Daniel Zukich posing shirtless with a baseball, looking ripped and swole

Daniel Zukich

Fitness Model, Bodybuilding Competitor

From being mocked for his poor grasp of English, to becoming an international fitness model and Men’s Physique athlete. Daniel Zukich has turned the odds in his favor with pure determination and hard work.

Originally from Bosnia, Daniel and his family moved to the USA after war broke out in 1990 in his native country. Once he started going to school, Daniel had to face gibes and mockery from his peers for being “a foreign kid”.

However, no matter how many obstacles life threw on him, Daniel always found a way to come out stronger. He started training in the gym in order to improve his body. This, in turn, helped him build not just muscles but also self-confidence.

Over the years, Daniel started pursuing new ambitions, one of which was to become a personal trainer. He not only achieved this goal but also became a renowned Men’s Physique athlete, after placing 4th at the 2013 Arnold Classic.

This is his story:


Daniel Zukich posing shirtless in a professional modeling photo shoot, showing off his wide and aesthetic back muscles

Athlete Statistics

Full Name: Daniel Zukich
WeightHeightAgeDate of Birth
245 - 255lbs (111.1 - 115.7kg)6'6" (198cm)32March 27, 1990
 
NationalityProfessionEra
BosnianFitness Model, Bodybuilding Competitor2010
Weight245 - 255lbs (111.1 - 115.7kg)
Height6'6" (198cm)
Age32
Date of BirthMarch 27, 1990
NationalityBosnian
ProfessionFitness Model, Bodybuilding Competitor
Era2010


Daniel Zukich kneeling shirtless on the floor in the gym, meditating, looking ripped and big

Accomplishments

  • Bodybuilding Competitor
  • Fitness Model

Contest History

  • Arnold Classic 2013, 4th place Overall

Daniel Zukich flexing his biceps in an empty room

Biography

Moving From Bosnia

Daniel Zukich was born in 1990 in Bosnia. At the time, Bosnia was a war-torn country, and Daniel’s parents decided that the best course of action for them was to move to the United States.

“The war in Bosnia forced maturity upon me at a young age. The revolution was not something I fully comprehended at the time but my family soon made the decision to move to the United States.”

Leaving everyone he knew was one of the toughest challenges Daniel had to face. On the other hand, he was happy because he always dreamed of living in a country like America.

Challenges in a New Country

Not knowing the language was one of the first challenges Daniel had to face in a new country. He was even bullied by his peers because of his poor grasp of English. However, this only pushed him to learn the language faster so he could prove his bullies wrong.

Being involved in basketball, swimming, and track & field soon gave Daniel a new sense of confidence in himself. “I even picked up a few friends along the way,” says Daniel.

Before he knew it, Daniel was already graduating from Owego Free Academy as a promising athlete. At this point, he was eager to start a new chapter in his life by enrolling in college.


Daniel Zukich's bodybuilding transformation before-after


Progress in Sports

It was during college that Daniel started pursuing sports more seriously. However, he had one problem – his skinny frame.

Although tall, standing at 6’6”, he was often beaten by his opponents in sports matches. Daniel, who weighed 175lbs at the time, was no match for these athletes.

Daniel knew he couldn’t rely on his talent alone to achieve success in sports. As a result, he started going to the gym in the early summer of 2008 to put on some muscle.

“This was the tipping point and the rest, as they say, is history,” says Daniel. Thanks to his improved strength and physicality, Daniel began to excel in sports even more.

Start of Weightlifting

Training in the gym was the start of a new lifestyle for Daniel. He put in a lot of time and effort into learning proper training techniques to maximize his ‘gains’. Slowly but surely, his body began to change.

Over the months, Daniel learned the foundations of lifting and began seeing more and more progress. Soon, people that he saw as experienced bodybuilders started asking him for advice.

Daniel liked the idea of helping people with his advice. He enjoyed seeing progress in those whom he helped with his training tips.


Daniel Zukich taking a selfie of his ripped abs and vascular legs


Track Races and Personal Training

After graduating from college in 2010, Daniel attempted to join the Track & Field Team at Binghamton University. He said; “Two years of hard work paid off as I made the team”.

During his first season, Daniel qualified for numerous track contests, including the America East Championships.

He was proud of himself, but after the season ended, he was forced to make a difficult decision. Daniel could either continue playing on the track team, or pursue a career as a personal trainer.

Despite enjoying his years in track, Daniel ultimately chose to pursue personal training full time. To him, there was no better feeling than helping others achieve their fitness goals.


