We talked with Deniz Saypinar in January, 2020.
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hi! I”m Deniz and I”m 25 years old. I”m from Turkey and I am staying in California for now.
I have been doing Online Coaching and Personal Coaching for 7 years professionally. I also have my own personal sports product company and I sell waist trainers. I also doing competitor coaching.
I originally studied econometry but I left at the 3rd year of school. Numbers have never been good for me and also there were many problems with the government and all the students were protesting the government and I couldn’t stay in that violence. I”m a sensitive person already.
However, that wasn’t the main point because I always love to stay in movement and use my energy.
I have started to compete seven years ago and I have done 27 competitions including Arnold Classic Ohio Amateur second place. I”m also the first Turkish Woman in IFBB history who could get PRO status.
I have many achievements. There is only one competition I got back home without a trophy. I won Olympia Amateur Europe and I became World 2nd place champion and before this year I became 4th place 5th place.
Also, I have done many competitions in Europe many of them was top 2 and after Pro Card, I have completed 9 times and most of them were second place and 4 and for once I got 5th place.
Then I got qualifications for First World Pro Championship but because of government issues, I couldn’t go and compete there.
After all that I decided to change my federation and I”m in prep for the first competition of the Olympia Stage journey.
I have been training for 8 years and I have never worked with any coach or nutritionist, circumstances were always hard for me but whatever I have done I have done on my own.
I always coached myself so that is one of the reasons why my clients are happy.
I can literally say that sport saved my life. My childhood was so hard and my parents were working when I was a child. Their issues were affecting me deeply and that was causing mental pressure on me.
I was having more anxiety than excepted. I was a child and my energy was normal and I decided to turn that into healthy energy for my life.
I started with Muay Thai. That is one of the best sport you can choose if you are feeling insecure inside but its also hard cardio and made me so skinny.
Being skinny made me feel more insecure and I wanted to look strong and also I wanted to feel strong. Bodybuilding was the best decision for this.
I have tried team sports like volleyball, but because I have leader personality, I don”t want to be in a team if I don’t lead.
I have tried tennis and I guess It was the most enjoyable sport I have ever done! I will be interested in it professionally after Olympia. 🙂
I have an artistic side as well. I used to draw surrealistic pictures which were really liked by people and I have been exhibiting them.
My music ear also improved more than ordinary people. I used to be able to play flute without music sheets. It was enough for me to hear the melody.
I used to do theatre as well. I have played for a few games but it”s so hard to remember all the scenes and keep them in your mind.
My biggest hobbies are to dance and watching movies. I”m also so interested in books a lot!
Whatever I do, I would like to do professionally then I can work motivated and effectively.
I have 117k followers at the moment and I have a powerful connection with them because those people are my motivation and like my family.
Sometimes I feel really down and they always keep me motivated. What does it mean?
That means they really trust me and are interested in what I promote for them! I”m the first woman athlete from Turkey who could be at FIBO.
I used to work with Olimp Labs. I have never worked with any brand just for money because I can”t be fake and I can”t promote the brands I don”t believe in.
If I decide to deal with a brand, it means we got team spirit and I will promote their product as like it was my product.
Also, I would like to say that there are many companies around that are cheating people. In my eyes my followers deserve to have the best quality products.
As you know, our mind is like the main card or main controller for the whole body system. Every single muscle like the key to any door in our mind.
If I don’t train my leg this week I will forget many things. That’s how bodybuilding is for me. Everything. Life.
I usually train alone because this is making me able to focus better, but I can”t say I like it so much. I don’t have a partner, unfortunately.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
Wow. I just don’t know from where to start to explain this.
First of all, training is like keys and opening doors of my mind to live the best life. As long as I train my body it makes me feel like I”m much more alive than anybody else.
This is my huge connection with the universe and almost equal to worship every day.
The days I don’t train, it makes me feel I lost one of my days to become better. Scientifically, it”s not obvious but that’s how I feel about training.
I believe the muscle-mind connection and I use that secret of bodybuilding always. That’s how I have build my own body for 7 years.
Before I make it real, I imagined, then I wanted, then I illustrated to my mind and then I let my mind to coach me.
All workout styles and training splits I have done until now have been done that way. This is how my fitness philosophy works.
My training split, first of all: I”m training every day and my weightlifting workout takes most much 1 hour 20 minutes and then half-hour cardio.
I literally hate cardio but I”m really good at it.
I have really good records, especially in prep. I do twice cardio in day one hour morning one hour evening plus weightlifting.
I have a dominant back–biceps muscles genetically and I”m bikini competitor. So, I don’t train back and biceps a lot, I train them once per 2 weeks.
I have quads big enough so I usually focus on my glute, shoulder, and abs. I mostly trying to do low weight workouts but more functional to have more shredded muscles.
