Monday, November 29, 2010

Leangains Helped Me Earn My IFBB Pro Card


Time for another success story. This one is from Danielle Reutter who used the Leangains approach to get in amazing shape.

Actually, "amazing" is a huge understatement, as she won her class in the 2010 NPC Nationals (Figure) and earned an IFBB Pro Card.

This makes Danielle the first American "professional" Figure competitor who uses Leangains (as far as I know).

We need people like Danielle in the health and fitness community - people who aren't afraid to go against the mainstream. Why? Their success motivates others to change. Bodybuilders and fitness competitors tend to be very locked in their thought processes when it comes to nutrition. They're usually slaves to diet myths and these superstitions dictate how they approach contest dieting.

The problem is not that the "6-meals-a-day"-approach doesn't work, because it does for some, but that it just isn't right for everybody. And if people are afraid to experiment due to some nonsensical belief that doing this or that will (insert here: "slow down metabolism"/"cause muscle loss"/"prevent fat loss", etc.), then clinging on to it will prevent them from reaching their goals.

In my own case, I've talked about how I couldn't attain my goals when I was obsessively eating every 2-3rd hour, thinking breakfast was crucial and trying to avoid eating in the evening. These behaviors were "forced" on me - they did not exist due to personal preference.

When it slowly dawned on me that my behavior or diet had no scientific basis, that eating every 2-3rd hour did not yield any metabolic boost and so forth, I left it all behind and switched to something that felt right with me.

Unfortunately, most people never find the truths about the diet dogma that permeates the fitness and health mainstream and that's a shame.

Enough of my ranting, here's Danielle's story.

Leangains helped me earn my IFBB Pro Card

"I am proud to say that I just earned my IFBB Pro Card in Figure at the 2010 NPC Nationals in Atlanta, GA. This was my 3rd Figure show and I have learned a lot through these couple contest preps. I have been a personal trainer since I got my ISSA Certification is 2007. It has been and continues to be a journey of constant learning and growing."

"My 2nd Figure show was the 2010 Arnold Amateur. After this show I realized that eating every 2 hours had made me a little nutty. That constant eating was making me constantly think about food. I was spending way too much time with my mind occupied on food and there were more important things in life that I needed to focus on. So I began researching and found Eat Stop Eat."

Danielle three weeks out and 115 lbs.

"Eat Stop Eat is a great book and I began implementing the two 24 hour fasts per week into my lifestyle. This totally helped me break the constant need to eat. I found it to be very freeing. Then when I was getting ready to start my next prep, I began doing more research into other ways of fasting – and I found Leangains."

"I took what I had learned about my diet from previous shows – as to what works for me, and used that along with fasting 14-16 hours per day, Leangains style. I quickly realized how much less stress this was."

"Being a busy mom, it’s so nice to not have to worry about eating right away in the morning. I have my food packed and I eat at work. Also I’m not hungry until later now, so I don’t even think about it."

Danielle stole the show! Fantastic physique. Notice how she looks just perfect and healthy, without the emaciated and "overdieted" look that some competitors have on stage. She weighed in at 108 lbs.

"Currently I am preparing for my first Pro Show – the Kentucky Muscle. I am using the same diet, fasting and training regiment as I did for my last show. I am so thankful to have found Leangains! It has made these preparations so much easier – and not to mention my results have been incredible. When I won my Pro Card, I came in 5 pounds lighter than my previous shows. Not only was I lighter, but leaner and tighter."

Danielle placed 16 out of 28 in the Kentucky Muscle Pro, which is great. Keep in mind that the competition is crushing at that level. Not to mention that doing two shows back to back is very challenging and tough on your body.

Let's wish Danielle all the best for future competitions. People need role models like Danielle, as they are living proof that you can win major fitness and bodybuilding competitions without becoming a slave to Tupperware-containers.

By the way, here's a picture of Danielle from last year, shortly after her pregnancy at 150 lbs:

Quite a difference, wouldn't you say? Goes to show what kind of amazing change people are capable with determination, consistency and the right diet.

Check out the success stories, or clients, on this site for more examples of people that have gone through all sorts of radical transformations. And you will see more examples of people placing or winning major fitness and bodybuilding competitions in the near future. In the meantime, here are a few examples of fitness and bodybuilding competitors that uses the Leangains approach, all of them featured on this site at one point or another:

Andreaz Engström (Also see: "Leangains Pre-Contest Training".)

Kristine Weber

David Höök

Seth Ronland

Robert Nilsson


Yew-wei Tan said...

Great to see this hitting the 'mainstream'. We all know that you're on a cusp of a semi-revolution in getting people to think about their diet. Let's keep this going!

DPG said...

Great work-

Sorry if this isn't the ideal thread for this specific question, but I'm fairly new to this site (but not bodybuilding) and figured this was the best spot to post a question.

My question: Is there any science to support the generally accepted idea that one should not eat carbs close to bedtime or shortly before sleeping? I ask b/c I often workout in the early eveing and thus in order to satisfy the importance of carbs post workout I face a larger carb meal not long before I go to bed.

Does the fact that I'm in the post workout window negate any negatives gained from higher carbs near bedtime? or do I really need to find a way to workout during the day so i can carbload PO, and then return to a lower carb meal near bedtime?

If this has been answered on this site before, my apologues, and please point me to the link.

Thanks. I really enjoy your site and started a leangain protocol today.

Matt said...

@DPG I think this 'no carbs past X PM' philosophy was just a foolproof way for the obese to reduce total calories for the day.

