Danielle Vaughan

Birthdate: January 30, 1990
Height: 5’6”
Weight: 125 pounds (contest); 135 pounds (off-season)
Birthplace: Edmonton, AB Canada
Current residence: Edmonton, AB Canada
Career highlights:
2012: ABBA Muscle Beach Fall Classic, 2nd 2013: ABBA Provincial's, 1st

The fact that Danielle Vaughan is on the verge of winning her IFBB pro card should come as no surprise to anyone who saw her win her class at just her second-ever bikini competition.

It would, however, come as a big shock to anyone who grew up with the now 23-year-old bikini beauty.

"I wasn't really into fitness growing up," Vaughan said. "In high school I always hated gym class and would always skip it and get in trouble. Now I'm living in the gym."

Her "life" in the gym started just two years ago. At the time, Vaughn was living with a roommate who competed in bodybuilding, and whose girlfriend competed in the women's physique division. Vaughn would tag along with the pair and her boyfriend. After a few months her physique had progressed to the point where people were telling her it was her turn to step on stage.

There was only one small problem.

"I've always been kind of shy," Danielle says. "It was something out of my comfort zone."

Not too far out of it, as it turned out, as Danielle placed second in that first contest. More recently, she won her class at the CBBF Canadian Provincials. The win qualified her for Canadian Nationals in August, where she will step on stage hoping to gain entry into the professional ranks.

But, win or lose, Danielle is keeping things in perspective and focusing on the bigger picture. "I know how tough it is to get a pro card, so that would be unreal," Danielle says.

"But either way, all I can do is give it everything I have and hope for the best. I can't really be disappointed in my first National show."

Q: When did you start working out?
A: I really started working out about two-and-a-half years ago. Before that I was the light-weight lifting cardio queen, trying to avoid getting "big".

Q: How did you get interested in competing? Did you see a physique in a magazine that inspired you to say "I want to do that" or "I want to look like that"?
A: I was surrounded by my roommate (who is a bodybuilder) and a few friends who were into the sport. I kept having people approach me in the gym asking if I was competing or what show I was getting ready for. I was flattered but for me being a surprisingly shy person, I knew putting in the work wouldn't be the hard part. But being on stage in a bikini - in front of a bunch of people - would really challenge me. I went into my first competition thinking it would be the only one, but I was instantly hooked. The more I learn about the sport, the more I absolutely love it. Seeing your hard work come together for that one day is just so rewarding.

Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I work full-time as a support clerk for the Government of Canada. I think of my training as my second part-time job that I really love and have passion for.

Q: What are your long-term goals in the sport of Bikini?
A: Striving to earn my pro card would definitely be my biggest goal at this point. Signing with Evogen has been a huge honor, I didn't expect that. I don't exactly know what the future holds, but I am going to continue to push hard, compete and hopefully excel within the industry. The sky is the limit!

Q: What are your favorite exercises?
A: Hmm, that's tough there are so many. My favorites would probably have to be cable side lateral raises, split squats (or single leg squats) and deadlifts!

Q: What is your favorite body part?
A: It's all about the booty! I love lifting heavy and really challenging myself. Training lower body really allows me to do that.

Q: When did you realize competing was your passion?
A: The exhilaration I felt when I got off the stage for the first time after being recognized for the work I put in fed my drive and pushed me towards making the gains I needed, knowing I could possibly take home a first-place trophy in my next competition.

Q: What do you do to prepare for a show?
A: Honestly, it starts with mentally preparing yourself, knowing the sacrifices you have to make, the ringer you are put through and the drastic swing of emotions you might have. Secondly, it's about surrounding yourself with supporting and understanding people, because the one thing I've learned is that a lot of people don't really "get" the why's behind why you do it. Lastly, I set short-term goals for myself each week, because if all I think about is how I want to look when I get on stage, it will make for a very long prep.

Q: How do you take advantage of the offseason?
A: Although I still follow a fairly strict diet in my offseason, my calories are much higher and it allows me time to really focus on building areas that I need to improve on. I use one or two cheat meals a week to my advantage in really increasing my energy in the gym and I love the pump I get from it!

Q: Who is your inspiration in this sport?
A: There are so many people in this sport and industry that inspire me, from non-competitors to pro bikini competitors, body builders and everything in between, all for different reasons and their individual passion behind fitness. Amanda Latona is a big inspiration to me - not only does she have the most amazing glutes, but she has such an awesome, bubbly personality. I also really like Larissa Reis - she's got this tough-girl look about her but she's still gorgeous and her physique is unreal.

Q: How has competing enhanced your life and how do you/will you use it to improve the life of others?
A: Since competing I have really developed a new appreciation for my body. Competing and staying in shape is a lifestyle choice and you are the only one in control. You can do anything you put your mind to. Hearing that I am potentially inspiring and motivating others to improve their lifestyle has been one of the biggest rewards, and I will continue to share my journey with others over social media.

Q: What advice would you give to others that want to break into competing?
A: You have to be 100% ready for the commitment. It's going to be very challenging and difficult at times, but there is no better feeling than the accomplishment when you step on stage. Think about why you want it and why you're doing it and stay focused on that. Set short-term goals for yourself, and have fun with it!

Danielle's Training Split (contest prep)

Day Bodypart(s) trained
1 Legs (Conditioning)
2 Upper Body Circuit
3 Off
4 Legs/Glutes
5 Upper Body Circuit
6 Off
7 Legs/Glutes

Danielle's Cardio (contest prep)

Day Type of Cardio Duration (minutes)
1 Bike or Step Mill Intervals/Incline Treadmill 30/15 minutes
2 Step Mill Intervals 45 minutes
3 Off
4 Step Mill Intervals 45 minutes
5 Step Mill Intervals/Incline Treadmill 30/15 minutes
6 Off
7 Step Mill Intervals 45 minutes

Danielle's Pre-contest Meal Plan

Meal 1:
1 scoop Cell K.E.M.
1/2 cup egg whites
20g whey protein powder
1/2 cup creamy rice cereal (not cream of rice)
1/2 cup berries

Meal 2:
4.5 oz chicken
1/2 cup brown rice
1-2 cups fibrous vegetables, steamed

Meal 3:
5 oz white fish
1/3 cup brown rice
1 cup fibrous vegetables, steamed

Meal 4 (Pre-workout):
1 scoop EVP
1 scoop Glycoject (leg days only)
30g whey protein
1/3 cup creamy rice cereal
1 apple (leg days only)

Meal 5 (Post-workout):
1 scoop Cell K.E.M.
5 oz white fish
1/2 cup gluten free, brown rice pasta
1-2 cups fibrous vegetables, steamed

Meal 6:
1 scoop Cell K.E.M.
3/4 cup of egg whites
1 whole egg
20 almonds


Danielle Vaughan - Leg Conditioning

CBBF Bikini Champion Danielle Vaughan trains back

CBBF Bikini Champion Danielle Vaughan Trains Shoulders

Lying Leg Raises with Danielle Vaughan