Sometimes we look at Pro athletes and personal trainers as if they have superpowers. But in fact, it's all about willpower, not superpower. And Daniel Guzman is here to remind us of that! He is a WBFF Pro, Certified Personal Trainer, and fitness enthusiast and motivator. Despite his absolute love for donuts, which is "deeper than his squats", Daniel is on top of his game and manages to look good and feel good through hard work and sheer willpower.
As long as you’re consistent and have clearly defined goals, it’ll make every victory – no matter how small – the perfect fuel to your motivation.
He is the owner of his own business, Daniel Guzman Fitness, and runs an awesome fitness blog with his girlfriend, Luisa Taddeo, called Eat. Whey. Love, which depicts their fitness journey and passion for health. Despite his busy schedule, Daniel was kind enough to sit down with us and share his story. If there's one thing to take away from this interview, is that if you don't have time, you make it. If you are indeed serious about your health, longevity, and fitness, you will make the time to dedicate yourself to your passion and ensure that you live longer and happier.
Hello, Daniel! Thank you for being open to doing this interview with us. We know that you are a WBFF Pro, fitness enthusiast and Certified Personal Trainer, but we’d like to hear in your own words who you are and what do you do.
I’m a guy that loves working out, anything regarding donuts (it’s an obsession), everything about superheroes. I’m a die-hard Orlando Magic fan (all the way back to the Shaq & Penny days). Every now and then I’m guilty of enjoying some trashy reality TV (love my Bravo). But overall, just someone that’s trying to get better every single day and help others along the way.
Do you have a favorite Superhero that inspires you to be who you are? If you could have a superpower, what would that be and why?
Superman has always been my go to. I don’t know how much inspiration I take from him but in my opinion he’s always been the greatest and being great at what I do has always been a priority. I think I would have to choose flight - think about how easy it would be to travel!
On your Instagram account you post a lot about your training, diet, and occasionally feature your cute dog, Shadow.☺ Tell us a little bit about how a day in your life looks like.
A typical day for me is getting up early for gym (usually around 4:30 am). I work in sales for a tech company so I have your standard 9 – 5. Nights will vary between getting some work done for my business (Daniel Guzman Fitness) or my blog (Eat . Whey . Love) that I run with my girlfriend Luisa, relaxing with some quality TV or taking down as many books as I can. Nothing too exciting, sorry guys!
Your blog is a great depiction of your journey and inspirational abilities. How did you and Luisa decide to create this blog?
It was just a conversation one day that just got the wheels turning. We wanted to build something together that would highlight some of our passions and that’s when the blog was created. We use it as a vehicle to hopefully get useful information out to those just getting started in their fitness journey.
How important is it for you as a couple to go through this health journey together? How does it impact your relationship?
It’s definitely great having a partner on this fitness journey. It gives us something that we can help motivate & push each other in. We definitely feel like it’s brought us closer together.
You obviously have a passion for writing. Is this a passion you've always had or did it develop alongside your love for fitness?
I always preferred writing papers than taking tests throughout school. For me personally, I think I can express myself best through words. Since launching the blog, it’s definitely become more of a passion.
When did you start weight training? What inspired you to get into the iron game?
I first discovered a love for the gym back in college. As my glory days of sports were in the past, I needed something to keep me sort of regimented and active. It has stuck with me ever since then and seeing the changes and progress over the years is enough to keep me coming back for more.
How was your life before you made this positive change?
Overall I was always pretty active and motivated. However, when I discovered my passion for fitness, it crossed over to all areas of my life and I believe it has pushed me to become better as a person overall.
You are a WBFF Pro and Certified Personal Trainer. What made you decide to make a career out of your enthusiasm for health and fitness?
Pursuing my pro card was a result of me wanting to take my health & fitness to the next level. Challenge myself in a new way and it simply took my passion to a new level. Becoming a CPT was me wanting to help others achieve their goals. This has now become my goal moving forward – helping others transform themselves.
Tell us a bit about your WBFF Pro debut. What did it take to achieve this title and how long did you prepare for it?
I won my pro card back in 2014. It was my first show and I honestly had no idea what I was getting into. There is always a level of sacrifice when competing in a show – every calorie needs to be tracked, late nights are few & far between and social events are normally enjoyed with an ice cold glass of water. It took about 12 weeks of prep and having a laser focus on my goal and being comfortable saying “no” when it didn’t fit into my plan.
