👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hi, my name is Nancy Di Nino. I am a fitness cover model, weight loss transformation coach, personal trainer, media personality, former national figure competitor and former Salsa dancer. I really have a creative sole and passion, so I wanted to excel in so many diverse areas. As a fitness guru, I love inspiring women to be the best version of themselves!
How I got started is always a funny story. In my childhood years, I was a gymnast and so I was doing 1000 sit ups daily for training and I would go to school and want to arm wrestler all the boys in class and win.
After gymnastics, I was active in many sports. My next goal was competitive dancing in my teen years and 20s. I was a competitive salsa dancer.
This led to training in the gym. I remember walking into a gym with a friend and she introduced me to her trainer.
While talking to him in his office about training I saw a collage of photographs of female competitors, from Corey Everson to Monica Brant, as well as other girls he was training. I was in a state of awe of how beautiful these women were with lean toned muscle.
The trainer saw how mesmerized I was and suggested I train to compete given my background in gymnastics and dancing. I immediately dismissed his idea thinking he was crazy.
In my 20s, I had a very poor body image thinking I was “overweight” because I had thick European thighs and an hourglass figure. I responded, “There is no way I can get on stage with these thunder thighs!”
Then he challenged me and said, ‘Are you saying you can’t?” For those who know me, know that I can’t stand the word “can’t”…and that was enough for me to take on a new challenge. Tell me I can’t, and this is when the true warrior comes out in me.
My current training is always planned with purpose. It keeps me motivated to have a goal while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
During my competitive days in Figure I would train heavy to gain lean muscle for the stage but now I mostly do fitness modeling, event hosting and speaking engagements so my training has changed and is fluid.
My training varies as I always like to change things around my body that don’t adapt.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I train five to six days a week. At times I will train using HIIT principles (High Intensity interval training) coupled with plyometric training. Short bursts of sprints are a must for me whether on the track, skipping or through functional training. A stopwatch or timer is my best friend and I love the feeling of pushing my heart rate to its max point.
My gym bag is like a fitness toolbox. I have a variety of resistance bands, skipping ropes, my HIIT timer and of course my weight gloves and weight belt.
I always train with a weight belt as I find it really helps me keep my posture and form while offering support. I am persistent about my training and nutrition and like to experiment with different exercises
Then comes my big three-liter jug filled with water and my Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) that I drink throughout training.
When I do change it up, I train five days a week and, in that week, I train legs, glutes and shoulders twice weekly while the other body parts I train once. I perform medium to high reps between 10-15 reps.
I also like to focus on proper technique along with having a “mind-muscle” connection when I execute each exercise through isolating and contracting the muscle and pause and pulse techniques. This really is my “secret-sauce” to training.
It is your proper technique and that will cultivate and bring out your physique. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are lifting weights that are way too heavy for them, hence they jeopardize their technique and quality of execution and then wonder why they do not see results after countless hours in the gym.
- Monday- Glutes/Legs and Triceps
- Tuesday – Shoulders
- Wednesday – Back
- Thursday – Shoulders (focus on rear delts)
- Friday – Glutes/hams and biceps
I do not train super heavy anymore. I also do about 30 minutes of cardio daily. My goal is to cultivate lean toned muscle for an everyday healthy marketable appeal to general health and fitness enthusiasts.
My favorite body part to train is shoulders and always feel a good shoulder line helps outline your body frame.
Sample HIIT workout:
HIIT based on Glutes/legs
I use a timer and work for 40 seconds and rest for 10 seconds with the below exercises. During the 40 sections I am exerting my maximum potential.
Example 3 sets for the following circuit
Set the timer:
- Skipping (40 seconds as fast as I can)
- Rest – 10 seconds
- Sumo Squats with kettle (40 seconds)
- Rest – 10 seconds
- Skipping – (40 seconds)
- Rest – 10 seconds … (and this continues)
- Curtsy reverse lunges
- Jump Squats
- Ball Hamstring Curls
- Power jump squats
- Glute bridges off bench
- Leg extensions or froggies off a stability ball
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
As I always tell my clients, training requires both motivation, dedication and discipline. You can’t have one or the other. You can have motivation but not any discipline to train or eat healthy or vice versa.
For me with every workout, every weight I lift, every cardio session I do, I feel inspired at the fact that I am taking action, living life the best I can and respecting and loving my body at best. Its “self-care”.
When I feel good it is a “karmatic” feeling on the inside which nourishes my soul. When I (or others) feel good, life is good, and you want to inspire others to feel the best they can.
It is interesting because we always seem to question what the body is capable of doing. I have always struggled with weight loss so when I saw my body change it was like magic. It’s funny because you train, and await changes however, looking at yourself every day you don’t always notice the changes. I sometimes get frustrated when I feel progress is slow.
Yet at the same time, the best feeling in the world is training for weeks at a time and not really paying attention to the mirror and just focusing on the “hunger” that you place of the next body part that is victim to your intense workouts, while visualizing what I see as “ the art structure your body will transform to”.
Then one day you take a look at yourself in the mirror and say, “is this really me?” And the answer stares you right in the face. You feel invincible.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I become a better version of myself every day. I think of the woman I was in my 20s, the women who had body image issues, an eating disorder and low self-confidence. Now in my 40s, I have learned to love and accept myself.
I am constantly preparing for an appearance or photoshoot so having these on my agenda keeps me on track with training and nutrition.
