Interview with 'the fitness couple' | Dan and Luana's story

Working out doesn’t have to be a burden and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to take time away from your loved one. We’ve recently had the pleasure to sit down and chat with two wonderful people. Dan and Luana are a great couple who live a beautiful love story for more than two years, but behave as if they’ve known each other their entire lives. In this Mava interview, they talk about their love story and their love for working out. 

Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. To begin, could you tell us a bit about yourselves and how you two met?

It’s our pleasure, we are even flattered by your proposal for the interview.

We are a couple of approximately the same age, 32 years old, based in Bucharest, Romania. We live normal lives, we do not make a living out of fitness. I (Dan) am an economist currently owning his own business in the gambling sector, and Luana is a psychologist who owns her own psychology office.

Contrary on what people would think, we didn’t meet in the gym. We first met in a club at the seaside, and then a few weeks later we stumbled on each other in the gym.

How long have you been together?

We’ve been together since September 2014, so that makes it around two and a half years. 

What do you love about each other?

We love that we can communicate very well with each other, which is the most important thing in a relationship. We also have lots of common hobbies and activities that we love, such as working out at the gym and living a healthy life. Besides the sports thing, we have similar ways of spending our free time, and we support each other in our personal goals. 

What is a normal day for you as a couple? How do you expect “normal” to change now, with your new baby girl arrival?

Before our baby girl was born, we used to go to the gym everyday together, and we both lived a very active life. Our program is not an ordinary one like most people, working from 9 to 5. Being both self-employed entrepreneurs, we have the possibility of making our own schedule. Having this possibility enabled us to make a common workout routine.

Now that the little angel came and we will have even more responsibilities and duties, we’ve already made a plan that we are going to implement in order to find the time to work out. We will “work on shifts” in taking care of Natalia. When Luana wants to go to the gym to attend a class or just go jogging through the park, I will stay and care for our daughter and she will do the same for me.

Is Valentine’s Day somehow special for you? How do you usually celebrate this day?

In our opinion, V-day is just an ordinary day, but it helps as a reminder that we should be loving and thoughtful with each other all year round. For us, every day is Valentine’s Day :) 

We usually celebrate it by going out at a restaurant and going to the club, where there’s usually a V-day Theme party.

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day story?

We have lots of love stories, but almost all are spontaneous, not necessarily related to V-day.

For example, last year I surprised Luana by cooking a special romantic dinner for her. It was a nice surprise, since she is the one who cooks all the time :) 

You both look amazing! Tell us, what inspired each of you to start working out?

Here, we both have our own stories.

Luana: I used to like jogging a lot, but the real click was about 8 years ago. I saw a group of very beautiful and fit girls who were basketball players, and I liked them a lot. It was then when I said to myself that I should work out more and take it to the next level. That’s how I started working out at the gym.

Dan: My story is love related. When I was a teenager I had a girlfriend whom I loved a lot. One day she told me she doesn’t like me anymore because I am too skinny and big nosed :) After the unfortunate situation I started a high protein diet and made a one-year gym subscription, along with a personal trainer program. About three years later I was radically changed, gained significant weight and muscle and my love life also started changing.

Has being in a relationship with someone who also works out helped you? Has it ever been challenging?

It definitely helped us a lot. There are times when one of us feels tired, sore or finds other priorities rather than going to the gym. When this happens, we motivate one another by remind ourselves  that we have to find the strength and motivation to go to the gym. If we get there, half of the work is done. There are times when I feel very tired and without energy, but at the end of the training I feel it went surprisingly well.

What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it as a couple?

The biggest challenge for us as a couple was when I participated in a TV show, which meant living away from Luana for almost two months, in a house with other girls – all of them models, and not being able to see each other for all this time. Communication, honesty, loyalty and sincerity did it for us, and we managed to get through this challenge.

Did you participate so far in any fitness competitions as a couple? How about individually?

About one year ago, in the spring of 2016, we’ve both been proposed to participate in an International Fitness Competition in September. The contest was held in Graz, Austria – the hometown of Arnold Schwarzenegger. We accepted, but we did not know then that Natalia was already on her way.

