Well, not really. But one of the fittest women I ever met does live in Zurich, and her name is Cinderella.
I’m back with my regular interview of fitness role models, this time it’s Cinderella (Cindy) Landolt’s turn. Cindy is a 26 years old successful entrepreneur and fitness model and the newest of my online friends on bodybuilding.com. Aside from that, she is one of the most popular female athletes on facebook.
When I first saw her profile in one of the fitness forums I frequently visit, I thought …wow, this woman’s picture is probably a CGI graphic! Unreal! I was wrong, Cindy is 100% real and aside from being super fit, I think she is super pretty (and I think most guys reading this blogzine would agree). As I later learned, Cindy had a brief modeling career which led her to be in some interesting roles in related areas, including placing second in the Miss Zurich contest in 2003.
So, Cindy and I started exchanging messages and fitness tips here and there, and became online pals. Similarly, Cindy started reading The Quantitative Method’s blog, and as I later found out, she is also a “Quant” in the fitness sense (quantification and tracking of parameters has been a key element of her amazing physical conditioning). She keeps records (either mental or written) of the weights, sets, grams of macro nutrients to consume, timing of meals, etc., which as I found out myself, are essentials tasks to keep improving and pushing your training and fitness conditioning to new levels.
I started to read her posts on facebook and bodybuilding.com, and right away incorporated some of her tips in my own training routine. For example, I did not know how “unnatural” it was to squat heavy weights in a Smith machine (SM). I can squat 300 lbs in a SM, however, the “form” might have been causing some damage to my joints without me noticing it. After learning from Cindy, I only do squats with non-constrained free-weights. For those of you interested, doing squats in a SM is not ideal, and in fact very unnatural, because it puts additional stress on your knees, ankles and lower back if you do not have perfect form. Also, when squatting with free weights, you involve more muscles (just trying to balance yourself is hard) compared to squatting with a SM. After incorporating her advice, I have noticed a marked increase in the size of my quadriceps, with a lot less weight (230 lbs x 3 sets, 6-8 reps) & a lot less stress in my joints. Thank you very much for that great advice Cindy!
Cindy got involved in sports from the age of five, beginning with gymnastics which for many years was her main physical activity. But as she got older, she became very tall for her age (she is 5’10” or 1.79m tall). So she switched to rhythmic gymnastics, where she competed at the National level. By the age of 15 she found that after a succession of injuries, she couldn’t take the stress any longer; extreme flexibility was not possible, which ultimately forced her to quit.
She had to find a new physical activity compatible with her personality. So while studying economics at the Wetzikon’s Business School, she decided to join a gym. Having always been active with gymnastics and hiking/running with her parents for many years, she knew that she loved how it felt to train her body. At the gym, she discovered a way to train in her own space and on her own time.
A few years ago and while shopping in Zurich, she was approached by someone asking her if she would be interested in modeling. Skeptical at first, she decided to give it a try.
She began working in television, playing a small hosting role on the Swiss version of the popular “Deal or No Deal” show. Along the way she entered the Miss Zurich Beauty Competition. She finished second, missing out on first place only because the judges described her as “too muscular”.
Right now, Cindy is a successful entrepreneur in the fitness industry, and rapidly becoming one of the top European fitness models.
So having learned a little bit of Cindy’s background, let’s ask her some questions.
TQM: Cindy, thank you very much for accepting my invitation to be interviewed for The Quantitative Method. First question: How long have you been lifting weights, and when did you first become a personal trainer?
I joined a Gym for the first time when I was 16 and I have been into weight training ever since.
I was always very interested in sports and nutrition and I knew that I wanted to do something in the industry, so I began looking into the possibility of changing my studies from economics to sports; this lead to my enrolling at “SAFS”, the Swiss Academy of Fitness and Sports.
I did a complete body of study regarding sports, health and nutrition for four years, during which time I also worked in a gym. This in turn helped to deepen my knowledge through ‘hands on’
experience and also gave me a great chance to practice my interpersonal skills outside of the classroom.
I started my own personal training company on Lake Zurich in the beginning of 2009, where I offer a variety of options and packages based on the client’s needs or desires.
TQM: Cindy, do you keep track of things like calories consumed, exercises, protein, carbs, fat consumed, fluids, timing of meals, etc.? Are there any variables you are tracking on a regular basis? What’s your typical diet?
Yes, I keep track on everything I do!
A typical day in my diet looks like this:
Breakfast: wholegrain oatmeal, quark (natural yoghurt high in protein), fruit, black coffee, multiprotein shake
Snack: scrambled eggs
Lunch: chicken, rice, green vegetables
Snack: After training I have a high protein, medium carb shake.