As a media personality, I am usually interviewing athletes or competition commentaries during events like the Arnold and the Olympia. I still to this day will say interviewing Arnold Schwarzenegger was my most memorable. He is so inspiring!
I was the former co-host of Living Beautiful Radio and would love to continue with some TV and radio work in the future.
My focus now is on helping other women with the health and fitness goals. My niche or target market is women over 35 and even more so women over 45 years old who are going through hormonal changes. This is really a tough time for women and it is important that we understand the needs of the body at this time when it comes to both training, nutrition and supplements.
40 is the new 20! Being a health and wellness coach, I care about women’s attitude and self-perception and that is the hardest thing to teach.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Injuries suck and I have had my share of them (as we speak) but I do what I can to minimize them. I am stubborn and learned the hard way because I did not listen to my body and rest.
Sometimes you have to be your own doctor and learn to rest, it is really worth it in the long run. Think about it if you want to maintain a nice car you have to take care of it inside and out. Use the time do see therapy as well.
In order to avoid injuries, I make sure to foam roll and stretch as much as I can. I also get regular massages.
Although, I know how important sleep is, I generally get six hours.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My diet is very dynamic as well depending on what I am training for as well, and essentially, I like to have a “lifestyle” diet.
I have two forms:
I use intermittent/fasting/flexible dieting principles, so I eat according to my macronutrient breakdown. I have seen the most significant results using these principles in my diet that focuses on 20 percent fats 40 and 40 percent proteins and fats.
I have a specific eating window to eat my meals (as opposed to eating every two to three hour) where I fast most the day and I have more flexibility with my food choices in the evening.
There are days I can integrate healthy homemade pizza or a healthy burrito. I love it and I rarely feel hungry or deprived. I typically fast until 3 p.m. and then break my fast with proteins and vegetables and then I stop eating at 9 p.m.
Alternatively, if I am not doing intermittent fasting, I will eat every three to four hours, smaller meals.
Now, I will “fess up” as I do have a sweet tooth and like to save the weekends for some foods I would not normally eat. My “go-to’s” are pizza, popcorn and cookies.
As far as supplements I take Vitamin B100 and Vitamin C, Omega 3-6-9, digestive enzymes, calcium magnesium and Branch Chain Amino Acids during training. My favourite brand of BCCA is Aminocore by Allmax Nutrition in fruit punch flavour.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
Obviously, there are several people that I have looked up to. I remember watching Arnold Schwarzenegger on Pumping Iron and those fitness girls jumping and doing flips in their fitness routines. I loved the beautiful physiques of Krista Knowles and Mia Finnegan. They both had a combination of beauty and healthy toned muscles with nice curves.
I will also say that the everyday women who juggle the demands of careers, family and home life inspire me…multifaceted women. Women such as fitness model/competitor Nichelle Laus former police officer, current gym owner and trainer, wife and mother of four boys.
Also, Francesca Denis, wife and mother of six children. WOW!!! They are true examples that there are no excuses for not fitting in your health and fitness goals.
What motivates me also is a day to myself to “re-balance and recharge” using meditation and visualization. Sundays are usually that day I slow down and take time to reflect. On myself and my personal growth.
I am very spiritual so I read positive affirmations and devotionals. Mental and emotional fitness is just as important as the physical aspect of it. “Fitness for the mind, body and soul”. This helps to motivate me to my next steps or goals.
I also am inspired by some wise words a friend told me, which has always stuck with me:
“If you believe you can, you are right. If you believe you can’t, you are right”
“Success starts on the inside, not on the outside.”
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
I believe no matter where we are in life we are always improving, and self-care is so important.
If you are just starting out in the gym or whether you are thinking of taking your fitness to another level, be sure to have a goal and a vision and determine what are the resources you need to get there.
Educate yourself and find who can help you, who are the trainers that would help you with your goals and the physique you are trying to achieve. Success always comes from education and planning.
I have seen so many women especially clients that come to me frustrated and ready to give up because they were never taught how to properly eat and train for their individual body needs.
I also “train their brain” meaning improvement comes from the mind, body and soul. Setting realistic expectations for yourself as it isn’t a race, it’s a journey of self-improvement to be the best version of themselves.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
Yes, I train clients online. I am basically their virtual trainer and have most my clients enrolled in my NEW YOU 8-week Transformation Program. These women get to work out with me virtually which includes my blue-print to fat loss with my “eat more and lose more method.
Throughout my career, I have tried virtually everything out and had to go through many failed attempts and thinking “why does this work for everyone else but not me?”
Using myself as a test subject I quickly learned what I, and many other women needed to burn stubborn fat and reduce cellulite. I was able to develop this program to work “with” women’s different body types, blood types, hormonal issues etc. while improving metabolism and seeing great results.
The body changes after 35 and women need to have specific programs to assist with these changes. (many trainers do not understand this concept). I always say the popular quote, “Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is the definition of insanity”
The great thing about this program is these women are given everything from me so it “removes the thinking process” from them, and all they have to concentrate on is doing it. My program comes with nutrition plans, photo progress tracking, training guide and videos and 1 on 1 support with me.
It’s very intimate and CUSTOMIZED to each client. This is why I believe this program is such a great success!
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
You can find out more at my personal website at nancydinino.com
And if you are interested in creating the best version of yourself with my 8-week, on-line NEW YOU Transformation program, find out more at nancydinino.com/new-you.