Who We Follow: Daniela Kelava, Fitness Model


To all the guys staring at Daniela’s gorgeous picture, you better have an extremely heavy dumbell in your hand or else get lost.  When I first reached out to Daniela it was no surprise she was responding to me from the gym.  Getting her swole on (arguably swell, but I’ll use Daniela’s terminology in this case), I was clearly bothering her and she agreed to reach out when she was done.  Four hours later she reached out and I couldn’t believe that she was in the gym that long, apparently this is standard body building procedure, but hey, “no pain, no gain”, right Daniela?.


SLM: Daniela, tell us a bit about yourself and bodybuilding, how did you get into it?

DK: I started working out when I was 18 years old and immediately fell in love with the changes I saw in my body, after that I decided I wanted to become a personal trainer and learn how my body works with different nutrition.  Once I figured myself out I decided I wanted to help others and share my knowledge.  After many success stories I was approached by someone who had asked me if I had ever thought about competing in the NPC (National Physique Committee).  My first bikini show in the NPC was November 2nd 2013 where I placed second in my class! Once I placed second that automatically qualified me for nationals! After taking a short break from dieting and later continuing, I decided to go for nationals in June of 2014.  Unfortunately, I did not do as well as I expected, due to being “too muscular” for my division. Yes, I said too muscular, and yes there is such a things as being too muscular for your division. After nationals I had to make a choice.  Do I stay in the bikini division or do I cross over to the figure division? The difference between the two is that bikini is more of a softer look and figure is more of a harder more muscular look.  So I decided since I already have the muscle that I would step up my game and cross over to compete with the big girls.  As of right now I am in my “bulking” phase and I am growing each day stronger and better!  Watch out for me in 2015!  It’s gonna be insane with the package I’m gonna bring!


SLM: Where are you from back home?
DK: I am not from the motherland, I was actually born in Interlaken, Switzerland.  My mom is from Zenica and my dad is from Petrovac.
SLM: How did your parents end up there, and how was it living there?  Do you speak any Swiss languages?
DK: They took off before the war, and then my brother and I were born there, after the war ended we were forced to go back or go to Germany.  So, we went to Germany and after they wanted to kick us out too.  We decided to go to America after that.  I speak German and Serbian!
SLM: What city do you now live in?
DK: Chicago!
SLM: How long have you lived in the states?
DK: I’ve been living in the states for 15 years now. 
SLM: How many times a week do you go to the gym and how many hours a day do you spend there?
DK:  I’m in the gym 6 days a week and I usually spend a total of 4 hours in the gym! I split my workouts and cardio into 3 different time in the day because realistically who has 4 hours to spend at a gym at once haha.
SLM: If you do drink what do you drink? What’s your poison?
DK: I barely drink, but if I do drink it is a vodka soda with a lemon! My poison is sweets! I will beat up a bum for chocolate haha
SLM:  When is the last time you had cevapi in a lepina?
DK: On Sunday at my grandmas house haha.  YUM! Now your making me hungry!
SLM:  Haha good to hear, was that a cheat or part of the regime?
SLM: Where do you spend your time outside of the gym? another job?
DK: When I am not at the gym I’m usually at home prepping my food, watching movies, or studying! I’m a homebody I like to stay in. Very rarely will you find me out if my friends don’t drag me out.  When I am getting ready to compete FORGET IT! haha.  I also work as a personal trainer at L.A. Fitness. 
SLM: If you were my trainer how long would it take you to see my first pair of abs?
DK: That all depends in what kind of shape you’re in and how disciplined you are when it comes to your diet.
SLM: Let’s say in bad shape, very bad shape, and I was forced to eat what you told me to and you’re allowed to beat me until I get that last rep in.
DK: I can’t give you an exact time because Everyone is different but let’s say you were a 200 lbs man out of shape, my guess with a strict diet and workout routine that your would follow and not cheat on, anywhere from 3-6 months
SLM: Are you single?
DK:  I am currently seeing someone, but we have not put a title on it so far.
SLM: Pity for all the guys out there.
SLM: What is a must for a guy to even have a chance?
DK: A MUST!  For a guy is that he HAS to lift and he HAS to be big! Meaning a bodybuilder like myself. It’s very hard to be with anyone else because they don’t understand why I can’t go out, eat, or drink certain things. I’ve tried to be with people who don’t compete and it always fails. Another must is that a guy had to be intelligent, a gentlemen, and he has to be able to make me laugh. Laughter is the key to my heart next to big guns haha.
SLM: What are we going to tell all the Serbian guys after they see your InstaGram pics and this interview?
SLM: What kind of music do you listen to at the gym?  Any Serbian Music?  What’s your favorite song to pump iron to?
DK:  I can’t listen to just anything! I do listen to Serbian music when I hangout with my Serbian friends. While at the gym I like to listen to hip-hop and rap sometimes I’ll switch it to house music.
SLM: At what Serb event would we be most likely to catch you attending?
DK: Depending on who is coming singer wise I would probably attend the event, given the fact that I am not getting ready to compete! There is also several Serbian bars and restaurants I enjoy going to with my friends.
SLM: Last but not least, “What’s your slava baby?”
DK: Arandjelov Dan!

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