Friday, October 14, 2011

Guest Post by Fitness Competitor Linda Cusmano

It’s Fitness Friday and we have a special guest blogger this week –
Fitness Competitor Linda Cusmano

Be sure to visit her blog Linda Cusmano Fitness; she trains people of all ages and sizes and has written many articles on healthy eating, beginning an exercise routine, building muscle, losing fat, reducing injury risk, how to prepare for competitions and much more!

Bikini Division Contest Prep Tips
By Linda Cusmano

The latest division added a few years ago to NPC/IFBB has taken like wildfire.  Ladies love the fact that they can come in looking fit and toned without the need for bulk.  A good healthy lifestyle and attention to diet will help you get this look which can be easily attainable naturally and held most of the year realistically!
This division opens the door to a more mainstream physique with a lesser budget.  The bikinis are much more ‘beach style’ and less extravagant and because there is no need for a routine all you need to master is a nice smooth walk in some sexy high heels.  This division is very budget friendly and perfect for the ladies who do not want to get at muscular as fitness or figure women.  With this type of body you can fit the training and proper meal regimen into your day because it is what most healthy lifestyles should look like in general.
Posing is not standard so you get some flexibility in the poses you choose for front and back stance.  Smooth transitions are crucial when walking, standing, posing and shifting into the next pose. 
The key is fluid movement which comes with practice in front of the mirror in the heels and bikini.  The one thing you want to work on is a signature stand facing the judges and then a back view stance which is slightly different.  Learn to step and turn smoothly to eliminate extra stepping, practice the step turn.
You will want to work toward a long lean muscle type so the type of workouts you do will depend on what cycle of training you are in relative to contest day and your fitness level at that time.  I have found that in general cross fit type circuit work is excellent to help with fat loss, tone and conditioning toward the longer lean muscle bellies.  Keep flexible so that length shows and train through full range of motion.
I like to use combo exercises so that you get in multiple muscle groups and tweak out the fat burning because you use compound muscle combinations.  Do not fear muscle gains, it is very difficult to build so you will not get huge!
3 exercises you can try which are on my website that can help you get that bikini body:
These exercises help peak your frame so that your shoulders and legs accent a smaller waist.
Work for higher reps or timed reps, muscular endurance is typical of the bikini body.
I would look for a show that is 6-12 months away depending on your conditioning at the moment, then plan toward that show giving you time to look into it more, attend one maybe.  You can get familiar with the division, the photos of contests showing the body types placing top 10.  This also gives you time to fully budget things out, food, tan, entry, suits, you name it.
For bikini the beauty aspect is looked at so you want to have fabulous hair which you can do yourself back stage or come ready done, shows can start very early so unless you have a hair person who can come very early, be ready to be self sufficient.  Nails, tan and details need attention.
Balance your meals keep carbs clean, proteins lean.  Do not fear protein drinks they can add to your nutrients without making you feel too full.  Greek no fat yogurt is also a great alternative for those who do not like protein drinks.  Check out my tuna stuffed avocado for a great meal idea. 
Water is a key factor for your lean appearance and amazing skin, 2 liters per day at minimum up to 2 gallons.  Do not cut out fats; eat the right ones, nuts, avocado, fish, olives and olive oil as well as flax, hemp and blends of these.
For bikinis I like to refer my clients to, Amy can make up great bikini division suits for an affordable cost.  If you like an edgy suit you can also check out some of the sinful brand suits from affliction which are stunning.

about Linda: Linda came into personal training and fitness after living a childhood and early adult hood of chronic bronchial asthma with severe allergies. Never being able to stay in sport or classes such as dance, gymnastics or martial arts due to constant pneumonias, Linda hungered for competition and physical challenge. In her late teens she dealt with anorexia, an eating disorder triggered on by the death of her father. Recovering and managing anorexia as well as the asthma Linda then found herself able. In her early 20s she began lifting, became a trainer and then saw a fitness contest on TV, she never looked back!
She has been Personal Training since 1994 and has a strong knowledge base in areas of human kinetics, physiology, kinesiology, and biomechanics. Linda has an extensive media list having written for several popular fitness and health magazines as well as appearing on various talk and news shows. Specializing in strength and weight training, she has worked with a diverse group of individuals and is certified as an Elite Personal Trainer with ACE and BCRPA and with ACSM as a Health and Fitness Specialist meaning she can work with health risk clients.


jillconyers said...

Interesting info...not that I will be entering any Bikini Divisions (the thought just makes me laugh).

I do like the exercise suggestions and the tuna/avocado recipe. Clean and lean is the premise behind my weekly menus.

Lisa said...

Thanks for sharing this info. One of my bucket list goals is to enter a bikini or figure competition. I recently went to my first bb show to check out what the bikini and figure division is all about. I also got a chance to meet Nicole Wilkins, Ms. Figure Olympia. great post!