Dinner: fish/beef/chicken with salad or vegetables
Snack: pure protein shake (no carbs)
I eat every 2.5 – 3 hours, and every meal has to contain protein. I don’t count every calorie. I listen to my body and I know what I need. I don’t overeat but when I’m hungry after heavy lifting I do eat more than on a regular day.
I keep track of every exercise and every training session. I want to improve all of the time, I need to know what I have done last week and what I want to achieve this time. I write my whole training down so that I always know what to do.
TQM: I am glad to hear that you are also a “Fitness Quant”, we should talk about tracking algorithms and some of the cool stuff I am developing for my company ttwick.com some other time. But speaking about quantification, do you know your body fat percentage now, and where you want to be in the long run?
I have around 14 – 15% at the moment and like the full meaty strong look. I do get slightly leaner for photo shoots and summertime, which is around 12%. I don’t like the dry look. I prefer thick muscles so my main goal is not to be super lean but muscular and strong.
TQM: Cindy, how is your typical day/week in terms of supplements, and exercise?
I lift weights 4 times a week. I supplement multivitamins, omega oils, creatine and multiprotein and a lean gainer after lifting. Before training I have a strong black coffee and a ProSlam. 27g of pure whey protein!
I get up in the morning, have my breakfast, vitamins, omegas and creatine. Then I work until the afternoon. If I can’t have my lunch at home I ALWAYS take it with me. I like to control what I eat. I normally train in the afternoon, which feels the best for my body. After working out I see more of my clients and often work in the evenings.
TQM: Cindy, do you do cycles to bulk up or trim?
I have never cycled to bulk up or trim. My body tells me when I’m at my limits and have to lower/adjust the weights. Until then I keep pushing my weights in mini steps. As I said before, I always want to improve, I never stand still. I pretty much have a lean but muscular physique all year round because I DON’T cycle and consistently lift HEAVY weights to keep the muscles thick and stay strong.
TQM: What’s your favorite body part to work out, and what are your favorite exercises?
Hmmm…I do like the squats. It’s so exhausting, so challenging, so BRUTAL…but so effective. The best exercise EVER! I also like to do chins and rows…and deadlifts, which are very similar to the squats.
TQM: There is a big taboo about women lifting weights and “getting big” or “developing huge muscles”, therefore a lot of women avoid it. You and I know that building muscle is essential to staying fit and even slowing down some signs of aging. Can you explain to our readers why lifting weights is important, particularly for women?
It is GREAT to be strong! I love how it gives me confidence in what I do. I always loved the athletic look. It’s a great feeling not only looking healthy but also really being healthy. The better I get with lifting, the stronger my mind. It’s such a mind game, going for a new record. Beat what you have done last time… if you do it naturally a woman will not get HUGE like the “stereotypical” female bodybuilders. I think that’s why lots of women are scared. They think they lift heavy and get huge, which is not possible as a female lifter if you do it naturally!
Also people see and feel that you are strong and independent. They respect you for that and I think it’s a very attractive characteristic being so committed to something you love. Lifting weights, particularly squats and deadlifts form and shape legs and buns like NO other exercise does and that alone is worth the effort…which woman does not want lovely round buns??
TQM: Agree, and many guys like lovely round buns in a woman as well :-). Cindy, when you are not working out, what do you do for fun?
I love reading, going out for nice meals, I love swimming and going for walks. Of course I enjoy my family and friends. When I don’t work out, my main thing is to give my body time to recover and rest so that I have lots of energy and power again for the next workouts!
TQM: How do keep your motivation high?
I always had a very competitive mind; I can’t just go through the motions. I want to get better, improve myself, and become stronger! In every training session I want to beat what I have done in the previous one.
Also, I’m surrounded by great people who love what I do and push and support me! No reason not to be motivated!
TQM: Cindy, you recently started your own training program for people venturing into weight lifting for the first time. How is that going for you?
A lot of people need to work through the first couple of months of lifting to see and feel the first few positive effects of training. From then on they are very motivated and want to know more and get better. Pushing each other is a great motivator, and I only ever had happy and successful clients.
I know that working out, being good to yourself and your body is the best you can do in every situation! It stimulates not only muscles but also your mind, balancing your body and mind. Distracting you from daily worries makes you happy and gives you new positive thoughts. NO matter in which situation you are…you always should keep active!!!
TQM: Cindy, is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of The Quantitative Method?
Keep the training short and hard, avoid overtraining and enjoy the challenge only with yourself and against yourself. Do it for yourself and enjoy the journey!!!
Thank you very much Cindy! Keep up the good work and I hope to see you next time I go to Zurich! Auf Wiedersehen!
I would love to meet you in person Luis, it would be a REAL pleasure!!! Thank YOU!!! Tschuess (-:
For the reader out there who want to check out Cindy’s personal website, you can go here.