How did you get started in bodybuilding/fitness?

I got started in bodybuilding at the age of 20, because I was only about 8 stone and unable to buy a beer unless I had my ID with me (legal drinking age = 18 in UK).

Was there a defining moment that got you to start training at a whole different level?

I started training at a whole different level after my accident when a show promoter friend of mine asked me to guest pose at his show.  As I was training in the day I had the time to train, eat and sleep correctly, which made a huge difference in my gains.

What are the top 2 ways you keep motivated?

The top 2 ways I keep motivated are:

  • thinking of those men and women I spent time with in the hospital that are a lot worse off than me. It stops my moaning and makes me get on with it.
  • the results, seeing the diet and training paying off, aiming to have a physique better than most able-bodied bodybuilders.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your bodybuilding career thus far?

The biggest hurdle in my career thus far was the unfortunate fact that there were never any UK Wheelchair bodybuilding competitions. There are many awesome and dedicated wheelchair bodybuilders in the world that were unable to compete.  We do not have the support and backing of pro show promoters and organizers.  This changed on the 9th and 10th of October 2010! Due to all my guest posing at shows throughout the UK and constant work over the last year, we finally put together the first wheelchair bodybuilding category at the British Finals.   And there are now more shows planned for the next year. This is sometime I dedicate my time to improving because we deserve to be there on stage like any other pro bodybuilder.  We train just as hard, if not harder, as our daily lives are hard enough on their own.  Thankfully I have achieved a lot throughout bodybuilding competitions in the UK; making people more aware.

In your opinion what is the hardest part about being a bodybuilder competitor?

The hardest part of being a bodybuilder for me definitely has to be the pre-contest diet. I love my food, so avoiding temptation to eat badly, when there is always take away just round the corner, is a little difficult lol!

If you had to ratio the importance of training, diet and rest, what would the percentages look like? (e.g. 20% training, 30% diet, 30% rest)

"What fails to kill us makes us stronger!"

I would say bodybuilding is 40% diet, 35% rest and 25% training.

How useful do you think supplements are? Do you use supplements? What is your current top supplement?

Supplements are very vital for my training. Since being sponsored by CNP I have made huge noticeable improvements. My top supplement is CNP’s Pro Peptide, followed by Pro Recover.

What is your current training routine?

My training routine changes every week. I like to change everything around to keep my body constantly thinking.  I do however, only train one body part at a time and I’m only in the gym for a max of 1hr.  When I’m on my own for that 1 hour I usually do 5 exercises with 1 warm up and 3 working sets. Check out my website and/or purchase my DVD, it has everything you need to know about my training!

What is your current diet routine?

My diet is pretty much the same all year round, except when I reduce my carbs and calories leading up to a show. At the moment my daily intake consists generally of the following: rump steak, large chicken breast, 6 egg whites, 100gs of oats, 250-500g of rice, a banana and a fast and slow release 55g protein shake 4 times a day. After workout I take a recovery shake with 50g of protein and 60g of sugar/carbs.  I also take a slow release shake in the middle of the night with 45g of protein.

How did you get those awesome arms?

I’m gifted with my arms, I think I only do 2-3 bicep exercises a week and they seem to grow very well.  Triceps I do a bit more since they aren’t as easy to grow, it’s my chest that needs a little more work lol.

I understand that being in a wheelchair poses its own challenges in regards to traditional exercise movements, how do you overcome this in the gym?

I am one of the lucky few where I can train using my sticks, but I have always had the help of friends and other gym members; without them I would not manage. If you are in a chair and want to bodybuild, the one thing you must have is a training partner that knows all your needs, because then you will be safe in the gym. You have to learn to NOT be afraid to ask for help. My DVD shows how I got to where I am now and how I train. It also has a section where I show people how to train in there chair safely. Check out youtube (search Dan Smith NO EXCUSES) for a DVD trailer, and if you like what you see contact me at for a copy.

Who is your favorite fitness model/bodybuilder? (other than yourself!)

I have 2 favorite bodybuilders, they are Lee Priest and of course the mighty Phil Heath.

Describe what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror!

When I look in the mirror I am a typical bodybuilder, I am never happy,  I’m always looking for muscle groups that need working on.  It’s only when I’m ready for a show where I look and think, “that’s it I’m ready, let’s go to work woo hoo show time!”

If you could tell a fitness noob just one sentence of advice, what would it be?

"Nutrition is everything."

I tell all noobs that “nutrition is everything.”

What is your favorite workout song?

Haven’t got a favorite workout song, I just like dance music with good beats to get me going.

Favorite quote?

“What fails to kill us makes us stronger!”

Best type of cardio?

I don’t do much cardio, but the running machine at a very low walking pace gets me dripping lol

If you were to upload your arms to our muscle voting site ( right now, what do you think you would rate?

I don’t know ha ha, but at 20 inches I’m happy.

What do you like to do outside of training and dieting?

Outside training and dieting I like spending time with my wife and 5 yr old son.

What is the dumbest thing you have done or witnessed in the gym?

The dumbest thing I have witnessed in the gym is the cocky young lads lifting more than you and thinking that their skinny little physiques are great.  Little do they know that you are a week out from a show and repping out with light weights as you are as weak as p**s.

What is your favorite body part to train? Your least favorite?

Favorite body part is arms and least favorite is chest, as I can’t seem to get it grow like I want to Grrrhh!

Anything else you would like to add? (anything at all, even non-fitness related!)

Please check out my web site and be sure to check out my awesome DVD, you won’t regret, it has so much information if I may say so myself ha ha!

Categories: Interviews, Men