Leslie Heidemann - IFBB Pro Bodybuilder

In 1981, I was diagnosed in the third of four stages of Hodgkinís lymphoma. At the time I had three small children and I didnít know if I would live to see them grow up. I spent 18 months on chemotherapy. After I finished my treatments, we were transferred with Reynolds Aluminum to Western Australia, south of Perth to a lovely city called Bunbury.

I decided to start exercising with a group of Americans who wanted to enjoy the Aussie culture, so I started to do aerobics. I did that for about two years, but I didnít like how I looked. I was still a skinny fat, 90 lbs soaking wet! I started to do some research about what else I can do to make my body firmer. I read an article about how good bodybuilding was for women, not just for shape and tone, but for bones as well. On January 2, 1985 I joined a gym with two friends. They quit after 3 months, but I never stopped! I was in love! In 1987 I moved to Wasilla, Alaska, to start a new life, freshly divorced. I grew up in Kodiak, but my sister lived in Wasilla, so I moved there. I felt I had a lot of opportunities there, I continued my training also. In 1989 I stepped on an Anchorage stage for the first time. I placed 3rd. and I was sold!

In 1985, I joined a gym with a couple of my friends. A few months later, they had quit, but I was still going strong! I competed in my first show in 1989... I didnít know what I was doing, but I placed 3rd.. 28 years later- Iím training for my 4th trip to Nationals- Iíve placed better every time gone! And Iím making progress with every day, thanks to God and my Coach Doug Porterfield, getting closer to my next goal! Donít lose sight of your dreams, yíall, no matter how small or big, keep the focus!

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My off season diet is mostly the same as contest prep. I just get more calories, and one cheat meal a week. My coach keeps me lean, having about 10 lbs to lose contest prep,
I have tried every diet there is out there over the years. And then did my own for years, but always felt like I was spinning my wheels with putting on size. So I hired a prep coach. That helped a lot, but I still didnít do as well as I should. Last year I hired Doug Porterfield out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Heís one of those coaches that pays attention to his clients and how they respond to food. He found right away I was super carb sensitive, which explained why my last coach spilled me over every peek week. He pulls my carbs or adds them daily several weeks before I step on stage, and even in my off season when I start to gain too much weight. I send him pictures and emails and texts. Our food will make or break us! He is worth more than I pay him. His prep helped me get my pro card!

When you look good, you know it! Itís easy to step on stage and rock it when your physique is on point. I have always felt very comfortable on stage anyway, so itís easy for me! I can look those judges in the eye and smile.

My training program is 5-6 days a week. My upper body develops quickly, so I have focused more on legs this past year, training them twice a week. It definitely paid off! I am very strong! I have lifted around power lifters for years and they motivate me! I have a Pro-Power lifter for a trainer. I train once a week with her. Sheís incredible! She knows what I need. I train the rest of me! Cardio off season varies, but typically 3 days a week fasted for 30 minutes. Prep season, twice a day 45 and 30 minutes, and sometimes I go to a hot bar or yoga class. I throw lots of HIT in my twice a days.

I eat every 3 hours and plan it so I am not walking into the gym hungry unless itís fasted cardio! I pack my food every where I go, even traveling. I freeze it and put it in my suitcase. I never run out of food because that can lead to not eating what is on my plan.

I have been competing for so long a lot of the competitors started calling me, ďMom!Ē I help girls with their suits or whatever they need. I make friends fast, and have met some of my best friends backstage. I strongly believe in good sportsmanship.

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My children practically grew up in gyms because of my love of this sport, so they understand it. All three of my daughters are athletes. My oldest daughter competes in Figure and we travel and compete around the country! My oldest granddaughter competes in Bikini. We have been able to do two shows together. Itís awesome to see my children and grandchildren take care of themselves! My other passion in life is working with children with disabilities! I have been a special education teacher for 24 years. I have an awesome boss who lets me eat on my schedule. My siblings and friends support me! Everything works!

I have already been asked to guest pose next year. I will compete in a pro show sometime next year. Iím looking at dates that work around my job. Eventually Iíd like to be more involved in motivating people to work out. ďNever too old to start!Ē is my thought process!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ifbb_pro_musclegram
Email: hmann.leslie@live.com

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