Basically, I train glute-hamstring 3 times in a week; one-time shoulder and rest of them abs, cardio functional training and try other different type of exercise.
For my glute workouts I focus on every single part of gluteus muscles at each workout. For example Monday mostly gluteus medius, Wednesday mostly hamstring and Maximus, Saturday minimus and mostly inner tight and medius.
But for now, I train twice glute in a week because I”m on prep and I have to focus more to get shredded.
Here are my glute workout plans and shoulder workout plan. My shoulder workouts usually consist of giant sets and or max repeats compact sets.
Glute plan – All of them 4 set max repeat
- Smith Machine Sumo Squat(slowly) + Smith Machine Close Leg Deadlift
- Barbell Hip Thrust(half movement top of the exercise angle) + High Strenght Circle Band Side Step (band on ankle)
- Cable Glute Side Kick + Prone Bench Hip Abduction
Glute plan 2 – All of them 4 set max rep, hamstring curl 5 set
- Barbell Stiff Deadlift Circle Band on Ankle (slowly) + Circle and Side Step Lunge
- Barbell Hip Thrust + Circle Band Hip Abduction
- Bend over Cable Glute Kick Back + High Strenght Band Alternative Clamshell Exercise
- Free Weight Alternative Hamstring Curl
Shoulder Workout – All exercises for 4 set max repeat
- Theraband Shoulder Circle Exercises for Warm-Up 3×25 for each side
- Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Z bar Wide Grip Upright Row + Dumbbell Lateral Raises
- Seated Smith Machine One Arm Shoulder Press + Dumbbell External Rotation
- Dumbbell Alternative Front Raises
- Plate Bus Driver
- Cable Overhead front raises
I have competed six-year almost none stop and I have had two time bulk season. Those two time bulk seasons were the hardest times of my life. I believe that you are definitely what you eat.
Being in the bulking season doesn’t mean that you can eat everything, just that you can eat more than you need normally in one meal. It also means you have to train harder.
Then you can damage your muscle cells more than normal, so the best tip about the bulking season is to eat more fish and potato than in season!
If you just finish your off-season, it”s not so hard to drop a few kg fats. But when your fat ratio is close to the limit it”s so hard to go forward. It”s been the hardest part ever for me.
Because you want to sculpt between the muscles and get shredded, it means you have to stay hungry and do more exercises.
Best 3 tips I can give you about prep:
- Trust your inner voice and try to meditate to get in contact with your body.
- Do not be afraid to eat more carb.
- Do fast low intensitive cardios but no longer than 60 minutes.
I prepare to workout like a professional athlete. I knew that it”s the most important part of my day and my priority is my workout.
I”m having a mental pre-workout before I sleep for the next day. And I do this again while I”m on the way to the gym. I do my breakfast, prepare my meals and my bag and I get my computer and book. Then I go to my gym.
I take my supplements and my meals with me as well. Before I leave home, I do face yoga and listen to music and planning the rest of the day. I never go to the gym without makeup and without dressing well.
This is my motivation. I always want to see myself look good and high class at the gym.
Basically, my gym bag is like my half home so I take by my side everything I might need:
- 1 apple for low blood sugar after training
- 1 scoop isolate whey
- 1 shot L carnitine
- Wipe for dirty gym bench LOL
- Hair Cream
- Tooth Brush–tooth pasta – Listerine
- My computer
- My waist trainer (I”m the owner of a waist trainer brand)
- My knee sleeves
- My Vlog Camera
- My tripod and selfie stick
- Backup underwear and Tshirt
- Notebook – Pencils
- Gym Shoes
- Special Hard Foam Roll
- Circle Bands
After Training I just go to the gym bar and get my supplements, talk on my social media and check my mails, talk with people and then eat my apple. Finally I go to the sauna for 20 minutes.
For my cardio, I usually use Stairmaster and I do it at high-level for a long time. Sometimes low intensitive but my body is used to it, so even high level feels normal 🙂
My favorite exercises: Smith Machine Sumo Squat and Hip Thrust 🙂
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
MOTIVATION. It must be my other name. What can I say? Success is not a choice for me, it”s necessary! Some people are born lucky, some people have to work more and push limits.
So, I”m the one who has to work more to get what I dreamt about for my future. I always listen to my inner voice and when I feel down, it starts to talk and says future is bright just keep working!
You should able to preach yourself when you are down and alone.
When I feel sad, I go to the gym and I know that I”ll be much happier than when I started. When I feel pissed off I go to the gym and when I finish my workout I will feel relieved.
When I feel insecure I go to the gym and while I finish my workout, I”m feeling unbeatable so why would I stop working out!
