Fitness America Class Winner

Full-Time Cop, Mom in Figure competitions

By: Dana Taggart
Magazine 19 #2

I am trying to recall a time when my life was not so hectic, but as far back as I can remember my family was always involved in many activities. I can fondly recall sitting on the sidelines of my parents′ indoor soccer games, my Dad’s open gyms for basketball, watching my Mom doing her exercise videos in the living room, and all of this amidst my younger brother and my sport schedule, many of which involved travel. We had something going on just about every night of the week.

I became addicted to seeing improvements in my physique and the more I improved the harder I would push for further gains. My self-esteem improved and I was now much more confident in myself in every aspect of my life. But, it wasn’t until this past year that I finally got the courage to step out of my comfort zone and commit to stepping on stage.

Life seemed to slow down for a quick minute when I started working my first full time job as an Emergency Dispatcher. It was a sedentary desk job on 2nd / 3rd shift. I still ate what I wanted but I started to notice that my energy was lacking. I stayed thin, but lost a lot of strength and stamina. I was tired.

Fast forward a couple years and I found myself a single mother of 2 at age 23. I no longer had time to be tired, but I was.. very. After the birth of my daughter 2008, I joined the local YMCA and began my first attempt at an exercise regimen. It’s interesting how far down on the list of priorities you will allow ‘taking care of yourself′ to fall once your world revolves around your children. Having the Child-watch program at the YMCA allowed me to take some time for myself without feeling guilty because my kids enjoyed their time there as well. Happy Healthy Mom=Happier Healthier Family.

Within a couple years I had put on some muscle and started wondering how much further I could push myself. While continuing to work full-time, I attended the Police Academy and began working toward getting on the other side of the radio. While in the police academy I began to focus more on building my strength as it was now more important than ever. It was during this time that I discovered Beverly International and their amazing line of supplements when I was given a copy of their No Nonsense magazine by a friend.

Training my outlet

I became a full time Police Officer in June of 2012. I am recently engaged to my fiancé, Matt, whom I met in the academy and is also a full-time Police Officer. My children are now 5 and 7 and are active in their own sports. We are just as busy as I recall my childhood being and though it can be stressful at times, I love it. Training has become my outlet. I mention all of this because it is my hope that the other seemingly overwhelmed mothers that work full time and have busy families know that it is possible to still take time for their self and go after their own goals. In fact, it is important that you do! After all, we are now setting the example for our children.

I discovered Julie Lohre’s nutrition and training programs through the No Nonsense Magazine. I had been contemplating competing and knew that I had taken my physique as far as I could on my own. I needed professional guidance. I contacted Julie in August of last year and she got me started right away. She’s helped me to work my meals around my crazy schedule and plan ahead for when I will be stuck at a ballgame, or in my cruiser on a call. In just a few months′ time, I’ve gained strength and confidence. I have now competed in 2 figure competitions. I took 1st place in my class at the Fitness America Ohio Valley in October 2013. I went on to compete in the Kentucky Muscle in November, but I didn’t do nearly as well there. In fact, I was on the other end of the placements. However, I am hooked and enjoying the experience along the way, and now training for my next stage appearance as I write this.

Dana Taggart Fitness America Class Winner

Here is my current program designed to lose fat while building a little more lean muscle:

Daily Meal Plan

Planning and preparation was the hardest part when I first started but it does get easier with experience. I love to cook, but am obviously short on time, most of the time. For me, I’ve found that it helps to prep a few meals at a time, a few times a week. I really enjoy cooking a meal for us all to sit down and enjoy together.

