Linda is a national fitness champion. She is competitive in bodybuilding, fitness modeling and kickboxing. Linda is also a fitness writer for various magazines such as Ms. Fitness, Sport & Fitness, Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness, Oxygen and many more. As an actress, Linda dabbles in selective work such as Much Music Commercial, special extra and stunt work and special guest parts. Linda owns and runs her own mobile training service being an elite personal trainer and one of the best in her field working with athletes, post rehab and everything in between.
Linda Cusmano – Fitness Model Statistics
- Name: Linda Cusmano
- Height: 5’3
- Weight: 128
- Hair Color: Brown
- Bust: 36 C
- Waist: 26
- Hips: 36
- Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
- Website: www.lindacusmano.com
Linda Cusmano – Fitness Model Interview
How did you get started in the fitness modeling field?
I began training to compete in Fitness Contests and had entered some fitness model contests. I began doing some photos shoots from interested photographers and submitted them to publish. Once I became published the ball rolled from there.
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
I find the physique very appealing and enjoy the ‘out of the ordinary’ look. I was never to impressed with regular models as a child but when fitness models became popular and buff physiques became popular, the timing was right and I seemed to fit right in.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
I have had the pleasure to achieve Pro status with 3 federations and have continued to remain a natural athlete. Now I also have the pleasure of competing as well as coaching other gals who are interested in competing!
What is the best way to get started in the fitness modeling industry? Should I just contact the photographers directly or should I use an agency?
So far I have found that submitting my photos and working directly with photographers has worked well. I would love an agent but in my area we are lacking. Agents can get the contacts that you cannot.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
I eat and eat and eat! I am up to 8 meals per day, my schedule varies according to my Personal Training clients as I work with them on their availability. I also spend a lot of time with my dogs, watching movies and TV when I am not working with my Fitness Team BC Gals who are either being coached by me or on my Online Buff Camp. I provide them with diets and training programs every 2 weeks as well as helping them with stage presence, suits, tanning and more. Of course I spend lots of time in the gym training myself or my clients.
I don’t have that much time during the day to workout, so I really want to burn major calories in a short amount of time. What is the #1 “bang for the buck” cardio exercise I should do to burn serious calories?
Running is your most efficient fat burner but it depends on if you are want to retain muscle and how fast you need to accomplish this, diet is a huge factor as well. There is no general answer to this.
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
Depends, if you are overweight and looking to drop fat, 2 lbs per week is your most at safest but as you drop more fat you lose less easily because you approach a more accurate weight for yourself.
What type of food or supplements should I take before and after my workouts to help me see results in gaining lean muscle and losing fat?
This will also depend on your goals, if you are off season but to bulk you would have protein before and a meal after with maybe some creatine. If you are overweight looking to drop fat then you would have a post workout shake and nothing before hand. Glutamine is a great supplement to help joints recover. Eating every 2-3 hours can be difficult but this is where protein powder comes in handy as it can be a few snacks throughout your day and this helps keep your nitrogen balance up so that you are not burning muscle but can gain it, in turn efficiently burning more fat.
How do you deal with cravings for junk foods, sweets and salty food? I can stay on a diet for maybe a few weeks but I eventually get really bad cravings and binge on snacks and fast foods.
Off season I will eat what I like all weekend, which is usually not too bad but during the week I try to keep it clean. If you can pull off a few weeks and fight the cravings, you will notice they are not so bad later on and you get used to them. Sugar free gum is a good help too! Some gals find protein bars to be like a treat so that is another option.
I’m trying to create a healthy shopping list to stick with. What are some of the main foods I should include to maintain a lean and muscular physique?
Dry cottage cheese, almonds, chicken or fish or protein alternative, greens, carrots, squash, yams, broccoli, Omega oil blend, brown rice, oats, no fat plain yogurt, skim milk or no fat soy milk, frozen fruit for blending into shakes, bananas, grapefruit, green apples, kiwis, kashi cereal, garlic, lemons, eggs.
I’m about 35 pounds overweight. I have never started an exercise program and really don’t know where to start. What tips can you give me to get started on the right track?
Start slow and progress easily. I would begin with 10-15 mins on the exercise bike or cross trainer then go through a whole body program on a circuit starting 2-3 times per week. Use machines to begin and try to do something for each muscle group like so: Legs, Back, Chest, Shoulders, Arms and Core.
Examples of exercises for gym or home would be:
- Leg Press / Walking Lunges
- Chest Press / Push ups on knees
- Mid back row
- Shoulder Press
- Bicep curls
- Tricep Dips
- Lower back extensions
- Make sure to stretch each muscle group after the first and or last set.
