The Amazing Danny Johnson Talks With

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

I got started with bodybuilding, a little just by working out in college. I used to go to the gym at night and run on the treadmill and then I would sneak over to the weights and just do curls and lateral raises (since that was all I knew) I slowly progressed from there, as I was an acrobat and interested in being in shape. I initially got my personal training certification mostly to teach myself!

Where does your motivation come from?

Good question. Sometimes, I have to admit, the motivation is not always there. I have to rely on discipline when I’m not all pumped to workout, or to say “no” to the food everyone else is eating. It comes from things I was taught as a child and from teachers. I don’t want to settle or just be mediocre. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. I am most motivated by people who have achieved great success by overcoming great adversity.

What is your training philosophy?

My philosophy in regards to training is to do what you like and train for yourself. I don’t think “bigger is better” or “go hard or go home” I’m kind of over that mentality by now. I think that people need to train in a way that they enjoy and that is sustainable. There is a way and a method for everyone.

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

  1. Pull-ups
  2. Push ups
  3. Walking lunges

All of these are compound exercises so you are working multiple muscle groups at the same time. I love pull-ups because I don’t care how heavy you can lift, I think they show how strong you really are. Walking lunges give you a great butt and can make anyone sore! They are also really good for balance and stability. These are the basic compound movements that everyone should master before any other weight training.

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

There is a time for both. I try to stay pretty lean year round. That being said HIIT is great because you aren’t stuck doing cardio for long periods of time… although sometimes when you are carb depleted, its hard to get that intensity you need, and just a steady pace for an hour is all you can do. I’d say my cardio is about 50/50. HIIT works FAST, but you have to listen to your body. I also enjoy longer sessions of cardio sometimes just to read a book or listen to the ipod.

What is your philosophy on nutrition?

Nutrition is at least 75% of my physique. Eating clean and often is the key to getting and staying lean. I learned the hard way in college, but now I know what to do. I eat  pretty much the same things day in and day out, and I honestly don’t get bored of it.

What are your favorite meals and foods?

I love “clean” foods like oats, chicken, eggs, yams, asparagus, etc. But I like to make weird combinations of food, like dipping chicken in oatmeal, or putting tuna in flavored yogurt. I pretty much mix everything together, and I think it makes some people gag! LOL

Favorite cheat food?

I LOVE Thai food. I’m not sure all of it is that bad, but I love peanuts on everything, coconut milk, and curry flavors!! MMMmmm!!

What supplements do you use that give you great results? How do you use them?

I am not huge on using a lot of supplements, but this year I did experiment with creatine. I used Cellucor M5 and I think that it really helped me this year in competition season, maintain my muscle while doing so much cardio. I also do take 5-HTP on a daily basis, I think it keeps my cravings and anxiety down. I also use  protein powders and glutamine. I have a bunch of pre/post workout stuff at home and my problem is not using them consistently. I also have a hard time with timing on empty stomach, etc.

Favourite Bodybuilders?

I love Jay Cutler because he’s a fellow Las Vegan!! I also love Monica Brant. I wasn’t a big fan of hers until I met her this last Olympia (2009). She came to my house to do a photo shoot, and her physique was off the wall!! She’s got an amazing body and has had longevity in this industry and put up with a lot more than we probably care to know. She’s also very down to earth and funny. I could only hope to have as much success as she has had.

Monica Brant

Favourite Quote?

Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right