Danielle Martin found her passion for Fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle through doing regular HIIT classes. We chat to her on how she transformed her life through fitness.
How did you discover your passion for —–? OR How did your fitness journey start?
My recent fitness journey started roughly 2-3 years ago when I started training HITT classes and absolutely LOVED it. Naturally having a lot of energy, I was able to push myself and found that it was able to become an outlet for me. I loved it so much that I then started doing classes every day. I also became extremely healthy with my eating and started to see a change in myself. Never mind the physical changes I was seeing, I was also noticing mental changes. I was feeling incredible!
After a year of training every day, I started to fill in if someone needed their shift covered at the HITT gym. Shortly after that, I started to work as a fitness instructor. I absolutely loved working in the fitness environment- helping people believe in themselves and conquer their self-doubts. It was awesome! When lockdown happened, I started to explore with yoga and movement. I absolutely LOVED the mental aspect of yoga. I started by doing challenges with different poses and then learned about meditation and more about mindfulness. The power of the mind and the benefits of it on the body is just remarkable. I now personal train and I love to see how each and every client is growing mentally strong and becoming mindful of muscle mind connection. They can now also conquer any self-doubt. I continue to challenge myself and continue to learn as much as possible through movement and mindfulness.
What have been some of your challenges and triumphs throughout your journey?
Throughout my journey, some challenges would have definitely been myself. I used to struggle with self-doubt and created my own limitations and barriers. Not believing that I am capable of achieving certain things whether it be to do a certain exercise, take a HITT class on the mic, or even to have the confidence for general life decisions. I also think it is important to not let outside influences affect you. There will always be people that will believe in you and those that have doubt in you. At the end of the day, it’s all up to YOU, not anyone else
What are your views on exercise and nutrition as part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle?
I strongly believe that if it’s not part of your lifestyle, it won’t be sustainable. If exercise is seen as a ‘fixer’ and to punish oneself for bad eating or gained weight it won’t be enjoyed or sustained. It will something that is dreaded every day and therefore one is not really able to improve and keep it sustainable. I’m not saying that every day one feels like training but to be consistent is very important. Nutrition is something that I feel the exact same about. I know that it’s easy to be obsessive over food and that creates an unhealthy relationship with food. With training, you can feel what fuels the body and what makes one feel best and have sustained energy throughout the day. However, I don’t think restricting oneself in eating is healthy either. The ability to create a healthy ‘balanced’ lifestyle is super important- have your cheat meal and make it something exciting. That way the body feels and performs with a healthy diet and will be motivation by itself.
How do you find motivation and the energy to pursue your passions, your business, and still stay active and healthy?
The way I feel mentally and physically from training and moving my body motivates me hugely. It drives me to become even better at what I do. To continue to learn and grow, to challenge me, and see how far I can push myself. I have learned that limitations are only steppingstones to you reaching your goals and once you overcome them, there is much more to achieve! I absolutely LOVE challenging myself and learning and that motivates me to continue. I am a busy body and love to keep active, so my work it’s perfect for me. I’m not perfect and still eat unhealthy things but the way it makes me feel the next day is what gets me back on track. I don’t have the same amount of energy and cognitive abilities. Seeing my clients transform their physical appearance as well as their mind, is what motivates me. When people start believing in themselves and push past their barriers it’s the best!
Why do you think it is important to have a balance?
I feel it’s important to have a balance, as if there is no balance it won’t be something that is sustainable. A balanced life is considering all aspects of one’s life; relationships; emotional well-being; fitness; work and health. This is what I love about being fit and mindful. It’s something that is carried with you through your every-day life.
Take us through a day in your life.
