Daniel “The Shredder” Gonzalez Talks With Simplyshredded.com

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

Growing up I was very very skinny. I remember been 16 and my bicep flexed measured the same as my wrist, 8 inches. I thought that i was destined to be skinny, and I’ll never look even athletic. When I started training, everyone told me I was wasting my time. “As if your gonna get big”. My goal was never to look muscular or even stand out as that was something that I thought I could never achieve. I just wanted to look normal, as I was over been told “you gotta eat, your a rake”! lol they used to call me toothpicks, gets annoying especially coming from chicks. I first started off at home, in the garage. I would get buckets and fill them with sand, and bicep curl them. Do push ups, and just try and do anything that felt like I was working my muscles some how. Growing up I would watch all the Van Dame and Arnie movies.

I looked at these guys and thought, woah, there gods! I always planted those pictures in my head, and imagined what it would feel like to look like that.

Where does your motivation come from?

My motivation comes from seeing what a difference training hard and consistently has done to my life, and the benefits and rewards you get from having a good physique. Every year I make gradual improvements, and you just keep feeling better and better about yourself.

The respect and appreciation people show you keeps me focused to keep making improvements, its almost like you have a reputation to uphold, and if you let yourself go, its like your letting a lot of other people down, especially young beginners that look up to you.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

I used to train my body parts once a week, heavy 6 reps, and rests in between. That didn’t work that great for me. This past year I was fortunate enough to meet a guy called Jimmy Kotantonis. He is a Mr world Australian champion, and at the age of 39 looks like something out of a cartoon. He is very well known and respected in the industry and with so much knowledge that even the best bodybuilders in Australia go to him for advice. One of those people that can answer any question without hesitation. He has helped me with my diet and training. And since I met him my physique has improved dramatically. I now train higher reps, less rest between sets, and I train each body part every 4th or 5th day. Once every 7 days in my opinion isn’t frequent enough.

I do a lot of super and giant sets, always mix it up and go by how I feel. I don’t have a set routine that I follow religiously, going by how I feel, is the best way to go.

If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  1. Dead lifts  – Because of so many muscles it involves at the one time. Promotes a lot of growth and thickness, something I lacked a lot of and since I started them they have helped me out heaps.
  2. Strict lateral raises – Too many people swing up heavy dumbells in this exercise, i think if performed strict, you really get those round full delts, that broaden your frame. Can never have round enough shoulders.
  3. Incline dumbell curls – Really good for guys with short biceps, like myself. Makes the bicep appear longer as it targets the lower part of your bicep.

What is your diet like?’

Ive tried every diet imaginable, from low carb, to no carb high fat (keto), to high carb no fat. What i find is the best by far is carb cycling, and again, Jimmy got me onto this. I actually put on quality muscle and leaned up at the same time. Guys that do this, actually grow into a competition, which is normally hard to even hold on to all your muscle yet alone grow.

Works on the principle of 3 low carb days, then a high and a mod.

They say that the pre and post-workout meals are the most vital meals for the day, what do yours consist of?

I keep all my meals the same, spaced out approx every 3 hours. The only difference is post work out I use a good hyrolized protein (60gm), and drink it with 500 ml of dark grape juice (50 gm of sugars). While I train I drink BCAA’s, I use Xtend by Scivation.

I find that keeps you full, and intensity is through the roof while training. Helps with growth as well.

When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?

I do a walk on the treadmill, with the highest incline for about 50 min. I find you preserve more muscle this way. When running your body tries to use glucose as energy, so if your glucose stores are low, which normally are while dieting, your body will break down muscle. Slow walks with resistance, your body uses fat more as a means of energy.

What supplements do you use?

Just my hydrolised protein, and BCAA’s. Multivitamins, fish oils, and a good fiber supplement.

Favorite Bodybuilders?

Kevin Levrone, Arnold, Frank Zane, Phil Heath

Favorite Quote?

“You are what you eat”