Daniel’s a father and bartender in Morgan Hill, California and is currently finishing his certification to be a personal trainer. He's also our TrifectaME 90 Day Challenge 3rd place finisher!
Daniel spent a lot of his life with a vision of the person he was supposed to be. Like a lot of us, Daniel was focusing more on the destination, not the directions to get there. Until one day, he made the choice to start his journey and hasn't looked back. We talked to Daniel about turning effort into passion, inspiring others and reimagining his workouts under quarantine.
The Road to a Goal
When we imagine our goals: having abs, publishing a book, owning a successful business, it’s not uncommon for us to focus on the end result: success. It's an important motivator. But succeeding requires a plan and execution. Daniel was tired or waiting around on success and decided to go out and find it for himself.
“I've always had goals on how I wanted to look and didn’t really dedicate myself the way I should have to achieve those goals. One day just kind of made the decision to go for it.
“I ended up joining a CrossFit gym because I wanted to see if I could challenge myself to that type of aggressive level and haven't given up since.
“I've always been pretty active but now it’s like an obsession. Fitness is what I'm really interested in and now I'm working on making it my career.”
The 80/20 Rule
Once Daniel found a workout routine that he found fun and motivating it was time to sort out his diet. A full 80% of one's physique is dictated by your diet.
“When I started getting really serious about you know, my regiment, I knew I wasn't eating correctly for the results I was looking for. When I joined the Crossfit gym, they have a nutrition plan they want you to follow so I started to follow that really aggressively and it was very difficult finding the right balance to maintain energy throughout all my workouts."
Daniel was working on body recomposition to add muscle but also drop weight and knew getting his macros dialed to a system that worked for his goals was a crucial step to start progressing.
“That’s when I really started to focus on my nutrition, finding different levels and systems that work for my body and what it needs to not only grow but also shrink at the same time.
“With the proper diet you start to see results pretty quickly which kept me more motivated to work harder and get even more results.”
Results in the Real World
Daniel was finding the nutrition he needed but not the time to prepare all of it consistently. A program can only succeed if it’s stuck with and a lot of diets fail simply because our lives get in their way.
“I was getting to the point where meal prepping was taking so much time and I was so busy between my family obligations and work that I couldn't commit that much time. Cooking three meals a day and feeding three mouths, that's a lot of cooking. The Trifecta plan helps minimize that time considerably. My meal prep is more streamlined and makes it super easy.”
“Trifecta has definitely helped quite a bit.”
Daniel is on the A La Carte plan so he can build his own meals with precooked, pre portioned meal components with calculated macros that help him eat with precision and ease.
“I like the convenience of having a different meats delivered every Friday and prepping out everything for the week as soon as I get them.”
“You know exactly what's going in your meals down to the gram so you can make adjustments as necessary depending on the results you're seeing and how your body adapts to your diet.”
Starting his journey and seeing results didn’t just introduce Daniel to the person he’d always wanted to see in the mirror, it introduced him to a new passion and career path as well. Daniel is working on completing his ISSA Elite Trainer certification and will be done later this year.
“I love motivating others and helping them to either start their journeys or achieve their goals, which is why I decided I wanted to get into the personal training field.”
A Work in Progress
Continual improvement is what keeps Daniel motivated. Whether it's additional courses to bulk up his certification or refining his program to reach his fitness goals.
"Right now I'm mainly focusing on continuing to maintain my lean muscle mass while dropping my overall body fat percentage. I'm sitting at about 15% [body fat] and I want to get down to about 12% and do my best to start slowly bulking up a little bit more to my goal physique."
Daniel’s thinking about the future too. For the health he enjoys today to stick around, he knows it’s constant, rewarding work.
“I know that certain things do run in my family hereditarily so I wanted to start preparing to avoid those things like cancer and stroke.”
Building Community During Quarantine
As Daniel continues his certifications, he’s already stepped up as a fitness leader, helping folks in his community stay active and socially connected during COVID-19 and quarantine.
