Daniela grew up in Portugal and moved to London when she was 19. She has competed numerous times, including coming fourth in last year’s WBFF.
In her own words…
I grew up in Portugal and moved to London when I was 19. I have been into fitness ever since I first visited Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and I was inspired by all the incredible bodies I saw. I was always a very skinny young girl and I struggled a lot to gain weight, so being surrounded by a lot of fit people really opened my eyes to what was possible with hard work and perseverance. I became a personal trainer and began taking my training seriously in 2012 when I did my first ever fitness competition, the Miami Pro in St. Albans where I entered the bikini class. I didn’t place, but the experience of the entire preparation and the actual day of the show was great, and motivated me to carry on making improvements and competing. I was lucky enough to be able to travel to the US in 2014 and compete in the World Championships in Las Vegas with the WBFF, where I placed in the top 10 for the first time. The last show I did was also with the WBFF, where I placed fourth in November 2015 in the Fitness Diva category. I train because I love training, I love making improvements to my body, getting stronger, and being able to inspire others to do the same. Typically I train every body part two or three times per week. I also train abs and cardio two or three times per week. For weight training I love to train with high intensity, low rest periods, lots of supersets and drop sets, and I tend to mix my rep ranges from anywhere between 6 to 20 reps. Basically, I tend to tear myself apart until I am barely able to walk out of the gym, especially if I am training with my training partner, who I swear gets a distinct pleasure in watching me limp out of the gym and to the car! For cardio I train HIIT style most of the time. Honestly, I just dislike long runs, and the weather where I live doesn’t exactly inspire me to go outside and hit the tarmac. I like cardio hard and fast, short and sweet. Sprints for short periods of 10-30 seconds with a 50-90 seconds rest in between for 6-10 sets is more than enough to get my metabolism fired up and my body fat down. My favourite supplement has to be L-Carnitine, I just notice I have more energy to train when I take it and it works wonders for my body fat. I also use Whey (of course!), and multivitamins and minerals to make sure I am getting an adequate intake of both. As far as diet goes, it varies depending on the time of the year, upcoming shows, and my current goals. Typically I have high intake of protein, and moderate carbs and fats. But the ratios and overall calories vary so much depending on what I am doing that I fear that if I start going into details I will take over your website with the plans. In summary though, when trying to gain strength or muscle, I tend to increase carbs, when I am trying to get into competition shape I tend to cut carbs right down, and include cycling towards the last few weeks of the diet. The type of foods I eat are usually natural sources, I don’t like additives in my food, and I cook everything from scratch, most of the time. A typical day will be made up of 5 to 6 meals, made up of a lean protein source like chicken, turkey, fish or beef, some carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, the odd bit of quinoa, oats, and occasionally some fruit. When I include fats, I get them from healthy sources such as avocados, nuts, coconut oil, olive oil, or eggs. And of course how could I possibly leave out chocolate… Really, who doesn’t love chocolate?! (Ok, this is rare, and never if prepping, but it’s been known to happen). When I train I like to include the use of my Elite Body Squad bands
to add an exercise variable. Bands are great for overloading a certain range of the strength curve, and therefore making an exercise completely different to what my body is used to just by introducing a band, and they are so easy to carry. I find that they are so effective at pushing my lifts through a plateau that I have also started using them with my clients. I also use the Elite Body Squad yoga mat
and Swiss Ball
, at home, or at the park if my dogs allow me! They are great for training abs, or stretching, and they save me a trip to the gym. My future goals are to gain more muscle, specifically in my glutes and legs. I love that solid leg look and I want to keep improving mine until people freak out when they see them, in a good way of course! They already call me quadzilla, so I’d like to think I’m doing something right. I am looking to open my own Studio Gym in London where I can train clients, myself, and of course allow other trainers to train their clients there too. I am always keen to learn more about the science of fitness and how to most effectively get better physically, whatever the sport, and I love being able to apply my knowledge to clients and their own specific goals to get them the results they want, so education is part of the plan too. Lastly, I will definitely be competing again in the near future and my goal is to get my Procard once and for all, so I can step on a stage with the best in the world, and get that amazing experience in front of a worldwide audience. Follow Daniela on Instagram here