Interview with Crossfit Athlete Danielle Sidell!

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 3.47.40 PMDanielle Sidell. Akron, Ohio

1. In the past you ran track for the University of Akron, tell us a little bit about that experience and how it set you up for your current success in the Sport of Fitness.

Well it definitely gave me the upper hand on the endurance aspect of crossfit! I feel that being a distance runner for 5 years really helped build up my legs and gave me that mental strength to keep pushing through a workout even when you have been going for 30min!

2. When you made the transition from the track to the weight room what was the biggest hurdle?


After I stopped running competitively I started up bodybuilding. The biggest hurdle I faced was going from being 130(59kg) to 170(77kg). Being 130 I thought I was BIG enough! Gaining weight and gaining it fast was really challenging for me mentally. I also had the idea that being smaller is better, I wanted to be skinny and light so I could run faster. In order to gain that weight I had to stop running my 65+ (+100km)  miles a week, which was also very challenging, I loved to run…. I stopped running because I put so much time and effort in to it and was not producing the times that I needed to in order to be at the level I wanted to be at. Not everyone can run a 2:04 800m, I wish I could, but it’s just not meant for me.

3. Was the weight room always a part of your athletic training? Did you live in the weight room during college? If not how much has that changed?

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 3.50.41 PMI have always been well acquainted with the weight room. I lived in my high school weight room, didn’t so much in college, but now I am back living in the weight room/gym. In college we didn’t focus much on “weight lifting”, we were distance runners, and our coach didn’t see the need to spend hours in the weight room. That was one thing I wish was different. I wanted to spend more time in the weight room…  I went 5 years neglecting one of my favorite things to do. I’m back and I never plan on leaving my baby again, lol. I have only been lifting for a little over 2 years, and I have only been doing Olympic lifts for a little over 2 years. Before crossfit I have never heard of a jerk, snatch, or clean. I only knew of bench, squat, and dead lifts! Know I love them all. 

4. As an athlete training for Crossfit how do you set up a weekly template to get all your goals achieved?

I go in to every week knowing I will never have any down time. I am nonstop go, go,go during the week. I wake up every day around 5:30 – 5:45am and make sure I get some sort of morning cardio in, running or rowing intervals. I usually will do that for an hour. I then rush around getting ready for work and leave my house at 7:20am to be at work by 8am. I don’t get off work until 5pm and then drive an hour to my “box” to work out. I work out until 8pm and get home around 8:30-9pm eat, shower, and go to bed. That is my weekly template. It is really hard to get everything I “want” to get done but I feel like I do a very good job getting everything that I “need” done. I would love to be able to spend 4-5hours training and having more fun doing it. Instead I get 2hours IF I am lucky. Meaning, I don’t get much of a chance to talk to my friends while I am there nor do I get to take much breaks in between sets. I am always timing my breaks in order to keep me on a strict more efficient schedule.

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 1.32.34 AM5. What is your relationship with the product Kill Cliff and how did you get involved with them?

My relationship with Kill Cliff is that I am a part of their team J I got involved with them when I was working a booth for a nutritional company at the Central East Regionals this past year. Kill Cliff was the booth behind me and they have heard of my name and some of my accomplishments and when they spotted me they asked if I would be interested in being a part of their team. They have given me opportunities that by myself I would have never had. They hooked me up with a very well-known Crossfit Athlete/Coach, Nate Schrader; I am very excited/thankful for that too.

6.Tell us a little bit about your current situation career wise and how does that work with your athletic goals.

It is a huge pain in my butt! I wish I didn’t have to work and that I could focus all of my attention of training and achieve my 1 and only goal…. I’m not just training to compete in the games, I am training to WIN the games. Honestly, having a typical 8am-5pm job kills me. I feel like it will be the only thing that will ever prevent me from winning the games. Statistically it has been proven that the top Crossfit athletes are the ones that work in a gym all day and are able to train without time restrictions. I know what I need to do and I will get the work done with the time that I have, I’m just saying it would make things a heck of a lot easier if I didn’t have to sit at a desk for 9hrs of the day.

7. What are some of your best lifts, times and achievements both on the track and in the weight room?

1514963_447439305358356_504996984_nClean: 240lb. (currently posted on Jud Logan’s Facebook page)  Back Sqt: 315lb .Front Sqt: I have never maxed out for a single but my double is 245lbs. Deadlift: 405lb

My best times in track were ran while I was competing as an individual not on a college team. I came across a website where people were bashing me because they couldn’t find my PR times that I tell everyone that I ran. That’s because I ran these times when I wasn’t a college team…. Makes me so mad that people are so quick to jump the gun and accuse people of lying.. 800m: 2:09. Mile: 4:54. 5k: 17:54

8. What is your current system that you use nutritionally?

My diet is 100% focused on recovery. My goal is to stay anabolic throughout the whole day in order to be able to recover for tomorrow’s workout. I use certain foods at certain times of the day to maximize hormone balance and recovery. It’s all about fueling the machine! The whole point of my diet is for recovery, so that when tomorrow comes I can come in feeling fresh after killing myself in a workout the day before.

9. What is your current supplement regimen?

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 1.31.52 AMI don’t take any supplements. I feel that there is no need to with the diet I follow. I take in all the appropriate amount of vitamins through my foods! Plus it’s extra money that I don’t want to spend…

10. What are some of your techniques that you use for recovery to maintain performance.

I try to get a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein; of fast acting carbs aka I take in a scoop of dextrose with my protein shake. 

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Categories: Athlete Interviews

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