Once we knew, Luana dropped the idea, as it wasn’t possible for her anymore. But I went, and won 2nd place at Mister Adonis category, (a kind of Men’s Physique posing with a catwalk section also) and 3rd place at Men Fitness Category (only bodybuilding poses).

That is great Dan, congrats! How did you like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hometown?

I like it a lot! I want to return to visit it thoroughly, cause last time, being busy with the competition I didn't get the chance to see much.

What is your workout routine in the gym?

Luana: I do a lot of cardio (jogging, treadmill) and fitness classes (cycling, kick box). 

Dan: My actual workout is based on muscle growth – this is my goal, and it has been like that from the beginning. I go to the gym 5 times a week, and isolate the muscle groups by day. Monday – chest and abs, Tuesday – legs, Wednesday – back, Thursday delts and abs, Friday – arms.

Do you both follow a strict diet?

Yes, we almost totally eliminated from our diet any sweetened drinks and fried foods. We drink a lot of water and tea, and our diet is high protein based, so we eat a lot of meat (beef, salmon, chicken), milk, eggs, and cheese.

Do you have a person you admire in the sports and fitness industry?

Dan – Max Philisaire

Luana – Paige Hathaway

Luana, we saw a great video of you lifting weights when your due date was in two weeks. Was that you throughout your entire pregnancy? (Video)

Happy to say, yes, I trained through all my pregnancy. But of course, accordingly to my situation. So no more jumping, running on the treadmill, no more ab exercises. I did minimal training, walking on the treadmill, flexing some small weights.

The video is a joke we pulled. In the video I am lifting 220 lbs, which it’s kind of impossible or not at all indicated for a pregnant woman. On both sides of the bar, there’s Dan with another friend of ours lifting the whole weight. I am just doing the simple squat and mimicking the exercise :)

I must say, that was very cheeky! You’re a great actress! :)

The assistants made it all possible, Dan and another friend from the gym, Mihai. They carried all the weight, I wanted to do 20 reps knowing that the work is all theirs :) 

Lifting weights while being pregnant is somewhat of a controversial subject. Did anyone judge you for staying true to your passion of working out every day?

After we posted that video on Facebook, we had several family members, friends and acquaintances call us, blaming and warning us that exercising like that is not good for the pregnancy. We calmed everyone down when we explained the video was just a hoax.

Yes, there are people who tend to think that being pregnant is the same thing with being ill, telling me that I shouldn’t go to the gym while pregnant. I believe that it was beneficial for me to keep working out and going to the gym, but of course, adapting the workout to the current condition.

Congratulations on your new baby girl! You just gave birth one week ago! How long until you’re back in the gym?

I hope as soon as possible! My plan is to start running in the park this spring. I’ll see how that goes, and if everything is alright I will go back to my previous workouts – of course, keeping in mind the doctor’s advice for me. I am now motivated more than ever, my enthusiasm is as it was six years ago when I first started.

We had the opportunity to work together in creating amazing photographs. How would you describe your overall experience with Mava Sports?

We were very satisfied! We love the pictures and also the gear. We've been using Mava gear since we first tried it at the shooting. Our favorite gear: Silicone Pads and Silicone Power Gloves.

What is next for you in this New Year? What are your future plans and goals? 

For the moment our priority remains Natalia. And then, of course, trying to keep in the same shape as before, at least.

What are your plans for today? (14.02)

Care for Natalia, and maybe in the evening a romantic dinner, the three of us :)

Do you have some words of encouragement for those who would like to take the step towards getting fit and healthy, but need a little push?

Do that extra effort to start working out. Once you see the first results, you won’t want to stop.

Thank you both for sharing your story with us and for being such a great inspiration for those who strive to get fit and healthy, and couples that are trying to get to where you are.

How can our readers and supporters follow you?

It’s been our pleasure! We like remembering our story, how we started and got through all the stages of our relationship so far.

As our friends suggested, we made a Facebook page where everyone can see our progress and stages of our lives: The Fitness Couple. Also, our personal facebook pages are: Dan Iancu & Cezara Luana, and Instagram: @only.dan.iancu 

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