Not something a fitness enthusiast/bodybuilder who should have his caloric intake under pretty good control would need to worry about.

Aspiring Figure Athlete said...

WOW, amazing...and very inspirational for myself personally!

Congratulations on earning your pro card, Danielle!!

DPG said...

@matt. that makes sense. But to argue it a little further, the leangains guide and martin seem to suggest that people who start their fed state early in the day reduce carbs as evening approaches, which seems to suggest something a long the lines I suggest. Second, doesnt one's metabolism slow down when they sleep? if so, having a larger meal near bedtime would hurt gains, no? Of course, I turn to this site for answers and suggestions, not to debate. I just thought it was worth following up.

David said...

@matt; found this is the Q and A section from Martin:

Q: It seems like lately, I have been getting a case of the late night (around 9pm or so) munchies. I usually eat dinner around 5:30 everyday, but I always seem to get hungry around the same time. I have always heard that you shouldn't have carbs within a few hours of bedtime, is there any merit to this?

A: One of my biggest downfalls before coming up with the 16-8 system/IF was late night hunger. The best solution was the simplest one, which meant eating a lot more before bedtime. Irrational fear of fat gain, much a consequence of the don't-eat-carbs-after-x pm-bullshit-myth, held me back from doing it in the past. I did my reading, figured out there wasn't much to it, and decided to try a different approach. Finally got lean as hell eating big in the evening, sometimes way past midnight. Lesson learned. Hope that answered your question (hint: a big fat no).


Matt said...


There's a simple explanation for why most of them reduce carbs for the subsequent meal and it has nothing to do with the supposed magical ability of carbohydrates to make you fat/inhibit your progress if you eat them before bedtime.

The reason is that the postworkout meal should account for almost 80% (depending on protocol) of your daily calories on workout days, most of it from starchy carbs, for the effect they have on anabolism in this time window. So it's only natural that you'd reduce calories (and by that, carbs also) for the last meal of the day, otherwise you'd severely overfeed.

Since the postworkout meal is only medium protein, it also makes sense to get more protein in your last meal before starting the fast. And you'll do this at the expense of the other two macronutrients, to an extent that will keep you from overstepping whatever caloric boundry you've set for yourself and at the same time allowing you to get enough protein. Carbs are just more useful after the workout, and protein before the fast, that's all. Fat is kept relatively low on training days and is to be avoided in the PWO meal.

So you see, this has nothing to do with carbs per se. People are being far too carb-centric in their view of fitness nutrition these days, from the extreme low-carbers to the broscientists who'd have you chug down dextrose within 5 minutes after completing your workout.

You go to sleep to REST&DIGEST. Digestion is not very efficient when you're running around with a full belly. So by my reasoning it would sooner be beneficial than detrimental to have a big meal before going to sleep.

Of course, Martin will correct me if I'm wrong with any of this.

No need to see any of this as 'debating', we're all here to learn ;)

Thanks, I thought so.

Fredrik Gyllensten said...

Wow, that's an impressive transformation.

Tom said...

Matt, the postworkout MEALS are more like 80% total. Like when you go one pre-workout meal of 20% or so and have 80% spread out in two meals...60-20 or 50-30 etc.

DPG, Martin actually addressed the late-night eating myth in this article

^^^MUST-READ article

Clement said...

Hey Danielle and Martin,

Congratulations on your success. This just proves that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Let's hope that Leangains and IF will be embraced rather than shunned as a cult fad, like the paleo craze.

This has inspired me to work towards building some size and oursue a fitness modeling career. Although I'm no great shakes, looks-wise, I still would like to attempt it, for the experience. There's no harm trying, is there?

Anonymous said...

That is unbelievable. I need to start doing this now. Can anyone answer back what I need to do to look like these people. I'm committed to working out and eating right. Right now I follow the Paleo lifestyle which isn't too much carbs, which I'm guessing is one of my downfalls to why I'm not progressing in the gym. From what I'm reading I should IF up to my workout, chase it with a whey protein shake w/ some carbs and eat a big meal for dinner?

Marvin said...

I wonder what she looked like before the pregnancy?


Sandra said...

Great work, truly amazing transformation. The ideal body...Congrats Danielle!

Steve said...

Yes we need people like Danielle in the health/fitness industry and we need someone to help you finish that book :D.

Do you know if it will be ready for order before christmas?

I know you got lots of things to do, however, I am really looking forward to your book.

I've read your blog and I have been following lean gains for 5 weeks now (with actually nothing to show for, thus far), so I'm really anxious to get your book into my hands.

Anonymous said...

- Write 8 words of THE BOOK
- Stop 16 days
- Repeat


John said...

Interesting article.Awesome transformation Danielle.Determination is a great motivator.

v/vmary said...

there are a lot of women like me who would rather put the money they would spend for a tummy tuck into a fitness program that could get them in shape without surgery. does martin have any expertise in this area?

i had two babies 22 months apart who were 10 pounders and this was 14 years ago. i am relatively lean everywhere except my lower abdomen still looks like i am 3 months pregnant. any advice?

Richard said...

Found this on FreeTheAnimal.

That's really a remarkable transformation! Good job, Danielle!

andrewjameslowry said...

Thanks. Good stuff to see. IMHO you should have put the before picture near the top of the article. More women need to see that it can be done.

Silje Mariela - BodyWork said...


My name is Martin Berkhan and I work as a nutritional consultant, magazine writer and personal trainer.

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