Issue #73


by Juan Carlos Lope

20 Questions with Cover Model Danielle Reutter

Video Interview with Pro Figure Danielle Reutter

Kim's Kounseling Korner
by Kimberly Martin

Video Interview with Amateur Bikini Jessica Starr

Danielle Reutter, Megan Gangitano, Dinah Salazar, Amber Day, Amanda Vassallo


20 Questions with Cover Model Danielle Reutter

Danielle Reutter

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Danielle Reutter?

I am a Christian, Army Wife, Mommy, Personal Trainer and IFBB Pro Figure Competitor.

2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?

I am an Army Wife – my husband Lucas is active duty and currently on recruiter orders. At the end of the summer he will be going back to the infantry at Ft. Lewis in Washington State. We I have been married for five years and live in Sylvania, OH with our amazing little boy, Bear.
Bear is my inspiration, my heart and my hero. He was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC). This is a rare condition that affects his upper and lower extremities. Thankfully this is a condition that only improves; at birth that was the worst it will ever be. His feet were clubbed and all the joints from his shoulders to his finger tips were fixed in one position. He began casting, splinting, physical and occupational therapies at two days old. When he was four months old he began moving his arms for the first time. Now he is 22 months old and he has been walking for 7 months, and he is climbing the furniture and getting into and everything! He gets physical therapy three times a week, occupational therapy twice a week and speech therapy twice a week, in addition to me working on him every night --- and on top of all of that, he works so hard, has patience and is such a joyful, happy little boy.

3) How did you start competing in figure?

When my husband was stationed at Ft. Lewis in Washington State, I co-owned a personal training studio (which is now Custom Bodies) with my good friend, Sybil Norberg. She had always wanted to do figure, as well as one of our trainers, Meredith Soleau. I didn’t really know anything about figure, so I started to look into it. We were all going to do a show together, and we started dieting and training for a few weeks. My husband got his recruiter orders and we had to move, so that put competing on hold. After we reached Ohio, we found out we were pregnant. So I set the goal of competing after I had the baby. Sure enough, four months after having Bear I hired Chastity Slone to help me get that baby weight off and get on stage!

4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?

Personally, I like well conditioned, full muscles and on the harder side.

Danielle Reutter

5) What is your idea of what judges want in a Figure competitor? Do you think judges are clear enough with competitors about how they want you on stage? It seems in Europe they are very clear unlike in the USA and now in Canada things are confusing.

It is hard to know exactly what the judges want to see when it comes to how hard or soft you look. Overall I think they want to see a well sculpted, lean, balanced, symmetrical, feminine physique with poise and stage presence – the whole package.

6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!

I’m always working to improve myself. I am still new to this sport, and with each show I have come in better than the one before. After doing my first pro show and seeing myself next to the other pro ladies, I’m working on putting a little more size to my shoulders, in addition to always working on improving my overall condition,

7) What is your typical training routine in the gym (per day, include sets and reps!) How much cardio do you do before a show?

Training-wise I am spoiled because I work at Fitness 4 All. Keith Zoeller is the owner and my trainer. He has really helped me fine tune my training to achieve my best physique thus far. I train 6 days a week and always take Sundays off. My training split looks something like this.
Monday – Shoulders
Tuesday – Back & Abs
Wednesday – Legs
Thursday – Chest & Shoulders
Friday – Bis & Tris & Abs
Sat – Legs
I typically do 6-9 exercises depending on the muscle group. We focus a lot on really squeezing the muscle instead of throwing a lot of weight around. Everything is a controlled, thought through movement – and that makes all the difference! I also do a lot of plyos on my leg days as well as in my cardio.
Before a show I do cardio once or twice a day, depending on how I’m progressing. When I was getting ready for Nationals (where I won my Pro Card), I did cardio twice a day for about 2 weeks, and then the last week just once a day.

8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)

This is what I ate for my last 2 shows – and then every 3-5 days I would have some brown rice with meal 1 and post workout
Meal 1: 2 oz flank steak, 4 oz chicken breast, 6 asparagus
Meal 2: 4 oz tuna, 3 oz broccoli, 9 almonds
Meal 3: 4 oz tuna, 3 oz green beans, 9 almonds
Meal 4: 6 oz orange roughy, 6 asparagus
Post workout: ½ cup coconut water, 1 scoop protein
Fast from 5-7pm to 7-9am (14-16 hours) – Thank You LeanGains.

