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Paynesville Press - June 30, 2004

Dickhausen places in fitness competitions

By Mandy Mayer

Two years ago Danielle Dickhausen went to watch a fitness competition, and when it was over she decided she wanted to challenge herself and participate in one because she found it so interesting.

After months of training, she took part in two different competitions this spring. The first one, called 10,000 Lakes Extreme Fit Competition, took place in April in Plymouth. The second one, Fitness America, was held in May at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Danielle Dickhausen The second competition was bigger and more important to Danielle, who has lived in Paynesville for five years. Although she used the smaller competition for practice more than to compete, she still took first place. In the larger competition Danielle finished second in the novice category, and in the top five in the short category that included all women 5'2" or shorter.

Danielle Dickhausen worked out five times a week to prepare for two fitness competitions this spring.

Fitness competitions include two rounds: a two-minute aerobic routine and a swimsuit competition.

In the aerobic routine, the women have to demonstrate strength, flexibility, gymnastics and dance skills, endurance, and creativity. Danielle had to take gymnastics lessons to prepare for the aerobic routine.

Danielle chose a Rocky theme for her routine. She had an idea of everything she wanted to put in her routine and then had a choreographer help her put it all together.

In the swimsuit competition, the women have to wear a two piece and be judged on their body symmetry, toneness, and physique.

To get ready for these competitions Danielle said she had to have a lot of discipline and dedication. She was on a strict diet for nine months, and she worked out five times a week.

While in training Danielle would eat six meals a day. She even brought a cooler to Sauk Centre Junior High, where she teaches special education, so she could eat a couple of meals during the day. She had to make sure she ate enough protein and good fats. She also had to watch her carbohydrate intake and couldn't eat any sweets.

Her workouts included weight lifting most of the time, but towards the end she worked on cardiovascular. She also had to stretch every night so she could gain flexibility.

Danielle's husband, Matt, was her trainer for these competitions. He made up her workout plan and her nutrition plan.

Danielle said she might try to do another competition sometime, but it took a lot of dedication. She likes living healthy, and working out, but she would rather work out just for fun.

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