Embracing Natural Growth with Fitness Instructor Deja Gaines
Deja Gaines is a leader in the fitness community and a national bodybuilder competitor. She’s fascinated by the idea of learning more about her body and how it works so she can continue to make the best decisions to better her lifestyle, while also inspiring others. This is Deja’s #Orig3nStory.
Can you tell a bit us about your background?
My journey is a bit unique. When I moved to Boston, it was the largest risk I’ve ever taken. I didn’t know anyone, I wasn’t connected to the fitness industry, and I moved here without friends or family. I dove in headfirst and don’t regret it for a second. I’ve grown and learned so much with this city and community and have done things I would never have done if I stayed in my comfort zone.
Now, I’m a tenured group fitness instructor and personal trainer working for B/Spoke Studios—one of the top spin studios in the greater Boston area. I also work for Nike, Inc. as a senior leader and I am extremely active in the fitness community!
What would you say makes you stand out in a larger city and fitness community?
I’m proud I’ve worked hards enough for the opportunity to compete at the national level as a figure competitor. Throughout my history in bodybuilding I have been able to do it naturally with a great help from my genetic makeup and capabilities. I’ve had a long journey in bodybuilding that didn’t start out in the best way. I had to take a step back and focus on what I wanted, what mattered to me and how I’d get there. That’s when I started to move towards being a figure competitor and stayed consistent in doing it naturally.
Congratulations! That’s an amazing accomplishment. So what gets you going in the morning and motivates you throughout the day?
Other than coffee? 🙂 What gets me going is taking a moment after waking up to decide the energy I want to show up with today and how I will make a commitment to it. I’m motivated by positive energy and drive—so it’s important for me to find ways to embrace and maintain that internally, even when curveballs are thrown my way. For me, it can make the difference between a really bad day, to a day where I walk away feeling like I championed a lot.
How did you first learn about Orig3n and why did you decide to take the DNA Tests?
I heard about these tests from a client of mine and I bought a bunch of them at once: Behavior, Fitness, and Nutrition. Given that I don’t use enhancements to compete and that I have a really taxing fitness and competition schedule, I am always looking to learn more about my body to ensure I’m capitalizing on the things my body is capable of while understanding my opportunities and needs.
What drew me to the Orig3n tests are how specialized they are and how applicable they are to understanding how to maximize my strengths. I couldn’t wait to get my results back. and once I received them, people were captivated and some of them have started their own series of tests with Orig3n—which has been awesome!
So what were your results and how has it transformed your lifestyle?
I’ve been fairly active all my life, but the results provided so much context and insight into how I perform—specifically related to speed and strength. The Fitness Test provided insight into why and how I can build muscle quickly in preparation for shows.
After reading my Nutrition results, I’ve incorporated Vitamins B12 and B6 into my daily routine. Also, given my result, I’ve cut down on my lactose (just to be safe). I also found out that I am gifted in power performance! This explains my ability to sprint and sustain exercises such as spinning and interval training.
I feel that as an individual, I know more about how to organically get the most out of my body.
It sounds like you have a bright future ahead of you! What’s next for Deja Gaines?
Currently, I’m gearing up for my next national show in Miami, Florida with one quick stop in Boston during the month of October. I do want to continue to utilize more of these tests so I can continue to refine my training and nutrition within my lifestyle. I’ve also been really, really into sous vide cooking lately and have incorporated it into my meal prep. I’m always hunting for new things to try using this cooking method and fun ways to bring life into meal prep. I can’t get enough of it—I’m hooked!
Speaking of hooked, let’s hook you up with our Orig3n Superhero DNA Test! If you could have one superpower what would it be?
I’d love the power to extend or slow time—there are never enough minutes in the day 🙂
That’s so true! We’ve learned a lot about your work ethic but what do you geek out about your free time?
I’m oddly into video games. I follow gamers such as Markiplier, Game Theroy, and Jack Septic Eye. I grew up on Mario and Final Fantasy and VERY excited about some of the launches coming out this year—specifically Kingdom Hearts 3. Also, my favorite show is RuPaul’s Drag Race – I’ve been into it since the first season and it’s been amazing to see how the show has grown and brought an entirely amazing culture mainstream and broke many barriers along the way. It’s so much fun to watch and a bit of an event with my friends when it airs.
Thanks for spending time with us today. Any advice to others that are having a hard time achieving their goals?
Much of my life is dedicated to driving a business, but also to the development of others to get them towards their own goals. You don’t have to know something is going to work before taking part in it. Many times, it’s the things that lie beyond our comfort zone that reap the largest rewards. If we only did the things we are certain are going to work or happen 100% as planned, we would never grow, and we would never learn.
I believe that playing small reaps small rewards so my hope is that everyone will be encouraged to go big, take risks and grow.