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IFBB bikini pro Darah Diaz is a rising star in the fitness community and across social media, with more than 31,000 followers on Instagram. She even established her own bikini competition consulting company, Clearly Confident, and works closely with DieselDolled makeup artists. She’s on the rise and is primed to be a constant presence on the stage for years to come. Check out what she had to say about her career (and her love of chocolate-covered bacon on her cheeseburgers) in the interview below:
In your first year as a pro, you’ve finished second in two big shows. Are you surprised how fast you’ve succeeded?
Yeah, but I was ready. I knew I brought my best, so I just hoped to be rewarded for it. It was more like excitement, not shock—every- thing I’ve worked hard for finally is being shown.
Who inspired you to compete?
My boyfriend was competing, and once I started going to the gym with him, people were saying, “You should compete, you look like you have the body to do it.” And I was just like, “OK!” I started in 2015, and I just loved it from the first time I stepped onstage.
What do you love about it?
I love to perform. I was a dancer my entire life, so I’m used to being onstage in front of a crowd, showing what I’ve worked on. It’s the same exact thing with bikini—I’m just wearing a different outfit and doing something different onstage.
What’s your favorite body part to train?
I go through phases. Back will be my favorite thing to work out, and then I’ll love arms out of nowhere. But I will always love doing shoulders and glutes. You want round shoulders and bigger glutes for bikini, so those are my focus areas.
What’s your go-to cheat food?
The LI Pulse CCB Burger—a chocolate candied bacon burger layered with crispy onions, white cheddar, and maple dipping sauce—at Dirty Burger in Plainview, NY. That place is a hidden gem.
How do you pump yourself up when you’re feeling unmotivated?
I listen to songs like “Don’t Give Up” by Morgan Page, “I Wanna Know” by RL Grime, and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” No matter what feeling I’m going through, I’ll listen to them, and I’m like 10 times better.
You’re from Massapequa, NY, where Jerry Seinfeld grew up. How’s your own sense of humor?
People have told me I’m funny, and then sometimes I just laugh at myself, so I can’t really tell. But, I mean, if you’re not laughing, I am, so at least one person’s happy!
Anything we haven’t covered that you wanna say to the world?
I never knew what I wanted to do. I changed my major multiple times because I was going for a more career-based job like a nurse, a lawyer, a police officer, a psychologist. And now I’m into fitness, where a lot of great things are happening to me. So I would say follow what you actually want to do, not something you think you need a title for.
You’d make a pretty badass cop, though, right?
Ha ha, I always wanted to. I took the state exam. Everyone’s like, “Are you gonna be the nice cop or the bad cop?” I’m like, “I don’t know—depends if you catch me on a good day.”