We talked with acclaimed Serbian Bikini Athlete – Jelena Vasovic – about her fitness and diet, and what kind of workouts do not require us to hit the gym. Read on to find out!
1. Please tell our readers a bit about your background in fitness?
I am an International Bikini Fitness Competitor, International IFBB Certified Coach & Founder of my company Body&Mind by Jelena Vasovic. Since I was a young girl I got involved in various sports activities. At first in ballet, then gymnastics and figure ice-skating until 2004, when I started doing fitness and aerobics. In 2008 I became a Group Fitness Instructor, teaching Dance Aerobics, Bodytoning and Bodypump. Beginning 2012 I started to prepare for competitions in bodybuilding Bikini Fitness category. I had my first competition in Switzerland in October 2013, where I ranked 9th Place on the IFBB Internationale Herbstmeisterschaft (IFBB International Autumn Championship), and two weeks later I turned Vice Champion on the IFBB Swiss National Bikini Championship, finally achieving title of the state champion (first in Serbia). I am very honored and glad to compete for Serbia and have already started-off contest season 2015 successfully by ranking again Top 3 on the IFBB International Serbia Cup in April 2015, in Belgrade.
2. What is your own typical daily fitness regime like?
I pay attention to sleep – minimum 7 hours per day – because I can focus better if I’m well rested. I do not follow an excessive training programme since in my opinion an overworked body with lack of recovery can’t perform well. I train every 2nd day, not daily. Furthermore, I prepare my food on a daily basis besides working part-time for an International company and also giving personal training and online coaching to my international clients, so I have to juggle a lot more beside my workout routine. Being well-organized is key for keeping a good balance in your life and therefore good mental and physical fitness.
3. What kind of a diet do you follow?
I try to avoid as much processed food as possible. I follow a diet high in proteins (white meats), carbohydrates (rich in vegetables, potatoes, rice) and balanced in healthy fats like avocado, nuts, flaxseed oil. I eat in 5-6 smaller portions a day and bring my food along with me wherever I go, which requires a lot of discipline and organization as mentioned before, but I am aware that no goal is reachable without a certain amount of dedication and trust in yourself.
4. What are your thoughts on “Fit vs Thin”?
Fit is synonymous of having a good balance of your Body & Mind. This is why my company’s slogan is “feel.connect.TRANSFORM”. In my understanding, we can only start successfully working on our goals when we connect our body and mind as this provides much-needed self-motivation to keep going. Moreover, fit also means that we build a stress-resistant positive mindset enabling us to feel good at anytime. Thin doesn’t exist in my vocabulary as a trainer, since my focus is to keep my clients and followers motivated and develop their personality to become a better version of themselves.
5. What are 3 weight-loss myths that you want to bust?
- Low fat diet products are not a synonym for health food nor are they responsible for a successful weight-loss. Balance is key.
- There is no magic pill enabling you to slim down or get fit. Following a nutritious diet according to your health condition counts over 50% in order to be successful in loosing weight.
- Following an excessive cardio training in order to “burn fat” will rather burn your muscle tissue, enhance your stress hormone levels and may be also be a diet blocker. Here again, balance is key and can be well improved by taking the help of a professional trainer who can assist finding a suitable training programme following your health condition and help increasing your fitness level.
6. In today’s startup work culture, most people with 12 hour desk jobs find it very difficult to squeeze in gym workouts in their schedules. What is your advice to those people? What is a quick yet effective alternative to gym sessions?
In my former role as a Swiss Banker I used to work long hours in the office but since I had some goals I wanted to reach, as preparing myself for international bodybuilding contest, I freed up some space in my agenda for my workouts. It is a question of prioritizing the activities in your life well. Maintaining a good balance of your body & mind ensures more power, energy and positivity from the inside out. Therefore, I recommend people to not only give full focus on work but also remember to keep increasing their fitness level through various outdoor or indoor activities. It doesn’t have to be necessarily a visit to the gym, everybody should find his own balance. Running, Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Swimming – anything that works for you!
7. What are the types of workouts that can be done at home itself?
The only type of home workout I can strongly recommend is a 3-times per week Circle Training on empty stomach or 90-120 minutes after breakfast followed by a meal. This is a great combination of whole body exercises which boosts the metabolism and helps burning fat. The circle workout can be performed in 3-4 sets with no breaks between the exercises. When all exercises have been done, a break of 60-90 seconds follows.
Circle Workout Day 1 with focus put on lower body:
20-25 Repeats Bodyweight Squats
20-25 Repeats Glute Bridge
20 -25 Repeats Single Leg Glute Bridge
30-60s Repeats Planks
12-15 Repeats Crunch
12-15 Repeats Lying Leg Raises
Circle Workout Day 2 with focus put on upper body:
15-20 Repeats Girls Push-ups
15-20 Reps Triceps Dips on Chair
15-20 Reps Biceps Curls
15-20 Crunch (hold 1 second)
15-20 Shoulder Press
15-20 Shoulder Front Raises
Repeat this workout first week (2 times Day 1 workout, 1 time Day 2 workout) second week (1 time Day 1 workout, 2 times Day 2 workout) and continue like this. In order to ensure enough recovery keep minimum 1-2 rest days in between
8. Women in India constantly battle with bloated tummy. Can you tell us an effective workout to tone the tummy flab?
A bloated tummy can come from different reasons. This may come from food people can’t metabolize well or it can also be a gluten or lactose intolerance. Furthermore, genetics play an important factor. Another source may also be stress while some of us loose weight when going through stressful situations others gain and this very often gets visible with an increased body fat around your waist. Generally, I have seen that a change in the way people eat already brought a major change in the look of their tummy and adding some circles workouts can be as well of great help in loosing that “tummy flab”.
9. Are there some miracle foods that really help cut down body fat?
I am a believer in Omega 3 fats as those help us to better break down the “bad” fats in our nutrition. Therefore avocado, nuts, flaxseed oil, olive oil, olives should be integrated in everybody’s nutrition in an amount suitable to their body type.
10. Do you believe in the philosophy of “Ideal Body Type”?
Everybody should feel good in their body and regularly check their blood levels since they are a good indicator of where we can improve our nutrition in a way which suits every individual.
Note: You can contact Miss Vasovic through her website – www.jelenavasovic.com or follow her on Instagram – @jelenavasovic, @bodyandmindjelena.