Fitness, lifestyle, Motivation

My First Interview as a Fitness Competitor :)

So You Wanna Look Like A Fitness Model? Find out what it takes in DFF’s exclusive interview with pro body builder Miranda!

“Most people think of bodybuilding as a sport for massive men. The truth is in the name itself – “body” and “building”. The sport is about building an aesthetically pleasing body, and anyone can do that!” – Miranda

Aesthetics is often the goal when people first begin their fitness journey, and there’s a sport dedicated to just that, Body Building. The DFF team hung out with Miranda, the 2016 UK BFF winner, pro body builder and blog author. In her interview she gives insights into her diet and training, as well as the lifestyle changes that have helped her achieve her goals. Think you have what it takes? Read on to find out more.

You can also keep up with Miranda’s Journey on her website and on social meda @InspiredbyMiranda



Read the full interview to find out my training & diet schedule on the link below:

Fitness, Motivation

On Stage


Last week I won my first ever bikini fitness competition.

Wow! I still can’t believe it!

Being on stage was a surreal experience & a mix of emotions.

First, all the girls in my category had to line up at the front of the stage and we had to do the quarter turns. I was so nervous (and thirsty!) that I could feel my heart beating in my chest and my legs soft like jelly.


Yet I managed to do most of the things I had practised to do – smile, keep my belly in and hold all the poses correctly. I made sure to look at the judges too. One thing I struggled with was keeping my shoulders down (yep, you can hear my coach screaming in the video below).

Then we were called in groups of 4 for comparisons. I misheard my number the second time and went out twice 😀 ooops!

After this we were all back in a line at the front for one last round of comparisons. By this point I could feel my body shaking and keeping the poses (especially the side twist) was really becoming a challenge.

Once this phase of the comparisons was done, we were all given medals for participation and asked to go backstage.


And then things started moving fast! The top 3 athletes were immediately called back to perform their individual T-walk, followed by more comparisons and winner announcement.

As we were waiting on the stage, I was happy to have placed in the top 3 and pretty much expected to get 3rd place. But then they called one of the other girls…. So I thought I would get second place… And then they called the girl next to me and I just couldn’t believe it!

I had to laugh out loud. “You must be joking,” I thought.

Yet here I was, a winner, despite the nervousness and the little mistakes on stage!


Fitness, Motivation

Last Workout Before the Big Day!

262 workouts.

1.16 million kg lifted, pushed & dragged.

9% body fat dropped.


On April 19th 2015 I embarked on a long journey. I entered the world of weight lifting and bodybuilding.

The first 6 months involved building muscle and lifting technique.

The last 6 months focused on fine tuning my nutrition and shaping my body.

I have been lucky to start with a really good base, since I was involved in sport & fitness since a young age and stayed consistently active.


Although the journey was an uphill struggle, I am glad I did not have to take any extreme measures some other athletes have had to take to get in top shape.

Now it’s time to rest and shine on stage! But what I am really looking forward to is all the yummy things I will eat the day after 😀

See you on the other side! xo






Exercise of the week: Prowler Push

The prowler push can be used for variety of purposes like adding a size and strength to both the upper and lower body and conditioning to name few.

The concentric-only nature of prowler exercises provides less soreness, so can be performed more frequently. It works well at the end of a workout – one of the greatest finishers.

Here’s how it looks:

And here are a few tips:

  • Before you start make sure to get your posture correct. You want to drive the sled so that your spine is almost parallel to the ground.
  • Put enough weight you can push with good technique, so load a weight that feels appropriate for your strength and capabilities.
  • With a range of grips at different heights on the sled handles you can change up your training routine. A higher, lower, or wider grip will change the resistance points in your posterior chain.

Try and have fun with it   😉💪


Exercise of the week: Arnold Dumbbell Press

The Arnold dumbbell press is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s all time favourite shoulder exercise invented by the man himself. It can work different parts of the deltoid in one exercise, great for the front and side heads of the delts. The extra stretch and range of motion you get through this exercise ensures that you recruit more muscle fibres and results in stronger contraction. All of this makes the workout more intense.



How to do this exercise:

  • Sit on a chair bench with your back rested
  • Hold the dumbbells with palms facing your shoulders (a supinated grip), keeping your elbows flexed
  • Press the dumbbells upward over your head, slowly rotating your hands forward
  • Don’t lock your elbows / arms, but do force your delts towards the ceiling
  • Lower the dumbbells rotating your hands back to the starting position with hands facing your shoulders

Exercise of the week: Sled drag

Sled dragging is a great strength and conditioning exercise with many benefits. As there is less muscular tension and reduced joint loading, there is much less risk of injury and muscle damage & soreness. This also makes it a good lower-body rehabilitation exercise for those recovering from knee, ankle or hip injuries. 

Doing sled drags can help strengthen weak areas such as the hamstrings, hips and glutes and improve squat and deadlift performance. It can also improve one’s flexilibility and mobility due to the nature of the movement.

I love using the sled as a part of the workouts. It’s great for developing power, strength, muscle size, or conditioning. I call it enjoyable pain. The beauty of it is that it is so versatile. – Adrianna McDonald, PT

You can pull forward, backward, sideways, high or low. If the sled is light you can sprint as hard as you can to build acceleration and speed (and feel your muscles burning!). If it is heavy  you will increase your muscular endurance and lower body strength.

