround yourself with people that support your goals.
- If you are having a bad day, change your routine , listen to your body. Do something more relaxing like yoga, stretching or even take a long walk outside. It will feel 100% better after you complete this.
- Set weekly or even daily goals instead of long term ones, so every day you feel like you conquered something. Long term goals will have you discouraged and frustrated.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
At the moment, I am 30 weeks pregnant and it has been very challenging for me. My pregnancy has been very difficult so I had to change not only my lifestyle but my mindset too. I am doing my best in working out almost every day despite the severe nausea. My workouts are home-based, due to the pandemic we are going through. I use dumbbells and my bands from Hope fitness gear.
My goals for the next years are to keep helping people, especially women, to reach their goals and create a community that will support them all the way. My goal is to educate my clients so they can keep having results for the rest of their lives, not just for the 12 weeks working with me.
In the next couple of years, we will probably be moving away from the city because we would love to have some outdoor space, or even back to Greece.
As soon as we settle in our next place, my goal is to invest in a small space that will host my clients alongside with some other ideas I have!
Knowledge around fitness never ends so I believe in keep educating myself for as long as I can. If I could change anything, it would be not being afraid to fail. Only through trial and fail comes knowledge and I can’t stress it enough.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
The best is to ideally avoid injuries in the first place. Following a plan, or even better investing into a professional to guide you through the proper way of exercising is very important. These days there is a lot of information online and it is crucial to understand that not all of it is good.
Everybody is different and what works for one won’t necessarily work for someone else. You have to learn to workout according to your body and your needs.
Rest plays an important role in avoiding injury. We have to understand that our bodies require rest in order to function properly. Excessive soreness is not a good thing. Sometimes we can’t reach our best abilities because we simply do too much. I could probably talk for days about this but if i can sum it up: Listen to your body, hydrate, eat a balanced diet and sleep if possible for eight hours.
Finding the right supplements will be beneficial to your recovery as well. I use from 1stphorm.com/GetFitWithDanae Level 1 Protein Powder and Ignition. Also, glutamine has helped me a lot.
On top of that, I am loyal to my cbd oil that has helped me so much with my sleep, anxiety and menstrual pains. It works wonders for recovery as well. I use oil from hempworx.com/Danaevas
My suggestion is you do get injured is to practice patience and take time to fully recover. Visit a specialist, follow instructions and do not rush to get back on track as you will be making it worse. Remember! There are always ways to workout around an injury. It doesn’t mean you have to lose all you worked for. Just make sure that you will do it the right way.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I do not follow any fad diet instead I preach about flexible dieting. Restricting yourself from things you love probably will result in failing. Nobody wants to be miserable and not enjoy their food.
Educating yourself about macros and learning how to properly fuel your body while enjoying foods you love is the key to success. I used to track my macros through @myfitnesspal. I don’t do it while pregnant but tracking gave me a great idea on how to eye – measure my meal intake.
Everything is about balance. People need to understand that there is no bad food. Like there is no “diet” that fits all. There is just less nutritious food and there is room for both. When we stop labeling food and instead understand the importance of calories our lives will change.
I am personally a foodie and I have a very sweet tooth so I learned how to create the things I love in my kitchen using healthy ingredients and not only I get more volume but I do get less calories as well! I have some of my power breakfast and dessert recipes on trainwithd.com/blog
Since I have been an athlete my whole life, I have tried a lot of supplements and changed a lot of companies during those years. The two that resonate with me the most are 1st Phorm and Hempworx and I stuck with them for the past two years.
My supplements change throughout my plans but my protein and cbd are all year round essentials.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
There are a lot of awesome people out there you just have to find the ones that resonate with you and share real information. Two of my top favorite fitness coaches out there are Bret Contreras and Mark Carol. They both have released books that you could easily find on their social media and they are amazing reads.
My personal results as well as my client’s results keep motivating me daily. When a client is happy because they finally get to enjoy food while crushing their goals or gets stronger daily and shares amazing transformation pictures I get more inspired to work harder.
In my free time, I still like to educate myself and read books about nutrition and workout. I feel that there is no limit to knowledge.
Best advice I got is to educate my clients instead of just trying to sell my service. I am much happier with a customer that will leave happy and knowledgeable and will recommend me to a few more over someone that will need me every step of the way because they are scared to workout alone.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Do it for you. If you try to do it for a boyfriend/ girlfriend, an occasion, etc. you will eventually fail. Fall in love with the process and do not seek overnight results. Nowadays people want to wake up stronger, leaner, skinnier, etc. without wanting to work for it and that has them falling for fad diets and “magic pills” that people are selling online.
A healthier you should be a lifestyle and it certainly is a journey that requires patience. Do not feel bad if you have to start from somewhere. Everyone has been a beginner before. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Find people that will help you and start somewhere.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
At the moment, due to the fact that we are going through a pandemic I train mostly online. The minimum plan I suggest is usually 12 weeks and it is fully personalized in everyone’s needs. I will probably stick to the online until a bit after my baby is born because it is more convenient.
My clients have a 24/7 access to me so even if they train on their own space they will never feel alone through the process. I make sure they check in with me with progress pictures as well as chats so I know how to modify their programs.
Most of my current clients are women with different goals. I do not take clients that want to compete but I can always suggest another professional for this.
Most of the women that approach me have an idea of what they want to look like but have a very wrong approach on how to achieve that so my role is to change their mindset not just their body. For example, they show me a picture of a well-trained woman but so far in order to achieve this they have been wasting hours in cardio and strict diets while they need to follow a very opposite approach to reach that goal.
Another common question I get is, if this resistance type of training will turn them into a female Arnold Schwarzeneggerr. The fear of becoming so musculus and usually that is a long process in order to convince them that this is impossible.