Forged Feature: Danielle S.

This week’s Forged Featured Athlete is Danielle Spicka.

She couldn’t be more deserving of it.

Danielle started training with us nine months ago in our Shred program and she has made some serious gains since then. She even won the 28-day Shred Challenge for June!

For the past few months she’s been training in both our Shred and Strength programs. She conitnues to show up every single day, give it 110%, and motivate those around her. Her progress has been incredible to watch and is nothing short of inspiring!

Not only has she made some serious progress physically, she’s also showed some serious mental toughness in and out of the gym. No matter what’s going on in her life she always shows up with a positive attitude and lifts others up.

We asked Danielle a few questions about her experience with Forged:

How did you decide to begin training at Forged?

I accidentally stumbled across the Forged Athlete last summer when I was training for the Omaha half marathon.  I often ran on Wenninghoff road as part of my usual long day run route and the only thing fun about that road was seeing all of the cool exercises the athletes were doing in the parking lot.  I was intrigued but never thought I was capable of being “that kind” of athlete so did not think much else of it.  One day I saw the Facebook post pop up on my feed and decided it was a sign!  I chatted with Travis a bit about my goals and decided that I wanted to give the 28 day challenge a shot.  Here I am 9 months later!

What were your initial thoughts when you first walked into Forged? Were you intimidated?

My first day at the forged was humbling to say the least.   Prior to starting at The Forged Athlete, I thought that being a runner meant I was strong.  That first day showed me how much true strength and athletic ability I was lacking by solely being a runner.  I was definitely intimidated because I had never lifted any more than a 10 pound dumbbell here and there as an attempt to tone my arms.  Intimidation set in the moment I started the first workout and realized I knew nothing about strength training.  The intimidation is actually what got me through that first 28 days.  I wanted to be strong like those around me and knew that if I worked hard enough I could be.

What does training mean to you besides all of the benefits of being leaner, stronger, and more athletic? 

I have said this over and over again, but will say it again…the Forged Athlete changes lives!  The motivation and energy you get in the gym are amazing, the physical results are incredible, but even more life changing are the friendships and support you gain.  I have endured some serious personal struggles during my time at the gym, most recently dealing with my mom’s inoperable cancer diagnosis. During this time, the Forged has been my outlet and has allowed me to channel my emotional stress into positive energy during my training.  The emotional support and motivation I have gotten from my coaches and teammates during this time has been indescribable.  They push me to keep going and to take it one day at a time.

What changes have you noticed since starting at Forged?

The most noticeable change is my self-esteem.  Working hard and staying dedicated makes me feel like I am accomplishing something huge and gives me confident in my ability to conquer whatever life throws at me!  Besides the self-confidence, I have noticed that I am more energized, I now have visual muscle tone and my clothes fit so much better.  I even notice that the strength I have gained allows me to do physical activities that I never would have attempted before!  I am simply enjoying every aspect of life so much more.

What do you do to stay so consistent with the gym and your training?

Missing sessions is just not an option for me.  If I am well enough to go to work, then I am well enough to go to the gym!  Unless I am extremely sick or out of town, I am committed to making it to every session.  This mindset has gotten me to the gym even on my worst physical and emotional days!  I know that to see and feel the results, I have to be willing to put in the work.

You’re in both the Shred and Strength programs. How has the addition of the Strength program helped your results?

Adding Strength classes to my training has definitely improved my overall results.  It has pushed me way past my comfort level and has improved my overall muscle strength and endurance.  Since starting Strength, I have finally moved up in my weights for Shred after being at a standstill. 

What gets you PSYCHED up the most?  What drives you and gets you going?

What drives me the most is motivating others to become healthy and continuously setting new goals to improve my own health and strength.  I set small goals every month and work hard to achieve these goals.  The goals can be as small as learning a new movement but are usually daily challenges I set for myself (daily pushup challenge, burpee challenge, hero man maker challenge, etc.).  I try to get those around me involved in new challenges as well because motivating others encourages me to not give up on my own goals.  I never want to just be content with where I am at.  I am driven to keep getting better and to help others get better as well!

Up till now, what has your FAVORITE most memorable moment been inside the gym thus far?

I would have to say Murph.  I set my goal high on this one and wanted to complete the full Murph on my first try.  I knew this was not going to be an easy task so I did a lot of research about how to train and “attack” this workout.  I decided that the best way for me to complete this workout would be to break it up into the “Cindy” Murph.  I accomplished my goal of finishing the full Cindy Murph in about 46 minutes.  There was such great energy in the gym that day and we were all there for one common purpose!  I was surrounded by friends and my amazing husband and I was so proud to be part of such an awesome team.  Cannot wait to do it again next year!

For the “speed round” of questions…

Favorite Movie Character and Why?

Forest Gump!  This guy is the epitome of perseverance, empathy, compassion, and overcoming the odds.  He sees the good in everything and everyone and lives life to the very fullest.

Favorite song that you’d want blaring on the speakers to help you hit a 1RM?

To be completely honest, when I am in the moment I do not even hear music playing.  I get so focused on getting the work done that the music to me is just silent.  I do not have a favorite song but definitely prefer upbeat workout tunes! (I do love 90’s hip hop)

What’s your FAVORITE cheat meal?

Since I have a severe gluten sensitivity, I am no longer able to eat a lot of my favorite cheat meals but still love to indulge in desserts when I can!

Your FAVORITE movement in the gym is?

I love prowlers and sleds!  I used to dread them so much because they were the most challenging to me.  Since facing them and working to get better at them, I actually love them now…hopefully I will feel this way about barbell snatches some day!

Your LEAST favorite movement in the gym?

My least favorite movement in the gym is the barbell snatch….everyone knows I hate snatches!  While I hate seeing them on a workout, I also love knowing that I am getting better every time we do them.  I am getting really comfortable being uncomfortable!

FINALLY…  If there was one piece of advice you could give someone else for more success whether that be in the gym, in life, business, whatever, what would that be?

I would say that you have to make time for yourself and you have to be the best version of yourself in order to be able to give all you have to life, family, and work.  Set goals, work hard, stay dedicated, have discipline, enjoy every moment, love, pray, and at the end of the day be proud of what you accomplish in life!


Awesome work, Danielle! We’re honored to have you as a part of our gym.

Keep up the good work!

P.S. – If you’re interested in training with us and want to find out more about starting up within the gym, check out these amazing opportunities…

— SHRED Challenge (for the ladies ONLY) – CLICK HERE:

— STRENGTH Challenge: