Issue #2


by HardFitness

2005 Ironman Review by HardFitness

2005 Ironman Expo by HardFitness

Breast Augmentation by Darlina Acampora

Becoming a Fitness Competitor
by Kristi Willis

Julie Lohre Interview
by Julie Lohre

Sodium in Your Diet
by Shelly Pinkerton

Alexis Ellis Overall Winner of the 2005 Ironman Video Interview Footage from Sunday after her victory.

Recipe: Breakfast Frittata by Amy Peters

Pictorials featuring Monica Martin, Carina Dupree, Darlina Acampora, Alexis Ellis and Andrea Dumon

Diuretics and Alternatives
by Sandra Del Vecchio

Rising Star Video Interview: Andrea Dumon NPC Figure from Arizona 2005 Ironman short class competitor

Show Schedule for 2005
by HardFitness

Contest Prep Diet and Supplement Schedule by Kristi Wills

Measuring Body Fat by Shelly Pinkerton

Secrets to Achieving a Leaner Physique by Linda Cusmano

Road to the 2005 Ironman by Andrea Dumon

Future Fitness Star: Mandy Polk 19 years old by Mandy Polk

Abby Eyre, Pro card contender Interview by Abby Eyre

How to Gain Natural Muscle by Kelly Burke Jennings


Secrets to achieving a Leaner Physique
By Linda Cusmano

One of the most common goals among exercisers and those interested in beginning an exercise program is to decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass.
This is and has been a challenge for many people. One problem is making sense of all the information that is out there. The other problem is sticking to it once you figure it out.

Fortunately there is hope for most people seeking this goal considering there is no health condition involved. Unfortunately it is work and a lifestyle change, which for some is the hardest commitment of all. The bottom line is that in order to get the desired results you can't just take a pill or diet, it is a combination deal where you attack from all sides!

The first step is examining your diet. Reality check. No need to get technical, count calories or weigh your food to the ounce. Think common sense, you want the majority of your diet to consist of vegetables of the leafy type, green and orange assortment, low fat proteins like tofu, beans, skinless poultry, lean meats, fish, canned tuna, eggs, no fat cottage cheese or yogurt, and no fat whey protein supplement. Try to have your 1 - 2 servings of fruit before noon (if you are off season, fruit still is a sugar) and choose the whole fruit versus the juice. Try to choose brown rice, tempeh, and similar grains more than wheat products or processed foods. Decrease your bread intake and go easy on potatoes, instead choose sweet potatoes on occasion. Salt, sugar, alcohol products, fats and sauces will simply defeat your goal, so your choice for being lean is made here!

Another major issue is to make sure you eat the good foods I mentioned throughout the day, taking in 6 small meals consisting of 3 main meals and 3 smaller ones for snack. Once you achieve your goal you can then cheat once in a while, maybe twice per month, on a weekend choosing a meal to enjoy and a desert or beverage but overall you should keep your diet clean. There is no need to be hungry, you can always have some veggies raw for those times or a protein substance, the results are worth it.
A multi-vitamin and multi-mineral is a good supplement to choose plus you should add extra calcium and magnesium as well. Caffeine is something that should also be decreased and this will help minimize the loss of vitamins, creatine and protein that can occur with caffeine intake.

The next area to consider is your cardiovascular. The bottom line on this one is pretty common sense as well, you burn glucose and fats for fuel, to move and function, so the more you move and at a higher intensity for a longer continuous time, causes your fuels to become utilized, and if you aren't taking in tons of sugar and fat, then your body will burn what you have stored already! Just don't pass the border of burning muscle.
So if you are doing nothing and presently sedentary try to get up a small sweat and increase your heart rate, then you need to begin a walking program. Slowly increase time and intensity utilizing walk - jogging, or cycling, swimming, stair master, you can choose. As long as you slowly increase the intensity of the activity or the time you are doing the activity for, you will keep your metabolism up and burn fat more efficiently. Progress is the key word here, you keep challenging your body once you attain the current demand so for example:
You start a walking program and by week one you are walking 5 days per week up to 15 mins per day. You would keep increasing the time of the walk until you get to 60 mins comfortably. Then you would progress to walk jogging or cycling or stair master again starting light and easy and slowly progressing in time and intensity. While all this is happening, you are burning fat!

The last piece the puzzle is to weight train, that means you ladies too! You will not grow like a man! Keep your weight light, and reps high, next thing you know you can wave and not have your arm flapping underneath! Balance your program to hit all the muscle groups which are mainly Chest, Legs, Back, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Abdominals. Sets of 2 to 4 are your standard and reps from 6 to 30 are also standard depending on the desired result in regard to just toning or adding a little more mass. Either way muscle helps increase your metabolism in the end in turn activating more fat burning.

Photo courtesy of M. Scott Alt

Stretching is essential to your recovery and should never be over looked; some can be done in between sets, holding the stretch usually for 15 to 30 seconds.
Others can be done at the end of your session to cool down. Some cardio should be done before and after weight training for proper warm up and cool down, then end with floor stretches.

Not only will implementing these suggestions get you to your desired goal to lose fat, but you will also be doing your body a world of good at a cellular level which you can feel in some ways, but can't really see because these are benefits aside from looking younger, feeling energized or leaning down. These benefits are stroke prevention, cancer prevention, reversal of arthritis and osteoporosis, improving heart and lung function, reducing blood pressure and hypertension, decreasing diabetes, and I could go on, you get the point!

Photo courtesy of Carl Thygesen

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About the Author...

Linda Cusmano

Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Competitor
Body Rush Personal Training & Lifestyle Consultation

If you are beyond this level and looking for more tips toward contest physiques then feel free to email me your questions and I will try to help.
Any fitness, health, diet, rehab or contest (fitness, figure, bodybuilding, fitness model) questions can be emailed to

Please visit Linda's Web sites:

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