Where and when were you born?
Born august 7, and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I currently live in Dallas, Texas
What is your profession?
I am a chiropractor,( yep that’s me, Doctor Dara personal trainer, figure competitor, fitness model and caretaker of my 8 dogs.
What kind of activities/sports did you do before you start lifting?
I used to play softball- catcher position and do gymnastics. I love skiing, scuba diving (I’m deep water certified), I love traveling.
How and when did you get involved into lifting weights?
During college sports, they required their athletes to lift. After college I wanted to stay in shape and spent some time at the gym lifting and doing cardio.
Was it a goal for you to compete in figure from the beginning or something that grew in your mind?
Both are true. I searched for an activity to be active with and stay in shape. I also wanted something competitive. I played on some co-ed community softball teams but that was only during one season of the year. I needed something more. I also read tons of muscle and fitness magazines over the years and always admired the girls in them. I watched them compete and watched their careers grow. I thought it would be fun (which is important to me) but I didn’t know where to begin or how to start. About a year ago, a good friend of mine wanted to compete in a show and she thought I could do it with her. I said sure ( It really helps to have a buddy to get you to start something new like go to the gym when you haven’t been in a while). She then introduced me to my current stage coach Sheilahe Brown and my current gym trainer Robert Mannix. With out them I couldn’t do it alone!
What was your first competition and how did you place?
I placed 5th in November 2004 at John Sherman Classic in Houston, Texas.
Which contest has been the biggest success for you yet?
Each one I do, I have tremendous improvements to make and personal obstacles to overcome. So it would be hard to pick my biggest success.
Could you please add a history of all contests that you entered?
November 2004- John Sherman Classic in Houston, TX-5th place
June 2005- Junior Nationals in Chicago, IL
July 2005- USA’s Las Vegas, NV
Describe a typical day in the life of Dara Trager?
Pretty simple sometimes I wake between 5-7 am (depends on how I feel) Take out my dogs, do my cardio, and make breakfast. Then around 10am -1pm I work. Usually on the computer-checking my emails, keeping in touch with people etc., sometimes for our company I’m in meetings or need to do management stuff. Occasionally I will see patients. From 2-3pm I leave open for weight training. Sometimes I am 3 days a week up to 5 or 6 days a week depends on how close to contest. Then 4pm-6pm I save for more emails, meetings and appointments for work, then around 7pm I do my second cardio session (if mandatory), Then I come home, feed my 8 dogs and play with them until 9pm. I finish up and get ready and relax before going to bed, somewhere between 10pm and 12. I make sure I get my 5 meals a day in, and drink my gallon of water and get my rest. I also find time to spend with friends and family. It’s a flexible schedule but I’m always doing something.
Tell me something about your daily training routine.
I always do something active outside of being in the gym. I like to walk my 8 dogs (two at a time), I actually enjoy mowing my own lawn. It’s like therapy for me. It’s rare to find me hanging on the couch in front of the T.V. I have my trainer I work with who every several weeks changes up my routine. Sometimes I train 2 days on 1 day off, sometimes its 5 days straight with 2 days off. It varies for me closer to contest or if we are building muscle or maintaining it. I must always have that day of rest to repair and recuperate!
How often do you train in a week?
For cardio, 5 days a week on average . Weight training, the same. 4-6 days per week with 1-3 days off. This last contest I was doing two a day cardio with 5 days a week weight training. But you don’t want to do two a day cardio sessions for very long, it is draining.
What are the main differences when you train for a competition and in off season?
The food I get to eat and lifting heavier. Year round I am training my body parts to be better and work on my flaws and to maintain good symmetry. I do get to lift heavier off season. Contest time, all the building muscle time is done for me I pretty much work out lighter to maintain what I developed. I do get to eat more and get to eat out more off season. Contest diet is super clean for me. No sauces, no alcohol, no desserts, no fattening dressings etc. I get to enjoy the foods for their original tastes during contest season. Off season, cardio is not as crucial for me as it is dieting down for a show.
If you don’t mind, give me some stats:
Squats: 405 was my max but it was real uncomfortable on my back so
I stick with 315
Bench: 185; I actually can do 225 off season
1 arm curl: 40-45
leg press: 8 plates per side (total 16 plates)
Calves: 15 3/4
Which body part is your best:
I guess I get the most compliments on my biceps and their peaks. I would have to say that constitutes the best. But I think my legs are my personal favorite.
What is your favorite exercise in the gym and which one do you not like so much?
I love working legs. The leg press is my favorite. I get such a pump from that exercise.
My least favorite is shrugs. They usually make me uncomfortable for a day or so afterwards, no matter how I do them because I hurt my neck years ago.
Please tell me about what else you are doing when you don’t work out?
I am a terrible dancer so I take these hip-hop classes from time to time to keep me from being rusty then I don’t look silly at a dance club. I love traveling to new places, I love skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, tennis. Putting on old tennis shoes and taking my dogs for a walk in the nearby creek. I enjoy shopping and going to the theater and seeing a show or play. I always enjoy the movies.
What are your future plans for 2005/2006?
I would love to advance my fitness modeling career, possibly secure some endorsement contracts. Pick out some more shows and come in my personal best at each show. Of course, each show I shoot for the “pro card”. I want to help support and help motivate people to achieve their personal best and their goals to live a healthier lifestyle.
Dara does not not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!