Daniel Zukich flexing his ripped muscles in an empty room


A Men’s Physique Competitor

After graduating from Bingahmton University, Daniel had the world in front of him, and was free to pursue a career of a personal trainer.

It was during this time that Daniel gained a thirst for new challenges. Along with personal training, he decided to try out Men’s Physique contests, to see how well he would fare against other fitness athletes.

In 2013, he entered the prestigious Arnold Classic contest. This was a completely new experience for Daniel, he says he didn’t know what he was doing.

Despite this, he ended up taking 4th place overall, shocking everyone with his debut. This experience was eye-opening to Daniel. It pushed him to pursue new heights in his career, as he said; “this experience only served to enhance my drive to see just how far I can push myself every day”.


Daniel Zukich's body transformation before-after

Training

Daniel likes to mix his exercises often. This prevents his muscles from adapting. However, one thing stays the same; Daniel’s training intensity.

Whatever exercise he does, Daniel will make sure to do it the best he can. He’ll often go past failure with the help of a ‘spotter’, or by using techniques such as drop sets and forced reps.


Daniel Zukich doing triceps bench dips, his arm looking huge

Nutrition

Daniel is a master of his own diet. He knows how his body responds to different foods, which allows him to manipulate the way his physique looks year-round.

For most of the time, he eats clean and unprocessed meals consisting of proteins, fats, and carbs. His protein intake is the highest of the three. This macronutrient is essential for keeping Daniel’s muscles strong and preventing his body from wasting muscle.


Daniel Zukich standing shirtless and oiled-up, looking ripped and big


Daniel Zukich posing shirtless in a professional photo shoot looking ripped

What we can learn from Daniel Zukich

Daniel Zukich showed us the importance of having a strong mindset when facing obstacles. Whenever you’re presented with a challenge, you have two options; to quit, or make the best out of the given situation. Daniel has always chosen the latter, and that’s what made him into an athlete of greatness he is today.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You might like...

Bret Contreras

Personal Trainer, Researcher, Author, Inventor Gym Owner

1912 Views

See Profile

Chad Waterbury

Doctor, Physical Therapist, Strength & Conditioning Specialist

2512 Views

See Profile

Paulo Muzy

Doctor, Bodybuilder, Fitness Model

19738 Views

See Profile

John Meadows

Professional Bodybuilder, Entrepreneur

82313 Views

See Profile
0

10 Meal Planning Mistakes to Avoid: Get Shredded the Right Way

Preparing food in advance is a tool used by pro athletes and bodybuilders to stay lean, strong and aesthetic all year round. Avoid these meal planning mistakes and sail to single-digit body fat in no time at all. 

Read article

Sergi Constance

Bodybuilder, model, entrepreneur

92743 Views

See Profile

Johnny Steinbach

Bodybuilder, Fitness Model

7374 Views

See Profile

Conor McGregor

Professional MMA Fighter

39993 Views

See Profile

Luke Sandoe

Physique Coach, IFBB Pro Bodybuilder, Entrepreneur

23606 Views

See Profile
0

10 Protein-Rich Foods for Vegetarians

If you're a vegetarian who's serious about strength training, you need to know how to optimize your diet to get the best results. Check out our guide to protein-rich foods to help you on your way - a completely new fitness level is just around the corner.

Read article

Ernane Guimaraes

Classic Physique Athlete

3923 Views

See Profile

Rasmus Wisbech Andersen

CrossFit Pro Athlete

14534 Views

See Profile

Garret Fisher

CrossFit Athlete, Personal Trainer

12690 Views

See Profile

Neal Maddox

CrossFit Athlete, Trainer, Entrepreneur

17489 Views

See Profile
42

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger - He's been named the Austrian Oak, The Terminator, John Matrix, Mr. Freeze, The Governator, and to many of his fans just Arnie. Not only is he known as one of the greatest bodybuilders in history, but also as an action movie star, and an American politician.

Read article

Mojtaba Notarki

Professional Bodybuilder

12273 Views

See Profile

Ben Mudge

Fitness Model, Cystic Fibrosis Trainer, Online Coach

19573 Views

See Profile

Dan Mazzola

Trainer, Posing Coach, WBFF Muscle Model, Director

14874 Views

See Profile

Majid Jameh Bozorg

Professional Bodybuilder

8663 Views

See Profile
0

90 day Muscle Building Workout Plan

You just can’t beat that feeling of knowing that your physique is one you’ve worked hard for. Noticing the appreciative stares from envious strangers, and knowing that every time you hit the gym, you’re pushing the boundaries of what you once thought was impossible - makes it all worthwhile.

Read article