From sickly kid to the United States Powerlifting Federation American Masters deadlift-record holder at 507 pounds—that sums up the fitness journey of Dan Gilliland.
As a kid Dan was picked on by bullies and plagued by more than 70 allergies. “Weight training saved my life. If I hadn’t started weight training, I’d still be the sickly, underweight guy I was,” says Dan, who also took up wrestling as a youngster even though he started at only 121 pounds.
The other thing that saved him from the misery of his allergies was his embrace of learning and research. The University of California, San Diego, medical library became a home for him. As he learned about his allergies, he learned about how to mitigate them with the right foods, huge amounts of vitamin C, Chinese herbs and yoga.
Dan discovered powerlifting back in 1984, but he dropped out for about 12 years, spending time in the gym but alternating his training with yoga and mountain biking. Once he got back into heavy lifting and excelled in it, he started setting records and then breaking those records. Next, he says, is the squat record: “My new goal is to improve my strength at the bottom of my squat. I haven’t been training deep enough.”
Dan’s workout schedule includes yoga, bicycling and lifting five or six days per week. His diet is low in carbs and high in protein—about 200 grams per day, including supplemental whey protein about four times per day. He also takes glucosamine-and-chondroitin supplements, MSM, a tribulus blend and lipoic acid for balancing his blood sugars.
And where does Dan get his information and do his research now? BodyBuilding.com and BodySpace.
“People are able to review experiences with supplements and get real answers,” he says. “I originally joined BodySpace because other social networks were more about finding where the nearest party is. People on BodySpace are more active and responsive. They’ve actually sent me notes of encourangement for my effort in the gym. BodySpace is now my social-network home for life.”
Dan has set his sights on being a strength trainer for mixed martial arts fighters. Visit him at his BodySpace, “DanStrongman,” at http://BodySpace.com/DanStrongman.
Editor’s note: For more BodySpace bodies and info, visit Bodybuilding.com.