The forward drag is great for posterior development (hamstrings and glutes). It’s good to have the strap placed around the abdominal or the hip area. Use big steps to pull the sled along. 

The backward drag really works the quads, especially in a squatting position (see video below) and hip flexors. 

Both these types are used in Miranda’s leg workout as the last exercise (a finisher). Doing an intense exercise or two for about 5-10 minutes at the end of a sound strength training workout is perfect since your energy stores are low. A good finisher will help produce great fat loss since it places a great demand for energy. As your glycogen levels are low, body fat will be used to provide energy at this point in the workout.


The Importance of Routine

Getting ready for a competition isn’t easy. A lot of people think the hardest part is the training, and although working out consistently is important, staying organized and disciplined the remaining 22-23 hours is when the going gets tough.

As many have said: anyone can workout for an hour, the hard work is outside the gym. Just like anything in life, to achieve your fitness goals you need to put in effort consistently. And here is where creating your own daily routines comes in.

Organizing your day around your personal goals will help you stay on track. That doesn’t mean following a strict schedule – having a clear order of your priorities for the day can be of great help too!

For example, as I’m preparing for a fitness competition, my training and nutrition are top priorities. Therefore, my days usually start with a workout. This way I can tick one of my top priorities before other things get in the way. When it comes to food, I do have a meal schedule however it is flexible and I try to eat every 2-3 hours to prevent my body from going in starvation mode and feeding on my (little) muscles.

Although most parts of my day are flexible, my mornings and evenings tend to be quite structured. I usually have a list of small tasks which form my ‘evening routine’ –  unpacking and repacking my gym kit, prepping my supplements for the next morning, choosing my office outfit, washing the dishes and finally spending some time reading in bed before I nod off.

Having this little routine eases the stress in the morning and allows me to focus on other things, such as my posing practice discussed earlier.

So if you have been struggling to achieve your goals and have been feeling overwhelmed lately, take a look at your daily life and see where you can add some structure. This will give you a sense of direction and a peace of mind. You will feel like you have a plan and that you are taking small measurable steps towards your goal every day.

Here are my tips to get started:

  1. Ask yourself what is it that you really want to achieve in the coming months and years. What is it that you must do each and every day without fail to achieve this goal?
  2. Make a list of those things and see where you can fit them in your day on a regular basis. Can you dedicate your evenings or mornings to working on your dreams?
  3. Once you are set on your top daily priorities and where they fit in your daily schedule, start by trying to tick off at least one of those each and every day.
  4. Remember to think in advance – if you foresee any busy and tough periods ahead make sure you re-adjust your routines without dropping your priorities too further down the list (i.e. Try to keep doing the bare minimum at least, so that you don’t loose the momentum of moving towards your goal)

Good luck!



Exercise of the week: Cable straight arm pulldown



This is standing variation of the pulldown, the angle is different so the weight needs to be lighter than standard lat pull. It’s a great exercise for lat isolation.

The way Miranda does it allows you for bigger ROM (range of motion). It is one of the best ways to optimally shorten the lat muscle when done correctly.

How to do it?

  • Face  the high pulley and grab the bar shoulder-width apart. Bend slightly forward with your arms above the head.
  • Use your palms to push bar down with slightly bent elbows rotating at the shoulders only.
  • Contract the lats and stand straight back up bringing the bar close to the thighs.
  • Keep your chest high through out the range of motion and back flat or slightly arched.

Some more tips from

  • For a great pump, use the straight-arm pulldown as a pre-exhaust move before compound exercises such as rows, or as a finishing move at the end of your back routine.
  • Concentrate on making your lats do the work. Don’t allow your elbows to bend, which would elicit greater involvement of the triceps to assist in the move.
  • Make sure you don’t use momentum to go into the next rep. Doing so will decrease the tension on your lats and could result in injury, particularly when using heavier loads.

Exercise of the week: Underhand Grip Lat Pulldown

There’s pretty much no workout without a lat pull down variation. You can change your grip and angle and there are many bars you can choose from.

In the video below,  Miranda is doing the supinated ( underhand grip) straight bar variation, which allows her to involve more of the biceps. Usually it’s performed with a close grip but I find it easier on the wrists with a wider grip.

Your form & technique are essential to be able to isolate the muscle you are trying to work on and to properly stimulate it. Use the wrong technique and you will end up using your traps, rhomboids or lower back See-no-evil monkey

The results of this exercise may vary from person to person – it may give your back a wider look or add thickness to your muscles.

A key aspect for this lift is to go for a slightly lower weight and ensure a fully contracted lat muscle by using a controlled movement.

A few points to keep in mind when performing this exercise:
* Adjust the seat to fit under the pad
* Sit up straight
* Grab the bar palms down wider than shoulder width and engage your lats
* Traps and and shoulders down and blades together
* Chest slightly lifted
* Drive the elbows down pulling the weight slowly towards your clavicle
* Squeeze the lats harder at the bottom end of the movement
* And release slowly (keeping tension in the lats)
* Breathe out on exertion (pull down) and in on release ( way up)