It can be quite difficult to say "no" when things don't fit into your plan. Do you have any tips or strategies that help you stay on track?
Have a short term memory. You can’t dwell on something that “you should have had.” There’s nothing that can’t be undone. I also use MyFitnessPal a lot. It has a crazy database so even if you’re out at some random restaurant, you can most likely find a similar dish that will at least give you an idea of what you’re eating.
Are you currently planning to participate in other competitions as well?
I am tentatively committed to doing another show in April should everything line up accordingly.
Good luck with your future endeavors and may you win your next competition! Is Luisa interested in participating in competitions as well?
Luisa has one competition under her belt. She ended up placing 12th out of 44 girls which is an impressive feat for her first show. At the moment there are no plans to do another but that could always be subject to change.
What made you decide to become a Certified Personal Trainer? What is your favorite part about having this job?
I know how hard the journey can be. There is a ton of information out there and it can be overwhelming. I really wanted to help others not only achieve their goals but help them realize that they are capable of much more if you simply push yourself a little bit more. I truly love that moment when someone looks back at their journey, sees how far they’ve come and knowing I had a small hand in that.
Your Instagram feed is very inspiring and motivational, but more importantly, it’s rich in valuable information about training and nutrition. You inspire a lot of people to live a healthier life. What is your favorite part inspiring others?
Simply getting a comment or message from someone saying they found my content helpful. I always strive to learn as much as I can from others so I can become better. So I want to do my best to be a resource for as many people as possible.
You also have a YouTube channel where you post videos about your training and weightlifting sessions. You are definitely dedicated to encouraging more people to start exercising. What motivates you to empower others to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle?
It’s definitely a work in progress – I truly appreciate the art that is YouTube now that I’ve done it. But it just gives me another avenue to reach more people. It can be daunting going into a gym and starting from square one. If I can help just one-person head into the gym and feel confident in what they are doing, then that is motivation enough.
Tell us a little bit about your personal training routine. How often do you hit the gym during a week and what does your training involve?
My training will evolve depending on my needs. Addressing weak points (improving my compound movements) or building up body parts that are lagging. Given that my goals are centered around competing right now, my training is much more aesthetics & hypertrophy focused. Recently I have been increasing the frequency of my chest training as I see that as a weaker body part of mine.
What about your diet? Tell us a bit about how you maintain your strong and powerful physique.
Eat big to get “big”… ha! I always keep my goals in mind which for the most part is improving my physique but when I’m not in show prep I eat. And I eat a lot. I will track my macros most of the time and use the visual test as a gauge of if I’ve gone too far. I’m hovering around 3,200 – 3,500 calories a day right now. I’m not a believer in small meals every 2 – 3 hours. I normally only eat 3 meals a day as I like to enjoy bigger meals – keeps me fuller.
Do you ever have a cheat day?
Over the course of the last 1.5 years, I have adopted a mentality of flexible dieting. I track almost everything for this purpose. If you know what is going into your body, you’re able to adjust. So the answer is yes, I definitely have cheat days/meals as long as I can accommodate them in my daily goals. Simply put, I like to eat.
You are a very strong and inspiring person who encourages and teaches others how to stay fit and healthy. But what is your core motivation to stay healthy and fit?
Longevity. I want to control the things that I can to have a longgggg healthy/fit/happy life. I believe that I can maintain a certain level of fitness well into my later years and I definitely envision that lending itself well for when I have kids and I’m able to keep up with them, ha!
Speaking of kids, do you plan to teach them how to live a healthy lifestyle from the very beginning? What about sports, are there any sports you'd like to see your children engage in?
I’m definitely going to try and give them as much freedom to figure things out on their own. However, with that said, I’ll definitely show them the value & benefits of making healthier choices. I grew up playing basketball & soccer so if they happen to choose those, then that’s great! If not, I’ll have a steep learning curve to keep up with them. But at the end of the day, whatever they find the most joy in doing.
What are your future goals and ambitions? Where do you see yourself 5-10 years from now?
