Where and when were you born? August 19, 1969, in North Carolina
What is your profession?
Fitness Center Manager - Senior Enrichment Center (still CPT & Yoga & Pilates Instructor)
Were you involved in sports or fitness prior to bodybuilding and how did you get started with weight training? Weight lifted in late 80’s in HS, was training at a hardcore gym in 1996 when I went with a group to watch a close friend compete at the State Contest. I decided it was something I would like to try and entered my first contest later that year. I liked having a goal to work toward and have been competing since.
Can you give me your competition history?
I’ve been competing for the last 10 years,
1996 Elite Muscle Classic, Ltwt 4th
1998 Golds Classic Ltwt 6th
2000 NC Jr. State Ltwt 3rd
2001 Western NC Ltwt 1st & Overall
2001 NC Jr. State Ltwt 2nd
2002 NC State Championship Ltwt 2nd
2002 Jr. Nationals Ltwt 5th
2003 NC State Championships Mwt 1st & Overall
2003 Jr. USA Ltwt 3rd
2005 Jr. USA Mwt 3rd
2005 Jr. Nationals Ltwt 2nd
2005 Masters Nationals Ltwt 5th
USA Championships Ltwt 6th
2006 Masters Nationals Mwt 4th
2007 Arnold Classic Amateur - LW 3rd
2007 Jr USA MW 2nd
Which contest has been your biggest success; which has had the most meaning to you?
My biggest success so far has been the 2005 2nd place finish at Jr. Nationals but the most meaningful was definitely winning the Overall at the NC State. There’s just something special about holding your State Title.
Almost as memorable (and very humbling) was being on stage at the Master’s Nationals and looking around to realize I was side by side with some of the women I watched and looked up to when I first started competing. It was an incredible experience and made me very thankful for the people that supported and put up with me year after year while I kept trying!
Please tell me something about your training routine (ie: how many days per week / training split /cardio, etc.)
Off-season means no cardio except warm-up!
4-5 days per week weight training, pairing body parts (back, biceps; chest, triceps) then legs, then shoulders and abs going as heavy as possible for 4 sets of 8-10 reps each exercise. The aim is for about 16 sets total for the first body part and 10-12 for the second.
Pre-contest I alternate weeks of reduced weight/increased reps, (12-15 range) with the heavy 8-10 rep weight of the off-season, sometimes in 1 week increments and sometimes 2 - 3 weeks before switching depending on which body part it is and what my improvement goal is that year. Cardio gets added when the diet starts, which is usually 16-18 weeks out.
What is your favorite exercise in the gym and which one you don’t like so much?
I HATE training legs (and it shows)!
Love training shoulders. I also like back days with Dead-lifts so at least I get a little extra leg work there disguised as something else!
Which body part is your best in your opinion?
First pick would be Shoulders, then Abs.
If you don’t mind would you give me some stats (best lifts and some body measurements)?
Pre-contest Body Fat: 8%
Contest Weight is now 120 lbs... Lightweight days are over!!
Off-season weight: 130-135lbs
Arms: 14.75 inches at contest
Waist: 24 inches
Hips: 33 inches
Dumbbell curls: 35 Lbs max
Incline Dumbbell Chest Press: 60 Lbs max
Leg press: 400-550 Lbs max depending on the machine.
What do you enjoy about training for competition....what do you enjoy about the 'off season'?
The best part of training for competition is the way you feel when you’re eating clean and training hard. But , the best part about the off season is the relief of the pressure to always make it to the gym. It’s liberating in the off season to occasionally blow-off going to train in lieu of doing “normal stuff” like joining friends for dinner.
Please describe a typical day in the life of Ann Dana.
Up at 6:30am to go to the gym for morning cardio, take a shower, have breakfast and start work (it’s great that the gym and the “office” are one and the same!)
Work is spent with financial reports, employee “stuff”, Personal Training clients and implementation of Group Exercise classes, lectures and workshops for gym members.
Later in the day it’s teaching Yoga or Pilates fusion depending on the day of the week, and then my own workout.
Home about 8pm to clean-up, cook meals for the next day and relax with a good book.
Please tell me about what you do when you don’t work out ( hobbies, what do you do to relax?, etc.)
When I’m not working out, I enjoy yoga, road biking, hiking, fishing, doing anything outside and reading. Pretty much in that order.
What do you enjoy most about the bodybuilding/fitness lifestyle?
The individuality of it. It sets you apart from everyone else and takes constant focus and drive. I think it’s fascinating to learn about someone else’s hobby and how it plays into who they are and I hope that others find the same thing interesting in me. You can tell a lot about someone by the hobby they choose and by what and how much they put into it. The passion that most athletes have for their sport is definitely an expression of their personality and I think is one of the best indicators of the real person inside no matter how they appear on the surface.
Tell me something interesting about yourself, something people may be surprised to hear. I’m extremely introverted… not shy… there’s a difference!
People who I interact with all the time know it, but I don’t think others would. Personally, I’m always surprised to learn that about someone else who competes because the assumption is that in order to get up on stage (and wearing less than you would at the beach) you couldn’t possibly be anything near reserved!
I think it’s somewhat the opposite. Often, when introverted people make the choice to express themselves it’s in a way that’s dynamic and passionate and comes straight from the core. The adage says, “still waters run deep” meaning there’s a lot more going on under the surface than meets the eye and when it’s shared, it’s big!
What are your competition goals or personal future goals?
I plan to continue competing as long as I, and those around me, still enjoy it. The goal drives me and keeps me on track and I’m sure I’ll always crave that aspect of it. I earned qualification as a state level judge a couple of years ago so that no matter what road my competitive career takes, I can remain involved in the sport I love.
Ann does not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!