So a day in my life since lockdown and back to working at Fitblock will be wake up around 4:30. I head to the gym where I see my first client. I then instruct and assist in classes. I eat my first meal between 8 and 9. This will either be a shake or food that has been prepped before. I then have clients after the classes. After my clients, I will either train myself at the gym or do some prep before I go back to the gym. My absolute best is to take my yoga mat outside and play around with some movements and poses. I have clients in the afternoon and some days have a class to instruct at Fitblock. I eat my lunch when I get home from the studio and normally a snack before I head back. My dinner is eaten quite late as I finished around 7 normally.
What does your diet/nutrition look like?
My diet is not perfect at all. I believe that what works for me might not work for others. I like to stay away from most refined carbs as I tend to retain water and get tired very quickly. Protein is very important for me to keep me sustained and help my muscle recovery. I usually eat prepped food for breakfast, say it was dinner from the night before or food we prepped on the weekend. This could be chicken and rice; mince or chicken and veg or eggs on toast with avo. If I don’t have prepped food, I will have a shake. This is as I eat when I’m at the studio, so I need to take food with me. For lunch I’m normally home so will make a tuna salad. My days eating does vary as well as my work times differ, so it’s not always the same. For dinner we will have chicken curry, or chicken breasts, sometimes egg noodle stir fry. It varies to keep it exciting. I stay away from sugary drinks. My weak point is I have sugar free energy drinks.
What does your training look like? What kind of training do you believe in and why?
My training is quite a variety. I do my Fitblock classes which is high intensity, functional training. This is my cardio per say. It keeps me fit but also is a good energy outlet for me. I also do weight training where I target specific muscle groups each day and then I do my yoga training as well. This will be through flows and different drills. I believe in interval training and love this way of training. It enables one to complete an effective workout in an hour. It’s a great way of improving ones aerobic capacity, boost your endurance, improve mental strength in a time effective way while having a variety of exercises so one doesn’t get bored. One’s metabolic rate is increased which continues to challenges yourself mentally and physically, no matter what level of training you do.
How do you stay mentally healthy and strong?
I think this one is a constant exercise for me and it’s not always easy for me. I do this by meditation and constantly reminding myself of my thoughts. I believe that my conscious thoughts become my subconscious thoughts, so I talk about my feelings and deal with my emotions so as not to keep them bottled up. Remember to keep breathing, might sound silly, but sometimes we just need to sit and breathe and center our minds by not letting our train of thoughts run away with us. By eating healthy and keeping active also helps a lot. For me, my transformation over these last 3 years mentally and physically has been incredible. Keeping active and challenging myself- a strong mind- a stronger body. Once we start to believe in ourselves, the magic happens.
What message do you aim to portray to your followers? How do you aim to inspire them?
I want to portray a real Dani Martin to my followers. I want to be real and authentic. I feel that social media is such a fad and so fake. Who I am In normal everyday life is the same as who is seen on social media. I want people to see that It is possible to reach ones goals and to push past the self-doubt and any mental barriers which might be in the way. I would never have thought I would be able to do certain exercises or yoga poses and movements, or even instruct a class. I was able to transform myself physically and mentally to where I am today and I want to continue to learn and grow each day.
Who/what inspires you?
Many individuals inspire me daily in different ways. Whether it be what they have done or continue to do, whether it be mentally or physically. Through hard work, dedication and determination one can reach any goal.
What is your favorite #strongwomen quote?
And one day she discovered that she was fierce, abs strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears – Mark Anthony
Who inspires you to be a strong woman?
My family definitely inspire me to be a strong woman! My sister and mom are huge inspirations for woman’s strength.
Do you have a strong woman moment to share with us?
When doing a HITT class one day in 2015, I thought to myself looking at some of the instructors doing exercises how incredible it would be to be able to do what they were doing. I was doing a class the other day and was able to push harder and use heavier weights and I thought back to that time when I wished I would be able to do it. It proved to me I CAN do anything I put my mind to.
Author: Logan Leigh Rix
Logan blends her passion and profession by working as a digital and social media marketer and content creator in the fitness, health and wellness industry. She’s also a former Face of Fitness finalist and Fitness Magazine featured athlete.