Name: Dan Mennell
Start age: Started training in a limited form at 17 whilst boxing, Got serious at 20.
Current age: 22
Start weight: 140 pounds
End of transformation weight: 175 pounds
Height: 5 foot 9 inches
Total weight lost or weight gain: gained 35 pounds
What made you start bodybuilding?
I started training as a supplement to boxing. Training was something i did to get better at another sport really. But, as i realized that i was boxing as a means of self improvement and that i’d fallen out of love with the combative element of the sport, training began to take a more primary role. It wasn’t long before going to the gym eclipsed my boxing career entirely. I spent a year not really knowing what i was doing, just training with a group of guys i’d fallen in with. But within 12 months i’d begun educating myself and i moved towards a power focused style of training where i’ve remained ever since.
What keeps you motivated?
I set myself lofty goals and make sure those close to me know about them. I picture where i want to be and set myself a strategy to get there. Being around the right people certainly helps. My primary lifting partner is also my girlfriend, who is an incredibly driven person. She pushes me better than anyone else when i have those darker moment of self doubt.
I also find it extremely motivating that other people have started looking up to me, emulating me and asking for my help. If anything, this is far more gratifying than anything i achieve in my own training! Seeing those around me, like my friends and family getting inspired to train and reach their goals is hugely fulfilling and keeps me fired up to improve more in order to help them.
How often do you workout?
I train four days a week.
What type of workout routine do you find the most effective?
I’ve followed a few routines in my short career. I’ve done the 5 day bodypart split, PPL, PHAT and the Conjugate method- and honestly, they all work if you give them your time and energy. It really does come down to what goal you are striving towards. Personally, I put on a good deal of size and strength whilst running PHAT and the Conjugate Method, but have since transitioned towards a slightly more structured routine based off of 5/3/1. I love working off of percentages and knowing what i have to hit that day. I also feel it takes a lot of the guess work out of training and allows me to forecast more accurately when i might be close to a PR through rep maxes. I also find that i can focus more on not over-reaching and recovering if i have pre-set percentages to hit. It takes the ego out of lifting, which is hugely refreshing! It also allows me some scope to add supplementary and accessory exercises to fulfill weak point and hypertrophy training.
Please share your workout routine:
Monday: Bench 5/3/1
Weighted Pullups x3
DB OHP 5×6 +AMRAP last set
DB Row 5×6 +AMRAP last set
Machine Row x4
Wednesday: Deadlift 5/3/1
Speed Squat or Box Jump 4×3
Pause Squat 4×6
Romanian Deadlift 5×6 +AMRAP Last set
Leg Press x4
Pause Bench 5×3
DB Bench 5×6 +AMRAP Last set
DB Row 6×10-12
Machine Row- 6×10-15
Lat Pulldown 5×10
Sunday: Squat 5/3/1
Glute Bridge x4
Pause Squat 5×6+AMRAP last set
Romanian Deadlift x3
I used to train with far more exercises and volume, but i feel like this is about right for me now most of the time in terms of balancing recovery and living the rest of my life. I include optional exercises on the end of days sometimes, but only low impact exercises like fly, arms or abs.
What’s your most favorite exercise?
I absolutely love squats. There’s no exercises more exciting than a heavy squat. There’s no way out when that bar is on your back and it’s the most mentally intense exercise of them all. It takes stones to get a squat that people will take notice of!
What does your diet consist of?
I don’t plan my diet. But, i have a very firm grasp of what macro’s i need to hit to fulfill certain goals. This is something that comes with time and knowing your body. At the moment i’m in a lean mass phase, so i’m hitting 470 carbs, 175 protein, 95 fat.
I make sure i eat 90% healthy, wholesome food, get my fibre goal, but do also allow myself the occasional little indulgence.
What supplements are your taking?
I take creatine and some vitamins. I keep it simple and let my diet do most of the work.
What is your favorite cardio exercise?
I tend to do fairly high intensity cardio. I’ll either do sled pushes or invent circuits involving tyres, hammers and ropes and do 3 rounds of 2-3 minutes.
Your favorite Gym Tracks, if any?
I Love Disturbed, my go to PR songs are Stricken, Hell and Enough.
Any favorite quotes?
“My hero is always me in ten years. That’s who i chase everyday.”
Any advice or tips for aspiring transformers?
Keep it simple. Set a goal, get a plan and stick to it. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel!
And, focus on performance. You can’t go wrong by getting stronger and faster.
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