A tiny powerhouse moves through the crowded aisles at the 2012 Mr. Olympia Expo. A huge blue flower sits tucked behind her ear, and her sharp, purple-streaked hair is almost as cut as her arm muscles. With each step comes a constant stream of shouts.
“I love you, Dana!!!”
Dana Linn Bailey stops in the middle of the aisle with a huge grin. “Oh my god, I love YOU. Thank you!!” She turns to her husband, Rob. “Isn’t this wild? I f*cking love people.”
Welcome to the world of IFBB Pro, Dana Linn Bailey, one of the most recognized and inspirational athletes in the sport. She embodies discipline, dedication, passion and commitment, and we are proud to feature her as a 6 Pack Fitness Elite Athlete!
You credit Rob with “creating a monster,” but what inspired you to take the leap to bodybuilding competitions?
I had just started lifting. It was after maybe six months of lifting that I had started seeing results, but I was still eating like crap. I was in college, living off of Ramen Noodles and McDonald’s, and then going to the gym. Then I saw these girls preparing for a competition and I was like, “If they can do it, so can I.”
Tell us about your first show. What was that experience like?
My first show was in 2006 at the Lehigh Valley Championships, about a year after I started lifting. I did that show and I got sixth place. I was too hard for my first show so that should have been a red flag from the beginning that I would always do horrible in Figure.
I also did some powerlifting meets because I love benching, but I was always the only girl that showed up, so I’d win automatically and it wasn’t that fun. I have a very competitive side.
With her focus shifting from the Figure competitions to the newly-created IFBB Physique circuit, Dana found a solution to the poor nutrition habits that had previously held her back: her 6 Pack Bag meal management system. This new take on eating helped her propel herself to the top of the new division of bodybuilding.
How long did it take to see results once you started a healthier diet?
It usually takes a few months until you finally see something going on, but I started seeing results pretty fast. As long as you keep your diet consistent, you’re going to see changes must faster than you would without it.
So what kind of impact has the 6 Pack Bag had on your life?
Oh my god, it’s a lifesaver! I’m in a different state or different country almost every weekend. When we’re on the road, I know Rob will probably stop at the diner. I usually pack all my own foods. Having a 6 Pack Bag is definitely a necessity if you’re like me and watch what you eat all the time, or you’re a competitor on-the-go. Even just taking it to work.
When I was teaching, people would ask me, “Why is your lunch bag so big?” I’d say, “Because I have like three meals in here! I don’t know how you guys only eat once in eight hours!” They’d say, “Dana, you’re weird.” And I’d think, “That’s why I don’t belong here….”
Dana’s dedication to her body helped her become the first amateur Physique champion at the NPC Junior USA in 2011. Continuing her rise in the circuit, Dana has become one of the most successful athletes in the IFBB, building an impressive fitness résumé and a strong fan base along the way.