I’ll usually cook more than I need to feed my family for dinner and then use leftovers to prep a few extra meals for myself.
While this may not be as efficient as a massive prep day where I make several meals solely for myself, our meals together at the table is something I value.
Meal 1
1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, half cup veggies (to make an omelet), 1 slice turkey bacon; half cup oatmeal
Meal 2
1 scoop UMP protein shake; ½ grapefruit
Meal 3
4-ounce chicken breast; half cup avocado; large salad with mixed veggies; 1 tablespoon olive oil & vinegar dressing
Meal 4
2 scoops UMP shake or pudding;1 tbsp almond butter
Meal 5
6-ounce white fish; 1 cup mixed veggies
Meal 6
4 egg whites; ½ cup veggies

That was just a sample day. I substitute quite often as I get bored easily when eating the same foods. I usually try to incorporate whatever my family is eating and then make adjustments so that it fits my plan. We also use Green Bean Delivery so that we have fresh organic produce on hand at all times. I love this service for its delivery convenience, but also because it has broadened my family’s fruit and veggie selection from the everyday apples and cucumbers.

Daily Supplement Plan

  • Fit Tabs: 2 in the AM, 2 in the PM
  • Density: 3 tablets, 3x’s a day
  • Lean Out: 2 before my first 5 meals each day
  • 7 Keto MuscLean: 3 in the AM, 3 with lunch
  • Glutamine Select: 1 scoop before training
  • UMP: 3 scoops per day

This seemed like a lot of pills when I first started. However, I drink a gallon of water a day, and taking the supplements throughout the day also helps me get in all my water at the same time.

Training Schedule

I currently lift 5 days a week along with 4 cardio sessions a week, 30 minutes each (most commonly HIIT). Notice I work Back, Glutes, and Delts twice a week since they are the show muscle groups for figure competition.

Monday: Back / Hamstrings / Glutes
Lat Pull Down 4x10-12 reps
Bent Over Barbell Row 3x10-12 reps + drop set
Straight Arm Pulldowns 3x10-12 reps + drop set
Squats with Wide Feet 3x10-12 reps + drop set
Dumbbell Deadlift 3x10-12 reps + drop set
Low Cable Kickbacks 3x10-12 reps
Hamstring Ball Curl Ins 4 x 15-18 reps
Tuesday: Chest / Biceps / Abs
Flat Bench Press 4 x 6-8 reps
Dumbbell Flye 2 x 6-8 reps + 2 drop sets
Pushups with Feet Elevated 4 x 6-8 reps
Standing Barbell Curl 4 x 6-8 reps
Hammer Curl 2 x 6-8 reps + 2 drop sets
Weighted Ball Crunch 4 x 15 reps
Hanging Leg Raises 4 x 10 reps
Oblique Raises 4 x 10 reps each side
Thursday: Delts / Triceps / Abs
DB Lateral Raises 4 x 15-18 reps
Bent Over DB Raises 3 x 15-18 reps + drop set
Sumo Dead Lift High Pull 3 x 15-18 reps + drop set
Press downs 4 x 15-18 reps
Bench Dips 3 x 15-18 reps
Reverse Decline Crunch 4 x 15-18 reps
Weighted Floor Crunch 3 x 15-18 reps + drop set
Friday: Quads / Glutes / Calves
Leg Press 4 x 10-12 reps
Walking Lunges w/ weight 2 x 10-12 reps + 2 drop sets
Leg Extension with 1 second pause at top 2 x 10-12 reps + 2 drop sets
Standing Calf Raise 2 x 10-12 reps + 2 drop sets
Pushups 4 x 15 / Switch Lunges 4 x 15
Crunches 4 x 25 / Squat Jumps with Medicine Ball 4 x 15
Lying Leg Raises 4 x 15 / Bench Rebounds 4 x 15
Saturday: Delts / Back
Seated Overhead Press 3 x 10-12 reps + drop set
Front Raises 3 x 10-12 reps + drop set
Inverted Pushups 4 x 10-12 reps
Plank Position DB Rows 3 x 10-12 reps + drop set
Assisted Pullups 3 x 10-12 reps + drop set

Final Thoughts: Contest Prep Figure

In closing, I am so thankful for the FITBODY Contest Prep Figure & Bikini Team! With my teammates and Julie’s help, I am not alone in competition prep. This journey (though I feel it is still just the beginning) has already given me so much, a better understanding of my nutrition, knowledge of the competition scene, a supportive team of women that are now also my friends, and a bangin′ body to boot!

» Samara Donald My bikini competition diet and training plan
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