“I started a group as soon as the shutdown happened to start video workouts so people can video chat in and follow along and work out together. Being so disconnected right now, I wanted to build a community of people that are fitness minded and want to help motivate each other.”
In fact, quarantine has forced Daniel to get creative with every aspect of working out.
“I live in a mountainous region so I can get out and do a lot of running and the scenery and weather is great. I adapted all of my workouts to home workouts where I use a combination of body weight, resistance bands and being innovative by building my own things to help maintain the muscle mass. I'll add weight to bars with old tires and tool boxes is full of bricks, stuff like that just to try and keep it going to best I can.”
Having the right mental attitude is key to long term success and Daniel looked for the positives in a challenging time. With fewer distractions, finding focus in fitness has helped Daniel on a daily basis.
“I think it's actually more beneficial than detrimental for me.”
Consistency is Key
Daniel recommends finding routines that you enjoy and inspire you to keep going.
“It's just a matter of finding a routine that works for you and you can stay consistent with without sacrificing your quality of life. Obviously, otherwise, you tend to get burnt out.”
It’s not just his workouts that are keeping Daniel consistent during quarantine. Depending on Trifecta for weekly deliveries gives Daniel much needed consistency in his diet too.
“With everything going on, I've had no interruptions at all with Trifecta. It's been the easiest way to get proteins when everybody panic buys at the stores and you can't even get chicken or anything like that. So the peace of mind knowing that no matter what I'm getting my delivery has really helped throughout this.”
“Trifecta has definitely helped me maintain that drive just through the convenience and the peace of mind that it's always there.”
Implementing habits like meal prepping with Trifecta a la carte ingredients, tracking macros on the Trifecta app, weighing himself everyday and staying engaged in the Trifecta online community, helped Daniel build a routine for consistent progress.
"By writing down my routines and following them exactly I was able to really stay consistent with my daily schedule."
- 8oz of protein (Trifecta a la carte: Chicken breast, salmon filet, or turkey patties)
- .5 cup carbs (Trifecta mashed sweet potato or white rice)
- .5-1 cup mixed vegetables ("I would sauté mixed vegetables simply with EVOO and some light seasonings and add raw super greens after cooking for some crisp texture.")
"I generally would eat this 3 times a day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner while utilizing an all natural whey protein and almond milk shake as my in-between meals to get a total of 5 meals per day.
"If I would get cravings for something sweet or salty I would utilize the Trifecta Cinnamon Maple Roasted Almonds to help curb that craving."
"I usually train in 6-week cycles and then change my routines to avoid plateaus."
"I would use different subsets and supersets integrating cardio in with my daily routines as my secret weapon to cut the fat faster depending on my daily composition tracking. If I noticed my fat percentage rise on any given day, I would subset with 100 jump rope singles in-between each set and run 2-3 miles instead of 1-2 miles as my cardio that day.
"Once the 6 weeks is up I go into a body weight high heart rate routine to really focus on building up my core and maintaining my overall physical strength, explosive movements, and cardio abilities."
A Winning Attitude
Daniel's hard work has payed off, placing him on the podium of our TrifectaME 90 Day Challenge.
"The best part for me was the accountability and good habit forming the challenge created. It helped to create consistency and motivate me to push myself every day both in my workouts and diet/meal planning and execution.
"The chance at winning a years worth of trifecta meals definitely had a motivational factor, but outside of that, just the chance at really pushing myself to my limits and achieving a physique that I've wanted for a very long time is what kept me going through the entire process."
For others about to start their own journey, or our upcoming Challenge, Daniel say what will surprise you the most is the results. 90 days comes and goes fast but during that time, amazing things are possible.
"The results are the most surprising. To see all the positive changes my body and mind were going through was amazing. I think what really catches you off guard is how much your energy levels increase the further along you go.
"Knowing that I had the drive and ability to push my limits as far as I did and get more in tune with how my body reacts to different things both from different exercise techniques to the different foods I ate was a lot of fun."