Linda Cusmano: I wanted to do gymnastics and dance as a child, and tried but being a Chronic Bronchial Asthmatic meant I could never fight off any bugs or flus so when I got sick it would go straight to Pneumonia which was frequent. This would mean missing time at whatever activity I was attempting to be a part. I also suffered anorexia a few years after my father passed away. By my early 20s I was a mess and that is when I found fitness but not until I made a career change did I get so heavily involved.
BB.com: What do you feel is your biggest fitness-related accomplishment?
LC: Having a close to normal life DESPITE my health. I still have issues with it, allergies affect me all year round and I am very sensitive to cold air, 5 mins exposed and the skin hives up. This holds me back from a few things but I do what I can and luckily it does not affect the sport of fitness. I am also happy to be a young woman entrepreneur, running my own Personal Training business and helping others achieve their own excellence is the most rewarding part of it all and I enjoy this job very much.
BB.com: Is fitness modeling/competition your full-time job? If not, what else do you do?
LC: Fitness modeling in my end of the World (Vancouver, BC, Canada) has no money in it, either does Fitness contests. Out here we do it for the sport and hobby. Even when there is prize money, you spend much more than that to get there and sponsors are difficult to come by. So my personal training supports my contests although you can't have much of a life when all your money goes to competing... again it is for the love of the sport. My business is called Body Rush Personal Training & Lifestyle Consultation and the site is www.bodyrushpersonaltraining.com.
Soon I will have a member area for my Fitness site and that will help toward competing. The site that is up now does not have a member area - www.lindacusmano.com
BB.com: What are your immediate and long-term goals?
LC: I have so many goals that I think I take on too much sometimes for one person to handle! I want to do more paid modeling, TV and movie work. I would love to get more paid fitness writing as well. I have been hosting my Fitness and Bodybuilding contests the past couple years so that goal is done but I would love to have the show become biggest out in Western Canada!
Physiotherapy has always fascinated me and I may go that route one day, but I love learning from the outside world better than in formal setting which keeps me out of the class room and short of those goals, but my education far surpasses anything that the personal training courses try to teach, they are too conservative. I find I learned much more from doctors, chiropractors, sports medicine individuals and athletes.
LC: My day is how I schedule it so if i decide that next Monday morning I am going to spend the morning with my dog at the beach then train clients in the afternoon, then it is done. If I choose to work on a holiday to help a client because they feel down and alone and the training cheers them up, it is done. Being your own boss is the most unstressful way to go! I may work more hours than normal jobs, but look at my work... it is so worth it.
BB.com: Please describe your normal diet. How do you eat to stay in shape?
LC: I eat what I want... on season I buck up a bit, and a few months out from contest I nail down a really lean diet of white fish, oatmeal, potato or brown rice, spinach, protein shakes with water, some with fruit depending on dates of contest. I have great genetics for metabolism and being a very high energy person I don't carry a lot of fat but I had to work to change that, as a teen I did hold fat much easier but I also ate as if I lived in a 7-11 or McDonalds!
I don't eat pasta or bread anymore and meat either, these were all prominent in my childhood diet and kept me heavy! In my new member area, once it is all done, I will have logs of my diets and training... this way people can try it out if they DARE! Just kidding, my training is not always hardcore.
BB.com: What is your training routine like?
LC: I get best results from a 6 day split combined with fitness routine work, kickboxing and plyometrics. But my training changes weekly and that is how it should be, so the style can be drop setting, or superset combined with pyramid or ascending reps. High endurance training, low reps heavy weights, bodyweight... my workouts always vary. I am constantly monitoring myself to adjust as needed. I try to keep cardio low but off season if I need to lean down for a shoot or something I can do some cardio for a few days and get immediate results because I don't do cardio all the time so when I do it works well.
LC: Off season I tend to be lazy and sometimes drop it all, but mainly I take a multi vitamin mineral, B-complex, Vit. E, Vit C, Udo's Mixed Oil blend, Soy, Whey or Hemp protein, Glutamine, HMB, and Greens plus. I also take a few other herbs to help with lean down but only for a few weeks, these herbs can vary depending on my body.
BB.com: How do you motivate yourself to get/stay in shape?
LC: Lately it has been hard as I seem to always be injured from pushing myself too hard or car accident or whatever... but if I gain a bit of weight it cues me to buck up. Music is a great motivation, contests on TV, friends who work out and tell you that they worked out today... if I missed that day I feel guilty, especially if I missed a few days but again I keep pretty lean anyway so it is usually not a problem.
BB.com: What tips would you give to someone who wanted to get into the fitness modeling (or fitness competition) industry?
LC: Move to LA or Florida for modeling. Fitness competing is a big 'go for it', any woman will find herself empowered by the whole process and experience!
BB.com: If someone you knew asked you how to lose weight and get into shape quickly, what would you tell them?
LC: I would offer them my services and take if from there but I always give free advice so I would have no issues responding to the email with some quick tips or a link or 2 to my articles which help with just that.
BB.com: What do you feel differentiates you from other people in your field?
LC: I am real and down to earth, I am not caught up in all the negativity that exists in the industry. I am very good at what I do and always get results with confidence.
LC: I am very interested in Fitness modeling, endorsements, sponsorships, TV or movie work, fitness writing for magazines and modeling for the articles. I can be contacted for guest posing or any of the above mentioned at Angel@lindacusmano.com.
If you need trainer for online training/diets, competing in bodybuilding, fitness, figure or fitness model, help with post rehab or sports, or just want to lose fat... you can contact me at Linda@bodyrushpersonaltraining.com.
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