If you dream more than most people, you have to push more and harder than anybody else. I know what I want and I know the cost 🙂
If you make your workout your first priority, you will manage the rest of your day according to this no matter how.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
There are two parts of IFBB now. IFBB Pro League and IFBB Elite Pro. When I started to compete for IFBB, the federations weren”t separated, but when I got my pro card I had to choose to be in Elite Pro and I had 9 pro shows.
Elite Pro was the official one and the government was giving opportunities to official national athletes. That”s why I chose Elite Pro.
I haven’t got any coach, so nobody told me about the path I should follow for my career and my goal was to compete at first world pro stage.
I have got my qualifications but I couldn’t compete because of my visa. It broke my dedication and I decided to change federation and now I”m preparing to get my NPC Pro League card. Currently, I”m 6 weeks out.
Also, my muscles look much better for NPC because I”m more muscular than Elite Pro Bikini athletes. That was the reason why I became second place 16 times over and over.
However, I have never stopped to compete because of this. Instead, the visa issue was my deadline.
At the moment, I train seven days a week. Four days cardio training, three days weightlifting and cardio.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I have never taken off longer than 8-10 days, so I haven’t got any real setbacks. Also, luckily, because I”m so connected with my body mentally I have never had an injury in my athlete career.
As you know most powerful stabilizer is our glute muscle and this is part of my body.
Unfortunately, I have to work a lot every day. Because of this I have learned how to manage my time in the day! Usually, I”m so busy, but still, I never skip my sleep and try to sleep more than 6 hours every day.
I can say that one of the best things about me is timing. I don’t even use watch, but I always know what time it is and how long I have time to do my next stuff.
I have had a lot of travel because of competitions so I know how to organize.
I use a lot of supplements at this prep. I haven’t competed for one year so I had to do everything on this prep. Timing is important in order to take my supplements according to my diet and workouts.
The supplements I take are Omega 3, BCAA, Whey Isolate, Anti-OX, MCT Oil, Detoxed Pro, Ashwagandha, Multi-Vitamins, Prolactine blocker, Zinc Magnesium, Ginseng, Thermospeed and L Carnitine.
Also for recovery, I”m having a sauna and Thai massage.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My diet always so hard to do, because I have to train a lot. I have to work and focus a lot but I take less carb to drop weight.
I”m already thicker for my category and it”s so hard to drop weight for me.
Genetically my muscles have a more curvy shape and look fuller. I”m a small woman, but when I”m on stage I”m looking much bigger than I am.
The best and most important thing about my diet is salmon! Fresh coconut and raw almonds.
I never count calories, but I guess I eat more than 1500 calories per day.
I always try to get 2 gr of high-quality protein per kg. And I always try to stay low carb, at least less than 80 gr.
Off-season I always aim to stay clean, but I eat more fitness food like protein bars, protein ice creams and luckily more basmati rice and oats 🙂
Prep season I always try to stay far away from high carb food and try to get healthy fats.
At the beginning of the day, I always get more carbs than any other meals in order to boost my metabolism all day. Oatmeal is a good choice for this.
Cheat meals are important for mental health while you are in your hard prep. I always choose sushi, I guess it”s the best decision to cheat at prep.
My favorite supplement brands are:
- Olimp – I used to work with Olimp. Their products and production systems are so professional and high quality.
- Universal – I love Universal because their integrations are quite high.
- BSN – I think their products are high quality and I get results with them.
- ONT – I like the taste.
- Granade – for boosters.
Well, I already don’t like alcohol and I don”t eat junk food. Once a month I go to a night party to dance, I take core workouts where they make me dance a long time and that’s also cardio for me.
Then I come home and go directly sleep. When I wake up I have usually dropped weight. And if I go to the cinema, I eat rice cake or almonds with coffee or diet coke.
That is the hardest thing ever to handle my food cravings! I usually eat almond and cucumber for this then I drink tea or coke zero.
These are the best ways to handle it but sometimes you just cannot stop to eat these almonds and it makes you get so many calories.
I always prefer to stay lean. Hunger is like testing your limits. It seems beyond human self-control but there are ways to control it.
You can cheat your mind with sweeteners, maybe chewy gums but they are making you more hungry afterwards.
I don’t drink alcohol but I drink herbal teas and coffee.
I tried to calculate everything on some of the fitness apps, but I think I”m old school about it. I actually didn’t need it for real, because when I use it, I saw that, I already knew that amounts and doing them right so I don’t need an app.
My mind already knows everything because it”s been going so long time doing competitions and fitness.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
When I have started to do fitness, I was so skinny and always feeling insecure.
During my fitness process every day, I was getting to feel more confident and know the real me more and more.
When I started to know myself better I realized I”m definitely more than this and I can do better. I started to love myself more.
Except for all that I always want to explore more of this world, travel and compete everywhere. I had such though times behind scenes.