Right now I’m incredibly focused on growing Daniel Guzman Fitness. I’m sure as that grows, it will take me down some new paths that I never imagined. I hope that I can look back 10 years from now and say I’ve helped hundreds of people transform their lives. Helped a long list of people achieve goals they didn’t think were possible.
Tell us a little bit about your business, Daniel Guzman Fitness. It's not easy to run your own business and it takes a lot of effort and courage to start. When did you start and what empowers you to strive for success?
The business is a little under a year old. It was just time to take a passion to the next level. Building this into something that can hopefully sustain myself and my family at some point is what motivates me. The benefit is that I’m doing something I love so that certainly helps drown out those fears.
We’ve noticed that you really enjoy wearing your Mava Knee Sleeves, and you’ve even mentioned them in your gym bag essentials article. Tell us a little bit about how you use them. Do you wear them during and after workout for recovery as well?
I don’t tackle any leg day without my Mava Knee Sleeves. I’ve developed a little bit of tendinitis in my left knee so the compression has really helped. I also enjoy the level of support they provide without restricting mobility.
What other Mava Gear do you own?
Funny you ask. My wrist straps were a little beat up and old, so I have a shiny new pair of Mava Wrist Straps that I’m breaking in. So far so good!
Would you recommend your Mava Gear to our readers?
I can only really speak for the knee sleeves right now. But I would highly recommend! Some of the best knee sleeves I’ve ever used.
There are many people out there who think that wearing gear during training is silly. Coming from someone like you who is a Pro, CTP, and regularly writes about fitness, could you tell our readers why gym gear is important for training and recovery?
There is always a time and a place for everything. I always tell individuals that gear should be a supplement to your training not something you rely on. Weightlifting takes a toll on your body and sometimes gear is necessary to help you perform. I like to wrap my wrists when it comes to heavier push movements. I’ll rely on a lifting belt when I’m doing heavier hip hinge movements. And knee sleeves give my knees a little bit of added support on heavier compound movements.
Speaking of recovery, could you tell us a little bit about your recovery approach? How many rest days do you have a week and how do you spend them?
I try to have at least 1 full rest day a week. I might sprinkle some light cardio on that day but will stay away from the pounding of the weights. I’ve started incorporating some Yoga into my routine to help with recovery and flexibility. I also own a Stim machine so I’ll use that to get some added blood flow to recovering muscles.
Your schedule is busy to say the least! Do you have any time-managing tips for people who say they can’t go to the gym because they have to go to work?
It’s definitely an area I still struggle with. Don’t overlook the power of your phone. Set time blocks for yourself throughout the week. These are times where you will crank out focused work. Set calendar invites for yourself.
You and your girlfriend are both health and fitness enthusiasts and do things together that prove that. Does this fact make it easier for each of you to stay on track? How important is it to surround yourself with like-minded people, especially when you are at the start of a fitness journey?
100% makes it easier to stay on track. It gives us an accountability buddy or someone to bring you back to neutral. I think it’ super important. It can get lonely sometimes on the journey. Makes it so much better when you can talk to someone that has similar goals. You can share words of encouragement in down times and enjoy each other’s victories.
From both a personal trainer’s and fitness enthusiast’s perspective, what would you like to advise those who want to start training and eating healthy?
The first step is the hardest. And I know that sounds cliché but you really just need to take it. Get yourself in a routine and the results will follow. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. I know a lot of good trainers and fitness enthusiasts out there that would be more than happy to help you out. Most of us are where we are thanks to the help we all received along the way. We’re ready to dish some of that out!
Finally, what words of empowering wisdom do you have for our readers?
Slow progress is better than no progress. It won’t happen overnight and once you accept that, the process will be simpler. It’s going to make those tough days easier to get through. The days where you just don’t have it. You know you’re fighting for something bigger. As long as you’re consistent and have clearly defined goals, it’ll make every victory – no matter how small – the perfect fuel to your motivation.
Follow Daniel’s advice and design a routine for yourself that you can commit to. He teaches us that seeking out help is just part of the journey towards a healthier and stronger body – so don’t hesitate to ask questions. Set a powerful goal and let it drive you towards it. Daniel is an inspiration of health and strength, and he is the perfect example that determination, will, and a powerful goal can help you overcome the challenges of a busy life. Keep your end goal in mind, but take each day at a time and you’ll be successful.