“My name is Dana Linn Bailey, and I win shit.”
I first discovered Dana and Rob a little over a year ago, and was immediately hooked on Rob’s music. To this day- there’s nothing better to listen to in the gym to ensure you’re getting the sick-nastiest workout possible. It’s tough, it’s real, it’s harsh- it’s got a fire within it- just like Rob and Dana do. It’s been so much fun watching Rob and Dana EXPLODE even just in the last year that I’ve known of them, it seems like there’s no stopping them. Flag Nor Fail has turned into this brand that cannot be topped. I can literally FEEL the hard work and the dedication in the pieces that Rob creates, as if his actual blood is spilled on every order. And then there’s Dana- who almost can’t be described in words. To me and my friends, she’s nothing short of a goddess- and we really look up to her. She’s the absolute best at what she does.
It took me almost a week to finally sit down and write about my experience at the WARHOUSE. I think this is because it was such a whirlwind of a weekend that I still haven’t fully processed. To understand what this weekend was for me and to give Dana and Rob and their staff at the WARHOUSE the praise and the dues that they deserve isn’t possible without a small understanding of who I am and where I’ve come from. Without delving into the entire sob-fest that is my ‘transformation’, let’s just say that two years ago I had no idea this world even existed. I was 70lbs overweight, and completely disgusted with myself inside and out. Something ended up snapping inside me one day and a year later I was on a stage in a bikini competing in my very first competition. I’ve gone from being extremely overweight and unhappy to being in good shape and having the time of my life. I have a relatively substantial social media presence though Facebook and Instagram, and have huge dreams of being able to create a life out of helping others chase and smash THEIR goals.
To say that I’ve created some incredible friendships through Instagram might sound crazy to someone who doesn’t understand the magic that is Instagram- but to those of us who know it, it couldn’t be any more of a real thing. I spent my weekend traveling to and being at the WARHOUSE with a group of women that I knew thanks to the internet, and thanks to Dana and Rob. Internet matchmaking at its finest!
There are so many amazing pieces of the weekend that deserve so many words of their own, I hardly know where to begin. We walked into the WARHOUSE Saturday morning, absolutely PUMPED despite the few hours of sleep we’d gotten the night before. We walked around gathering samples from the various vendors and sponsors, loading up on all the most delicious protein goodies you could possibly dream of. I tried MuscleEgg for the first time, snagged a couple RIDICULOUS samples of protein pudding from Muscleicious Foods, and drank the most amazing Peanut Butter and Jelly flavored protein smoothie from Evolution Station… We were practically in protein comas for the weekend! Did round one of shopping in the Flag Nor Fail store before the camp was officially underway, and it was not my last. They fill the store with excess merchandise, or prints that may have been flawed in some way or another and couldn’t be shipped out. Flawed, EXTRA fucking cool, whatever you want to call it.
We all took our seats and Dana took center ‘stage’ on a foldout chair atop a giant tractor tire, with Rob to her right and bodybuilder Guy Cisternino on her left. First impression? Dana is absolutely STUNNING. You see her on the internet, and of course you see that she’s pretty- but a part of you HAS to wonder if some of that is just the magic of the internet, and viewing her through a computer screen. But up close and in person, Dana Linn Bailey is nothing short of absolutely beautiful. She’s wearing long leggings and an off the shoulder sweater, and although you can definitely see her shoulder caps and her quads through her clothes- she is healthy, and FEMININE and just beautiful. Definitely a sight to see.
“My name is Dana Linn Bailey, and I win shit.” YES. YES MA’AM. That’s what I’m talking about. Dana starts with a chat about her childhood and growing up as a multi-sport athlete, going into when she met Rob, got into lifting, and her journey to the stage and beyond- with a couple interjections of clarifications from her hubby. When talking about training, nutrition and contest prep, she and Guy go back and forth about their methods, things they’ve learned over the years, and how important it is to realize that everyone is different, and that different theories of dieting and training will work for different people. This really hit home for me- as that’s what I try to tell people all the time. You need to try as many things as you feel like you need to try, because you never know what’s going to work best for you, what your body is going to respond to the most.
