"I’m definitely not a model. For me to be able to just do what I do...I was kind of relieved. I didn't fall once!" the pro athlete says of her ESPN shoot
Sure, wakeboarder and Red Bull athlete Dallas Friday is in incredible shape—after all, being able to pull off mid-air tricks like spins and flips is no easy task. But that's not to say she didn't prepare for her nude ESPN photo shoot. Like anyone about to bare all on camera (uh, not that we have experience with this), the pro athlete switched up her diet and workout routine to get her body in prime shape for her shoot. (Plus, check out our interview with hammer thrower Amanda Bingson!)
Shape: How did you first get into wake boarding?
Dallas Friday (DF): My brothers had me try it one weekend and I absolutely loved it. I was 12 and at that boy-crazy phase. I strived to be just as good as they are. I’m very competitive—I really wanted to be the best. Ever since that day I got on the water I haven’t turned back.
Shape: What was your reaction to being asked to pose for ESPN's Body issue?
DF: It was an honor, especially being in the Body Issue. I’ve always looked forward to seeing the athletes tell their story through their body—it’s something really unique for an athlete to be able to do. There are so many girls out there who are self-conscious about their bodies, and I hope to inspire them and let them know that it’s OK to have muscles. You can still be sexy and have an athlete’s physique. I’m sure eventually there will be some negativity, but the people that know me know my reasons for doing this. And that was really just to help grow the sport and inspire girls to do what they love and feel comfortable in their own skin. (Meet the Fit Female Athletes of the ESPN Body Issue.)
Shape: What was it really like to get naked and wakeboard in front of a crew of people?
DF: I knew the photographer and we had a good little talk so that made me feel super comfortable. When they originally told me they wanted to do action shots, I was happy about that because I’m definitely not a model; doing model-type shots are always the awkward ones! For me to be able to just do what I do...I was kind of relieved. Actually getting the shots wasn't too hard. I didn’t fall once the whole photo shoot! Even though it was in February and it was kind of cold.
Shape: Did you change your diet at all leading up to the shoot?
DF: I cut out carbs for a few weeks prior. It makes it kind of tough to do a sport—I definitely need the energy to properly do the tricks. And then, for about a month before the shoot, I ate fish—a white fish like cod—and broccoli or asparagus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I got that advice from a few different bodybuilders. They said that’s the way to go and they were right—it toned me down! It definitely helped me look the best I could. Outside of the shoot, I eat for what I do. If I’m riding a lot, I try to get a lot of protein in me to perform how I want.
Shape: Did you do anything different workout-wise?
DF: I did some boxing to really up my cardio and endurance and make me feel strong. I go to a studio called Nine Rounds in Orlando, FL, where you spend 20 minutes on each station. They all vary from some type of kickboxing or one-on-one combination. I focused on my legs, butt, and abs. I also did a lot of squat-type stuff and a lot of sprint work. (These 16 Squats Will Work Your Butt Off.)
We had Friday share her three favorite energizing moves for when she's on the go too. Check 'em out below, and add the to your routine!
Plank Leg Lifts
Begin in a plank position on your elbows with fingers laced. Lift your right leg, keeping foot flexed, then return to floor. Lift your left leg, then return to floor. Do 10 lifts on one side, and then switch legs.
Start in a standing position. Cross right foot over, keeping torso facing forward. Repeat on opposite side. Start building speed as you continue. Do 2 to 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps.
Jump continuously at a steady pace for five minutes. Keep shoulder blades down and back, chest lifted, and jump softly. Swing the jump rope with wrists, not arms.