Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Interview with Mike Donavanik
If you follow me on Facebook, you know that on occasion I jokingly curse Mike Donavanik for killing my abs with his  Mike Donavanik's Extreme Burn: Total Body Interval Training  (affiliate link)  DVD.  It gets my shoulders too and I love it!  I thought I'd ask if he'd like to do an interview and he said yes.  Without further adieu, here's my interview with fitness instructor, Mike Donavanik!

Have you ever had any weight or fitness issues?

I actually used to be an overweight kid…all the way up until my sophomore year of high school. I was always active and involved in sports but I was still overweight. I finally lost the extra weight my sophomore year so I could be more competitive in sports – and I’ve worked hard and smart everyday since then to make sure I don’t gain that weight back.

How did you get into the fitness industry?

I was always involved in sports and enjoyed being active – so I kind of fell into it. I always knew I wanted to be involved in sports – I just wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do in it career wise. I started working as a personal trainer during my first year of college, but I actually went to college with the intention of going into Physical Therapy. I started working at a PT clinic and decided that this wasn’t the career path I wanted to pursue, so I ended up pursuing a career in personal training instead.

How do you keep up your fitness and nutrition routine when traveling?

When I travel it’s so easy to get off track! The way I stay on track with my fitness is I workout first thing in the morning – no excuses. That way I know that I got my workout done and it’s in the bank. If I don’t have time for a full workout, I always make sure I get a run in. I love running, it helps center and prepare me for the day ahead.

Eating is tricky on the road. I’m not going to lie - I like my food and desserts! Typically I’ll have a small breakfast, a small snack – usually almonds or fruit, a meal replacement shake for lunch, and then dinner at a restaurant. I like to go out to dinner when I travel, so I just make sure I make smart choices and don’t overindulge.

What is your favorite healthy food/indulgence?

My favorite healthy food is definitely a good Tuna Nicoise Salad. My favorite indulgence would have to be a good burger or ice cream or pizza – tough call.

If you could do only one exercise for each of the following muscle groups, what would it be:

Arms – do pushups count as arms? If so, pushups it is!
Back – pull ups
Abs - plank
Legs – deadlift
Glutes - squats

Many people who have knee problems think they can't workout.  What suggestions would you have for someone with bad knees who wants to get in shape?

Don’t use bad knees as a crutch. There are worse things to overcome. If someone has bad knees I suggest modifications (if they use exercise DVDs or take group fitness classes), cycling (whether that’s in a class or outdoors), or swimming. There are so many options to choose from – don’t let bad knees hold you back.

What is the best way to break through a plateau?

The best way to break through a plateau is to change up your workout – but not too often! I suggest changing up a workout program every 3-4 weeks. The best way to change up your routine is to follow the FITT Principle. FIIT is an acronym for Frequency (how often you workout), Intensity (volume of work done: sets x reps), Time (how long you spend working out), and Type (what you’re actually doing when you workout). Change up two of those variables every few weeks and you’ll be golden.

And if you’re on top of your fitness game but still not seeing the results you would like to, you probably need to be looking at your nutrition.

I'm a big fan of your Extreme Burn Total Body Interval Training DVD and the muscle confusion it implements.  How is your new DVD Extreme Burn Metabolic Training different from your first?

Metabolic Conditioning uses a lot of muscle confusion techniques as seen in the first – but in a totally different way. All the exercises are completely different from Total Body Interval Training…so no repeats! The format, while similar, is also completely different. The first DVD had a strength portion, cardio portion, strength portion, then abs. The second DVD contains 3 blocks: Block 1 (strength + cardio), Block 2 (strength + cardio), Block 3 (strength + abs). Of course when I say strength, if you’re familiar with the first DVD, strength is more like strength/cardio because all the moves are designed to get your heart rate up so you burn the maximum amount of calories in a short amount of time.

How do you come up with your combos for your DVDs?

How much time do you have? Haha

Honestly, it’s a miracle I’m able to come up with these combos. I write every single move I can think of on note cards, from there I pick the winners of the bunch, then I start to further narrow it down based on how I want each segment to look like. It’s a process. It took me about 3-4 months to design the workouts on my DVDs.

Final thoughts/message to fans if you like.

Thank you for all the support and spreading the word! The love I’ve received from these DVDs is absolutely unbelievable – so I have to thank every single person who’s popped the DVD in and got their sweat on with me!

Oh and my next DVD, Extreme Burn: RIPPED, is set to be released in March of next year!

Thanks so much Mike and I can't wait for even more workouts from you!

If you'd like to find out more about Mike, you can visit his website or Facebook page.

Or if you want to jump right in, you can order Mike Donavanik's Extreme Burn: Total Body Interval Training  or Mike Donavanik's Extreme Burn: Metabolic Conditioning by clicking either link.  (affiliate links) 

(This post has affiliate links giving me a nominal kickback should you choose to order through this post.)

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  1. Great interview! I learned a lot about him that I didn't know and he has some great advice. Santa got us his new DVD for Christmas so it might be a good time to give that one a look.

  2. Nice...need to try this!! Very motivating...

    Happy new year guys


  3. I love that you are so honest you feel compelled to state your affiliate status. For me, purchasing through someone I already know and trust to tell the truth about a product is far better than to go looking for reviews that may or may not have an agenda.

    Will I buy this? Maybe. I like the idea of getting a cardio workout while doing strength training...the latter of which is my personal nemesis. If I were definitely going to buy it, I'd definitely buy it through you.

    Thanks for the interview, it was instructive!

  4. Wow - we'll just have to start calling you the interview queen. I'm not looking to buy any more dvd's right now, but down the road a ways I'll remember this post and maybe come back.

  5. I love these interviews--are you going to make it a regular feature? It's cool to get to know the people behind the DVDs you write about. :)


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