9) How do you go about dropping your water before the day of the show? How much water do you drink the day of the show. Please be specific.

During the weeks leading up to a show I drink at least 2 gallons of water every day. I stop counting after 2 gallons and some days I’ll be done with that by noon! So then for the show at a certain time – usually the evening before, all I do is reduce my water intake down to about 4-6 ounces with each meal until after prejudging. After prejudging I’ll drink 24-32 ounces, get off my feet and then go back to the 4-6 ounces with each meal until after finals (and I NEVER have a cheat before finals )

Danielle Reutter

10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you looked up to?

My son definitely motivates me to be the best I can be. I see competing as a way to show him first hand that with proper nutrition and training, you can push yourself and grow beyond what you or anyone else might think is possible. He has already defied the odds and works harder than most toddlers – most adults too!

11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?
At Nationals, while I was at the meeting before finals, the sprinklers went off in the room next to ours and flooded our hotel room! Thank God Chastity was there in the room and was able to save our belongings from getting soaked!

12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed? 
Honestly, I am still so new I am still learning how the industry works and what it is all about.

13) What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?

Here’s where I could write a book – and I will someday, so you will have to wait to hear it all. I will say that I have had many difficult challenges. You could say that most of my life has been difficult challenges. I am grateful for each one because they have shaped me to be the woman I am today. Now I look at each new challenge as a way of growing into the woman God wants me to be.
Just to give you a couple; my husband was deployed to Iraq in 2006 for 15 months - that was definitely a challenge. Also the first few months of Bear’s life definitely proved that nothing happens as planned, especially when it comes to having a baby. Bear was born at home and was non-responsive. We had to call 911 and spent the next 10 days in the NICU (where we learned he had AMC) And the 12 weeks following were filled with numerous dr appointments, feeding problems, and being a new mom!
14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for your last show? Water intake, carbing up, etc...

My last show I dried out a little harder and had a little more carbs.

Danielle Reutter

15) What do you think of bikini division?

I think it’s great. There are a lot of women who like that body type and now they have an opportunity to compete.

16) What are your favorite foods to eat right after you compete on a Saturday night?

I always want chocolate! My last show I had a chocolate torte waiting for me after finals. After that we went out for seafood. I usually don’t want a big heavy meal right after a show – it’s a few days later that I want pizza J
17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?
I certainly did not have a traditional childhood, and I had many interesting experiences. I grew up mostly in Central Pennsylvania. My parents were together until I was 6 and after the divorce I lived with my mom and shared time with my dad. After 8th grade I moved in the my dad and we moved to Long Island for a few months, and then back to PA where I went to Hershey High School. Here’s one interesting experience I’ll tell you a little about. When I was 15 my dad bought a sports bar. We ended up living in the apartment above it. My bedroom was above the kitchen and to this day the smell of fryer oil and chicken wings turns my stomach! Also around that time I worked at the PA Renaissance Faire – so I spent my weekends during the summer and fall being Sabina the Gypsy.

18) Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball or what?

I did dance and gymnastics off and on growing up. After high school, I went to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, AMDA, in NYC. I studied musical theatre and my classes consisted of primarily of voice (singing and speaking), acting, musical theatre, ballet, tap, jazz, theatre dance.

19) What is a typical day in the life of Danielle Reutter? From waking up to until going to bed?

Every day is a little different, but starts and ends the same.
4:15am wake up
5am training, followed by cardio
Train clients
I’m usually done with my morning clients between 10 and noon, so after that I might run some errands, then go home and shower and take a nap. Then I go back to work and train my evening clients.
After work I go home and have dinner with my family. After dinner I get my food prepared for the next day. Then I put Bear to bed, and then I go to bed and start it all over again!

Danielle Reutter

20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do you specifically do in your job?

I am a personal trainer and I love my job. I love working one on one with my clients and helping them become healthy and fit. It’s amazing to watch the transformation, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I see people’s lives change for the better and I am very blessed that I can help that happen.


Back to Issues


© 2004 HardFitness Design All right reserved.