Ljuba Pantovic - IFBB Figure Pro

Hi, Iím Ifbb Pro Figure competitor Ljuba Pantovic. Iím a professional licensed coach and nutritionist, as well as a mother of two daughters:). I was born on March 4th 1979 in Belgrade. First contact with sport was in my eight year, when I first started with gymnastics, then athletics, swimming, and eventually started professional sports career as kick-boxer. During 9 years of competing, I was multiple state champion (our country was much bigger then than now), vice champion, and 4th in Europe. I stopped competing in 2002 because of bad situation regarding sports in my country.

Late 2004 because of a bet with other gym members where I worked out, I sent my pictures for fitness model contest to our most prestigious fitness magazine, X-fitness. The owner and photographer, Predrag Vuckovic (the official photographer of Red Bull), invited me to do a photo shooting for the magazine, and then he suggested that I should start competing in body fitness. It was a new and unknown sport for me, but I accepted instantly because I still had competitor spirit living inside me. On my very first competition, I took the title from recurring reigning champion, and thatís where my career in this sport started. Until 2011 Iíve won over 30 gold medals, I was undefeated in state and Balkans. In 2009 Iíve got a life work and historic results award from my country, in 2006 Iíve been worlds vice champion, and in 2007 European vice champion.

In 2011 I got professional status, and in 2012 debuted at Arnold Classic Pro in Madrid. After that, I took a break from competing, and now this month Iím back at Nordic Pro in grand style and Iím really happy because of it.

Diet and Training
Iím constantly taking care of my diet, no matter if itís on or off-season. The most effective way for me was when I was eating increased amount of carbs for a month, and next month eat only meat and vegetables. The problem is that body starts to recognize patterns youíve used in the past, and then it wonít react to them anymore. That is why constant monitoring is required, and you always have to think of something new. Itís best to build muscles in off-season, because as I said, then I care about type of food, not so much about the quantity. I take much more proteins and carbs then you usually take pre-contest. Itís also very important to take some fats, everything must be well balanced. I have to say that in off-season I have days when I eat candies and ďforbidden foodĒ, after all, Iím an ordinary person who loves candies and home cooking. Anyone who said they are not using the off-season to eat like that is lying 100%.

About the diets that had weaker results, it happened when I lengthened the period that was supposed to be without carbs. Usually all of us think that if we sharpen things to the max, and start exhausting our body that we shall achieve better results. That has counter-effect, and your body starts to fight you. My metabolism slowed down drastically and waters started to accumulate in my body, since there was nothing to speed up my metabolism. Fortunately, I quickly corrected that error, and everything went the way it was supposed to.

While training, I always give my best. Since the diets are extremely strict, and you consume little food, sometimes happens that you canít always pull out everything you had planned. I always listen to my body, and in those moments of ďweaknessĒ I reduce weights and number of repetitions, or I just skip weight training and just do a cardio workout. You absolutely have to give your body time to rest. Usually, I workout six days, then have a day of rest, but Iíve been occasionally changed that regime to three day workouts, and one day break, and repeat. The longer you are on a diet, the weaker workouts are going to be.

On Stage
I build my self-confidence with my form. You either have it, or not. You could try to build it, but itís hard if you have nothing to start with. I have a lot of self-confidence, and I constantly boost it with results of my hard work and many sacrifices I made to be where I am now. I practice posing, and that way I can see the progress of my work and flaws I need to fix. I love stage; I love to proudly present myself and fruits of my work. I canít describe the feeling you have when they are handing you the medal, and you hear your country hymn playing because of you. That is what makes you keep going forward, and greatest self-confidence boost.

Even though Iíve been competing for more than 10 years, I get exited every time before competitions. Euphoria can start even several days before competition, because I have to prepare costumes, makeup, shoes... I usually get tired during the journey, and I canít wait to reach my destination, so I could check in and go to bed. The next day I have the task of painting my skin, and prepare suitcase with things Iíll be taking with me to the locker-room. Sometimes you get worried, and start to think about the things that are going to happen onstage, but the key to overcoming that is to occupy yourself with things you have to do to prepare yourself. While preparing, I often try a pose in front of a mirror, smile, and keep going. It's odd feeling, actually itís a mix-up of happiness, panic, pride, joy and anxiety.

Before coming out on stage, Iím already almost hypnotised and keep rehearsing my choreography in my mind and everything Iím planning to do in front of the judges. The first step underneath the lights of the stage takes away all the fear and all that is left is just happiness and smile, and the joy of showing your hard work and faith that you shall be rewarded for it. All the girls are beautiful, and all have been working hard to get to that place, but itís up to you to give your best, and that is what I always do. Waiting for the finals brings relief and peace, because youíve done all you had to do, and everything else is up to the judges. When the list is announced, you either start celebrating or smile and say ďnext timeĒ. Thank God, for most part of my career, Iíve been rejoicing in the finals.

Since Iím back on stage, I have big plans for next year. I have to wait for the end of the year to get the schedule of competitions for 2016, and then Iíll know when to start. Anyway, Iím inviting you to follow my work and my career, since I promise you good presentations from my side and hard battle for my position in Ifbb Pro League. Iím known as someone who clears everything in front of them, because I donít like to wait for success.

For my diet and training programs, consulting and posing classes (they can be taken online as well) you may contact me via my web page www.ljubagold.com and my Facebook page Ifbb Pro Ljuba Pantovic and my profile Ljuba Pantovic (Ifbb Pro Ljuba Pantovic-Peric).

Competition Prep Guides

Ljuba Pantovic

Ljuba Pantovic

Ljuba Pantovic