Rob took a turn to speak about business- which had to have been one of my favorite pieces of the entire camp. The man is full of fucking fire, and that’s all there is to it. He speaks with strength in his stance, passion in his voice, and when he talks about Dana’s worth- a catch in his throat and water in his eyes. He speaks in such a way that when he says “We’re going to take over the fucking country,” you don’t question the statement. He doesn’t speak in speculation- he speaks in force and commitment. When it comes to Rob Bailey, there IS no question.
We broke for a catered lunch before hitting the store again (still not the last time) and then Rob and Dana went through the raffle. The best part was that they made sure EVERYONE won something. Shortly after the raffle, we went into more in depth training information as Dana and Guy walked all of us around the gym. They talked about each muscle group, and their favorite ways to train them. You think you train hard- and then you watch Dana do an example set of some leg extensions- and all of a sudden you understand how she has the quads she does. You understand why she’s the best- because she does what no one else will do.
When the gym go-through was over, she had a bunch of us girls meet her in the back room for posing. I competed in bikini last year, so I strapped on my 5 inch heels and stood up with a few of my girlfriends for Dana’s bikini advice… And when it was time for her to dish out figure advice- I stayed up there. Figure has always been something that had interested me, but I always felt was out of reach. After watching me pose, Dana told me that I could do figure. BOOM– world flipped upside down. To my back pose she said ‘That looks good, I like.’ And I’m standing there like SERIOUSLY? What an amazing feeling. Who better to tell you that your posing looks good than Dana Linn Bailey herself? No one- that’s who.
After a long day, my girlfriends and I get dinner at the local Texas Roadhouse before heading back to the hotel to rip into our amazing goodie bags that we had gotten upon arrival that morning. Huge backpacks from 1st Phorm (valued at over $100 apiece) were the vessels for more samples, blender bottles, tee shirts and drawstring bags than a girl could ever expect. These backpacks full of goodies from Cardillo Weight Belts, Liquid Sun Rayz, Gaspari Nutrition, MHP, Metabolic Nutrition and many more- MORE than paid our fares to the camp. These were EXPENSIVE packs, and were worth a TON of money. Someone asked if I’d be giving my 1st Phorm backpack to my bodybuilder boyfriend… Uh, fuck no.
After getting a couple more hours of sleep, we headed back to the WARHOUSE on Sunday morning for open gym. We didn’t really get in a full comprehensive workout like we’d planned, but we got to try some of the really cool equipment that our gyms back home don’t have- like a ladder bar for the lat pull downs, MAG bar grips for pull downs and rows, and a couple pieces of equipment they had made custom by Area 51 Industries. It was more of a test drive of the gym, and trying out equipment we don’t get to work with on a daily basis. I didn’t even get a full back workout in- and I was sore later that day on the drive home. It’s all about changing things up!
So yeah. The vendors were awesome. The sponsors were sick. I got free shit. I got fed. I played with Rob and Dana’s dogs. I worked out. I met some cool ass people I’ve been friends with on the internet for a long time. I posed with Dana Linn fucking Bailey and joked around with Rob…
But most importantly, I left Pennsylvania with a brand new fire lit under my ass. Rob said at one point, ‘Just go and fucking do it. Why the fuck not.’ I was planning on doing another bikini competition this summer, but if what I really want is to compete in figure, then why the hell would I not do just that? What am I waiting for? If what I really want is to become a certified personal trainer, and to help others get what THEY want out of their lives- then what the hell am I waiting for? Since I’ve gotten home, I’ve talked to my coach, we’re changing my programming to accommodate a figure show this fall instead, and I’ve started the enrollment process for the National Academy of Sports Medicine. There is literally nothing that can stop me from reaching every last one of my goals except for myself- and I won’t let that happen. I CAN’T let that happen.
The fire in the hearts of Dana Linn and Rob Bailey is nothing if it’s not genuine and INFECTIOUS. It spread through the WARHOUSE like- well- like wildfire, leaving nothing untouched and no one unaffected. The WARHOUSE Gym Camp is one of those things that I HAVE to do again, I feel like I could go again and again, hear the same spiels, and take away something completely different each and every time.
To Dana and Rob– thank you so much for creating this magical thing- whatever it is- that’s happening and ever evolving. You treat your fans as friends, and recognize that we’re all die-hards. Then again- with you, die-hard is the only way to be about anything.
Never settle, right?