I tend to eat out most of the time and really don’t know what healthy foods to order from the menu. What tips do you recommend for eating out at restaurants to make sure my diet will not suffer?
I would suggest a grilled chicken salad with vinaigrette or a protein alternative with greens. Lots of water.
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
Squats, lunges, butt presses, hamstring curls, single leg squats, smith squats, heel prints, hip extensions on cables.
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
My asthma can get me out of breath sometimes and this can hinder my training on occasion. I am also very noisy in the gym with the constant asthma/bronchial hack! Otherwise I am strong as a bull!
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
- Breakfast: first one is a shake with Udos, glutamine and creatine and my vitamins, then 2 hours later I have some kashi cereal with soy milk and a piece of fruit.
- Mid-Morning Snack: dry cottage cheese with broccoli and Udos oil. Maybe some almonds.
- Lunbch: Sweet potato or potato with no fat yogurt, huge green salad with yogurt mustard dressing, carrots and fruit.
- Mid-Afternoon Snack: 2 fake chicken patties, protein alternative equals the amount of 30 grams protein and some veggies.
- Dinner: spaghetti with tomato sauce or brown rice with beans and salsa, green salad again with same dressing
- Second Dinner: 2 hours later is same as mid morning snack or protein drink again.
Last meal – another protein drink and maybe some almonds.
During the weekends I have more carbs, fat, salt, pop, sugar, and whatever I want but usually end up with a meal out for East Indian Vegetarian curry, or sushi or Mexican or even red robins cheese sticks and shake. If no shake then maybe some Baskin Robins ice cream or instead I may have a chocolate or chips, it varies but I do have Pepsi, lots of it! During the week I have none of these and only drink water.
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
- Strength Training Exercises: It varies but I do like the powerlifting work like Squats, Chest Press, Deadlift! I also enjoy plyometrics to enhance my jumps and routine skills, stretching my splits.
- Cardio Exercises: I run or use cross trainer but do very little as I am easily lean and wish to retain muscle and concentrate on weights, although I do plyometrics which make me sweat a ton and there is also routine practice when on season.
- Additional Training: I use lots of various ab exercises such as the flag and AB machine, horizontal side swings while hanging, rollerblading, biking, hiking. I walk 30-60 mins per day with dogs, and up to 2-4 hours during summer especially weekends.
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?
1. Chin ups, tricep dips and shoulder press for sure.
2. eat clean and eat often.
3. stretch your muscles
4. 21s work well for arms
5. vary training
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Drop bread and pasta for while.
2. drink 2 liters water per day avg
3. drop sugar
4. add omega oils to your diet
5. do 30+ mins of cardio 3-5 times per week to get you sweating like crazy and make sure to eat every 2-3 hours
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
1. 1-2 grams protein per lb of body weight per day broken over 6-8 meals
2. 6 day split program or double split really kicks your butt into gear but this is for advance
3. for beginners, just begin to weight train and that will help
4. protein shakes are efficient and have higher amounts of protein than you can eat in a meal
5. moderate cardio, do not over do.
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
1. Keep a goal in mind and revise it monthly
2. Keep a long term goal like a contest or body transformation challenge
3. train with a pal who has similar needs
4. think of your mortality and future
5. keep up to date on fitness info via Internet etc
What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
9-12 exercises per day, 3-4 sets of 10-15 but sometimes I do 5×5. It varies each month, sometimes I pyramid, drop set, or try other styles.
Monday and Thursday:
- chest and triceps with glutes
- Chest dips superset with Tricep dips
- Pec fly triset with kickback and butt blaster
- Pullover superset with cable tricep pushdowns
- hip extension and heel prints superset
Tuesday and Friday:
- Back, biceps, Obliques and wrists
- Pullups n chins superset
- T bar rows with Hammer curls and hanging oblique raises triset
- Deadlift with oblique crunches and bar curls triset
- Wrist curl combo with con curls
Wednesday and Saturday:
- Legs, Shoulders and Abs
- Squats and shoulder press superset
- Leg curls, crunches and front delt raises
- Calve raises, flag and side delt
- Inner and outer thigh
- Rotator cuff
- Upright row and AB bench
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for losing fat around the stomach and developing a toned and defined midsection?
2. decrease carbs
3. 2-3 AB exercises twice per week
4. reverse crunches and leg lifts
5. side crunches
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?
1. Walking lunges
3. clean diet
4. inner and outer thigh exercises
5. hamstring exercises