1. Can you tell us about your background and how you got involved with KetoCoach?
I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, by two amazing parents who both emigrated from Cuba. I clearly remember being interested in athletics and building muscle at the tender age of five. If you don’t believe me, here’s my proof!
My goal was always to play college football. After leading Miami-Dade county in rushing yards my senior year, I had several choices of where I’d play. I went with Columbia University because no one in my family ever went to college, and my dad dropped out of high school. So, I wanted to raise the bar.
I received my bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University in 2004, where I was a three-time Dean’s List recipient. I then went on to earn my Master of Science in Human Performance from the University of Florida, where I worked with the national championship men’s basketball team, along with the tennis and golf programs.
I was then fortunate enough to become the Strength & Conditioning Coordinator for Virginia Commonwealth University basketball. In our first year, we helped the Rams win the 2007 conference championship, and make it to the second round of the NCAA tournament. We also went 28-7, an all-time school and conference record.
I love to compete and I’ll usually be training for something, but lately I’ve been focusing on just building muscle and not competing as much. I enjoy the monotony of coming in and training lately. It’s a lot easier on my body, as well!
As a raw powerlifter, I’ve had bests of 640 squat in wraps (610 raw), 400 bench and 700 deadlift. I have competed in indoor rowing, where I have personal bests of 1:19.9 in the 500 meter, 14.5 in the 100 meter, and 389 meters in the minute for distance—all 3 of them were Florida state records.
I met my friends at KetoCoach in January of 2019 at the Metabolic Health Summit and we hit it off. Over the last two years, we have collaborated on several joint ventures and joint promotions, but now I am more involved in writing, creating and providing feedback on content for the KetoCoach team.
2. FastCoach coaches offer different challenges for users. Can you tell us more about these and the types of challenges you lead?
We currently have beginner and advanced challenges in everything from intermittent fasting and extended fasting to getting back into ketosis after holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. At some point, we would like to also include live and recorded group workouts!
3. What is your favorite component of the FastCoach app? Why?
The feature I’m most excited about—and that I believe has the most potential—is the challenges. There’s something about community. We are wired to connect with people. They motivate us to do things we possibly couldn’t do alone, and they keep us accountable. I’m excited at the idea of being able to lead workouts with thousands of people all around the world training together.
4. Many people find it difficult to fit a workout and healthy meal into an already busy day. What does a typical day look like in the life of Danny Vega?
This is something I’m very passionate about. I wake up at 4:30 a.m., and by 5 a.m. I’m started on my 20 minutes of guided prayer and meditation in my sauna. Then, I review and plan my day (I spend 2 hours on Sunday planning for the week, but it changes), and then I train for 60-90 minutes. That’s every single morning. I do some marketing work from 9 to 9:30 a.m., and then I have breakfast. I’ll eat dinner at 5 p.m. and finish with a keto brick at 7 p.m. before getting into my evening routine. I schedule my days in 15-minute blocks and it helps me juggle everything I have to do. When someone tells me that he or she doesn’t have time, I always ask the person what time they wake up. That will tell me a lot! It’s an easy way to do some personal development work, win your day early and increase your productivity.
5. Your Instagram inspires a ketogenic community with workouts and appetizing, keto-friendly meals. How do you personally stay motivated to follow your diet and workout regimen?
That’s a great question! Someone asked me this on our podcast a few years ago, and I told them that what really motivates me is doing the thing. So I don’t get the motivation, or the confidence, or the gratitude until after I do it. I think that’s what people need to understand. The process-oriented. Be content with your execution, not the results. Then you earn that motivation.
6. FastCoach has an upcoming intermittent fasting challenge you recently shared. What advice do you have to offer for someone who may not have previously attempted a challenge like this?
I think people get caught up with fasting because, nowadays, there are so many articles and even products centered around fasting. It makes people think that they need to fast a certain way when in reality, all they’re doing is not eating for a period of time. So if they understand that it’s that simple from the onset, I think they’ll come at it with a more relaxed attitude. Other than that, I highly recommend they pay close attention to how they’re feeling throughout the process and take notes. You can learn a lot about your body and refer to it later on when you track how you feel regularly!
7. Is there a particular aspect that draws you to intermittent fasting?
Without a doubt. In the past, I’ve had a pretty ravenous appetite. Not only does it help me curb my appetite, but eating twice a day saves me time, and I enjoy eating bigger, less frequent meals. I keep my menu simple, so I don’t have to think much about meals.
8. As the pandemic persists, more people are realizing they have to find a solution to their health challenges that arrived during time off from the gym. What tips can you share for anyone that may be starting a ketogenic diet or intermittent fasting?
I always like to understand why someone is embarking on this journey. The best time to ask is when they take that first step because it’s fresh in their mind and the emotions are likely still high. They will need that later on. Writing it down can bring back that visceral feeling of why you started.
If there is no reason, there’s really no chance of sticking to a diet or any training regimen. Other than that, my most important piece of advice is this: It’s not about getting the leanest, or strongest, or whatever your health goal or issue may be in as little time as possible—it’s about doing just a little bit every day, consistently—that matters most.
If you have been on your couch and sedentary for six months, you may find it extremely hard to get to the five to six days a week you used to do. Then you end up discouraged and quit, inculcating a bad habit that could possibly make it easier to quit next time. With diet, if you like to rip the band-aid off, have at it. I’m a 100% rip off the band-aid guy. But if you prefer to get acclimated, start with manageable goals. Maybe cut out all sugar and soda. Then wheat. Then all grains, and so on.
To learn more about KetoCoach and FastCoach, please visit: https://ketocoachx.com/.
Follow Danny Vega’s workouts and healthy meal ideas on Instagram.