“At first it was to stay fit. But through my photography I met a serious bodybuilder and my desire to change exploded to a new level.”
Big Back Grips User Profile Interview: Daniel Haapala
BBG: Hi Daniel. Thanks for talking to us. Now, the name we know you under on Facebook is Daniel Haapalaphotography. Can you fill us in on the photography part of your name?
DANIEL: Right now I’d say I’m a hobby photographer and that photography is very a big part of my life. I started out shooting anything from snails to grass to snail to sunsets. I see beauty everywhere. But mostly I shoot people now. So while I’m not a professional yet, I am definitely moving up, and I hope to become a pro someday. I’d like to get better and maybe meet some of the people whose really outstanding work I see out there.
BBG: What do you do professionally?
DANIEL: I’m a student and I work out. That’s my life right now.
BBG: So fill us in on the rest of your life. Anything that will give us a little context.
DANIEL: I was born in Tarzana, in the San Fernando Valley, in Southern California. (I was born 3 months pre-mature and only weighed 3lbs 2oz!) Anyway, now I live up north, in Modesto, California. I’ve been here for 14 years.
BBG: Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: One of the reasons we’re interviewing you is because we know you’re an avid Big Back Grips user. What did you use before BBGs and why did you settle on BBGs?
DANIEL: I never used weight lifting straps or lifting gloves. All I used before BBGs was hopes and dreams! And I was not getting the pump and focus that BBGs give me. They have helped me out to where I feel better muscle reaction and positive growth.
BBG: What brought you into the world of lifting and when?
DANIEL: My dad hurt his knee and his choice was to go to the gym to repair it and he asked if I wanted to join too. So I joined, not really knowing what my road ahead was.
BBG: What are your main goals in bodybuilding?
DANIEL: At first it was to stay fit. But through my photography I met a serious bodybuilder and my desire to change exploded to a new level.
BBG: What are you current stats and where would you like to be?
DANIEL: Currently: 5’7 and 157lbs at 10% body fat. When I started lifting, at the beginning of high school, I was 99lbs 4’10″. I would like to be 180lbs with a lean body)?
BBG: Where do you work out?
DANIEL: I work out at a gym here in Stanislaus County in Modesto.
BBG: Did you play or excel at any sports?
DANIEL: I ran track in high-school and actively play basketball but nothing compares to my lifting.
BBG: What are your biggest accomplishments in your workout history so far?
DANIEL: The gains in knowledge I have made and meeting some amazing people I would have to say. That, and the additional 57 pounds I gained since I have started! I have my first competition around August. I want to show if I can overcome what I did and know with hard work anything is possible
BBG: What is your workout schedule like?
DANIEL: A straight Monday – Friday. Saturday and Sunday are off days.
BBG: What about your diet?
DANIEL: My diet right now is in full bulking mode. I eat around 4k calories. In April my diet will change dramatically.
BBG: What are your favorite exercises or body parts to work?
DANIEL: My favorite body part to work would be my chest because the pump and striations are amazing. But my best body part is definitely my traps. And legs, ugh. Legs are really tough to make progress on.
BBG: If someone were going to work out with you, what are they in for, what’s your workout style?
DANIEL: They would be in for an intense workout. My style is knowing the muscle and feeling it throughout the workout. I’d expect a partner to help me as I do for him and to practice the benefits of fitness to the extreme.
BBG: Finally, can you give us your workout for just one body part: back or legs, shoulders, chest or arms, even abs. Just pick your favorites.
Abs are always on everybody’s agenda in the fitness world. I have six different burning movements. I want to really feel the muscle contract.
- Cable crunches
- Push-up stance to body turn for obliques and core
- Leg raises with moderate pause
- Machine crunch
- Standing kick to side for full abdominal movement
- All are done with: Six sets; High reps; Medium weight. I also use the stair climber at the end.