I knew one day I would let the world know about my fitness journey; where did I start and how far I came. That was always my motivation.
When I have started this sport nobody didn’t even know about this in Turkey and I asked someone how can I get this pro card?
They laughed at me because it seemed impossible for a Turkish female athlete. But eventually, I did.
My favorite book is “Tough times never last but tough people always do!“. I agree that fitness is about the body, but it”s even more about the mind.
When I feel down or overtrained, I always watching on YouTube motivational speeches or listen to the podcasts on Spotify.
Music is everything for me. I think it”s kinda magic. If I do high intensitive cardio, usually I listen to deep house music which makes me more focused on my training. If I do weightlifting I prefer to listen to hip hop, R and B.
In the fitness industry, Kai Green inspires me with his story. Dexter Jackson, I can”t believe he is still competing. I respect that a lot! I also like Collin Joseph Mayne. His mindset continues to inspire me.
For women fitness, Okshana Grishina. I think she is incredible. I would never ever able to do what she can do.
For body fitness Candice Carter! That 3D muscles tho! She is a real athlete in my eyes both physically and mentally. She inspires me.
For bikini, Elisa Pecini! She has an incredible shape. She became Mrs. Olympia this year and she really deserved it. Real winner. Perfect ratio and lines.
I follow those athlete regularly and some of the bikini athletes too. But mostly I follow knowledge pages or scientific pages. I follow workout pages and IFBB pages so I can follow what”s going on.
I follow some of my friends from Gold”s Gym. Shawn Roden, Stanimal De Longeaux and many athletes from IFBB.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
If you want to improve yourself, first of all, you need to know who you are and what you are capable of! As long as you are alive, you need to put something more into life.
We are here to create something more and as long as you create more you will be more confident and improve yourself more and more. Except for all that I didn’t realize how is important to get knowledge every day.
Here is the best advice for my life: Focus yourself to learn something more every day, every moment.
Every single knowledge you are going to learn is a key to another door to another dimension. it will give you more chance to get more achievements.
If I was brand new to fitness, I would start with group fitness, personal coaching or with a partner who has more experience than me.
Then I would start to search about everything, try things and learn more and more.
The most stupid thing I have seen is someone eating cookies while they are doing their cardio on the treadmill.
Deadlift! I often see someone working out for a long time but still don’t know how to do proper form!
Before I start to do fitness I used to do Muay Thai and I have tried tennis, snowboard, water skiing, scuba diving, dancing, running, and volleyball.
I have realized that it is all just about core, breath, stabilization, and motivation.
For example, if you want to do snowboard without injury you need to train more gluteus, abs muscle strength and stabilization so you can work on this at the gym.
You can improve your glute and abs muscles at the gym so we can say that fitness can make the base for these sports or support you to make you get better.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I”m available to get clients online, but I can”t do one to one for now because I”m about to move to another country. So, I will be able to get clients for one to one from May in Los Angeles!
I can literally say that I”m a good trainer because I haven’t learned that sport from books only. I have experienced this sport with my body and my mind.
I have learned how you can dominate your body systems with your mind and illnesses have never even existed. It”s all about the mind-body connection.
I also know every single muscle angle to match with exercises while I”m training with my clients. I feel what they feel while they are doing their exercises.
So, eventually, I have a real connection with my clients because when I train them I do this like I train my own body. I feel every single detail so I can coordinate everything according to this. Then boom!
I love my job and every single client. I”m being more than excited to see how their life is changing with me!
Usually, my clients get results fast, but before we start I have to deal with them and take their word. Because if they don’t agree to do whatever I say I don”t start to work with them.
So they need to trust me. But if we need to know the timing, 12 weeks should be expected for the best results!
I often get two questions:
How did you make that glute?
I always wanted to look more female and have curvy shapes! I always hated to be skinny and here we are! I have been training on my glute more than 7 years, 2 times a week at least.
How you always stay lean, we never see you in bulk season?
I had bulk season once. I have already talked about this, but even in my bulk season, I had just 3-4 kg difference.
A small difference because I could never ever eat free. I”m so afraid to get fat so that always makes me stay on a clean diet. Because I know that if I start to eat dirty, it will never end!
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
You can learn more about me on my Instagram page, or search my handle @dnzsypnr. I usually explain what kind of person I am under my posts and my highlights as well. I currently have 232k followers.
But except for all that I just started to do my YouTube channel and I made a deal with the production company so we are working on episodes.
You can follow my youtube channel and join my journey and see behind the scenes!
My website is denizsaypinar.com and I”m also on Facebook.
1 thought on “How I Trained to Become the First Turkish Woman with IFBB Pro Status”
Thank u Deniz , I will work hard always even HARD TIMES.