We sat down this week with IFBB pro Linda Stephens, who among competing, also writes for Muscle and Fitness and Oxygen magazines.
Linda also works to prepare athletes for competitions and beauty pageant contestants for state titles, along with Miss USA and Miss America.
Where’s your hometown?
How did you get into fitness?
I was always active as a child. Figure skated for 5 years competitively and played basketball. My dad always kept us moving. My brother and I would ride our bikes or my dad would take us hiking. It just instilled me to have exercise as part of my daily routine. I taught aerobics classes while in college and eventually started weight training in my early twenties.
What’s a typical day look like for you?
I rise at 5:30am and get my fasted cardio HIIT sprints done. I get my kids up for school, feed and drop them off to return home and get ready for work. I train clients every day from 8:30 to 1pm. Then I head to the gym for my weight training. After my gym time I go home and work on my nutrition business while I wait for my kids to return. Then it’s all about them, homework, sports, dinner, laundry and bedtime for them by 9pm. Then I catch up on emails and such before I pass out around 10pm. Only to start all over again the next day. I love it and wouldn’t change a thing except add a few extra hours to my day.
What’s a good piece of advice you’ve gotten?
Don’t let fear paralyze you. Use it to push you through new limits every day.
Can you give us an idea of what your daily food regimen is like?
I eat about 6x a day all year round. I make sure to take in good quality proteins, fats and carbs. I rarely eat sugar and I do not drink alcohol. My feeling is that “food is fuel”. I do enjoy the occasional cheat meal when not prepping to compete but I always try to keep it clean.
What does a typical week at the gym look like for you?
I like to train one muscle group a day for about an hour and a half. I will go 3 or 4 days on and a day off. I do cardio 6 days a week.
How does your training vary leading up to competition and when you aren’t competing?
When I’m in my off-season my diet is more normal and it allows for me to lift heavy in the 8-10/10-12-rep range. When I enter my prep phase I’m still able to lift heavy but as my calories and body fat drop sometimes so does my energy. But, I always seem to have a burst of energy when I’m lifting but by later in the afternoon I’m usually pretty exhausted.
How does your diet change depending on if you are training for a competition or not?
When I’m not prepping for a show I up my macronutrients and enjoy food within reason. Always keeping my choices clean and sugar/processed free. In season, I eat very specifically. I weigh and measure everything. I need to know exactly what amounts of macros I’m consuming. I always eat 5/6 small meals a day all year long.
Do you have any personal records or awards?
After 4 long competitive years as an amateur figure competitor within the NPC I earned my IFBB pro card in 2014 at the age of 46. That was one of the most exciting moments of my life. Any that competes whether amateur or pro knows how hard of a feat that is. I also graduated with my master’s degree in nutrition in 2013. The entire time I was in grad school I was dieting for my competitions. Studying biochem on low carbs might have been harder than earning my pro card.
How does Creatop help boost your workout?
I use Creatop daily before I train. I tend to be muscle specific with it. Meaning if it’s my shoulder day I spray both shoulders pretty religiously. I find it gives me a pump and an extra push throughout my workouts.
How often do you use Creatop?
I use it every time I weight train, which is about 5-6 days a week.
Anything else you would like for us to know?
I’ve let a few bodybuilder friends use my Creatop and they told me they experienced an extra pump and energy boost in their lifts.
I write for Muscle and Fitness and Oxygen magazines. I prepare athletes for competitions and beauty pageant contestants for state titles along with Miss USA and Miss America. I’m a mom of two great kids. My career as a trainer, writer and coach is fulfilling beyond belief. I’m lucky to be able to pursue my passion as my career. It NEVER feels like work.
Visit Linda’s website at www.figurefitnesstraining.com.