Iina Levanoja - IFBB Figure Pro

Ive always been doing sports since I was a child. My previous hobbies are baseball (4 years), dancing (2 years), floorball (7 years) and Ive also tried tracking (mostly running). In 2009 I didnt like the direction my life was going and I applied in to a College, where we had physical, written and psychological entrance examination. That time I started going to the gym because I wanted to get in and increase my muscle mass. I graduated 2012. My profession requires good mental and physical condition. In 2013 I was recovering from an injury in my left hamstring which was caused in a floorball game. I decided that it is time for me to find another sport where I could develop and use my talents and genetics as an athlete better. I always liked team sports but in the end I am more a lonely wolf and like to schedule my training and life myself, not depending on others. I wanted also more muscle mass.


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At the time I started going to the gym 2009 I didnt know much about nutrition or training. I had been training for few years in an "oldschool" gym called East Body in eastern Helsinki, where the gym owner, my good friend and my idol Susanna Mantila (IFBB overall world champion wpd, powerlifter, IFBB judge) noticed my development and encouraged me to try competing in bodyfitness. Ive always been all or nothing person in every aspect of my life, and I wanted to do things right and learn more, so in spring 2013 when I was recovered from injury, I contacted the headcoach of Fitfarm company, IFBB Pro Jari Mentula, and he has been coaching me since then. My very first competition as an amateur was in spring 2014. Ive competed last time in 2015 autumn when I won my Pro Card.

I eat the same meals and foodstuff all year round, but in off-season Im not so precise about my eating and last year I started to eat more like my body tells to eat. All my diets have been very similar since 2013. Last year I started eat more, but if I wasnt hungry I didnt force myself to eat only because I have to. If I wanted to eat something good, I ate. I think our bodies tell us what food we need, if you know your body well enough. If you train regularly, eat mostly clean and your metabolism works, it doesnt really matter if you eat whatever you want for example one day a week.

My meals contain mostly beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, oatmeal, rice, pasta and fresh vegetables. Sometimes I use milk products but my body works better without them. My diet going from off-season to pre-contest differs mostly only in lower carbs and in "cleaner" food. Ive never counted my calories. I usually eat 5 meals per day containing breakfast, 2 meals, proteinshake, and before bed snack.


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The best diet to lose weight and build muscle mass is to eat clean and to be in a good condition all year round, not stressing so much about eating or training. Im so used to this lifestyle, every day just goes on without thinking about it. I dont force myself to do anything, to eat or train certain way or times a week. I do what makes me feel good. If I am really tired, I prefer to recover or rest instead of going to the gym. When you are in a good condition all year round, Its easier to prepare for a competition. When you are leaner, you see the results and improvements better, you feel better and thats what motivates me the most in this lifestyle.

All my competition diets (4 including this) have been very similar but every time Ive became more experienced as an athlete, Ive been reducing cardio and paying attention to balancing my physique. The worst possible diet for me would be train too much and rest too little.

This competition prep I am now on, Ive been doing gym 4 times a week and cardio only 3 times a week in the mornings to keep my metabolism working. My cardio is only fast walking 45 minutes. The worst possible diet for me would be train too much and rest too little. I train all year round 4 times a week at the gym and at most two muscle groups per time. In off-season I dont usually do cardio at all. I havent been doing HIIT. I like to train hard and let my body recover well. I prefer quality over duration or times. In every 4-5 weeks I take a whole week or few days off from training, depending how I feel. My work is shifwork (mornings,days, evenings and nights) mostly 10h-12h at time).


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My very first competition as an amateur was in spring 2014 in Fitness Classic Finland, where I was second. The same autumn 2014 I won the Finnish National Championships, was 4th in my first international competition and 6th in World Championships. At the time I knew I had found my thing. In autumn 2015 I was supposed to compete in Arnold Classic Europe in Madrid but all together was delayed from my competition. I still believe everything happens for a reason, we have to find the positives sides. Few weeks from there and the disappointment Arnold Classic gave me, I won my categories and overalls in Nordic Championships and the Nicole Wilkins Championships 10.10.2015 and earned my Pro Card. I made my Pro debut the same evening in Nordic Pro. Lately been thinking I could have continued my diet as an amateur and go the World Championships one more time. Im now on contest prep first time to IFBB Professional League competition. Ive been on a contest prep now for 15 weeks and there is only one week left to San Marino Pro.

Self-confidence is something you grow in when you get older and learn to know and trust yourself. I feel good about myself and my body, know why I do things and what not to do, have clear goals and enough ambition in all aspects of my life. I think that shows in a way people carry themselves. I want to be better and learn more. Im critical and demanding about myself and also towards other people. I remember also to reward myself for reaching my goals. Life is about being better, learning new, enjoying the journey and adapting to changing situations.

Effects of being an athlete: Only positive ways. But I think its good to have balance between your personal life, work and fitness lifestyle. Now when Im on a contest prep, I think the most affecting thing is the eating and the fact that you have to learn to organize your schedule the best way to have enough rest.

Im only making big lines about the future. I decided to focus now only for the competition in San Marino 26.11.2017. After that Im starting to think about the future. Maybe Ill compete in the USA in spring 2018. Im always going day by day and try to see the best chances in life and react to them. Life happens. You never know about tomorrow. Right know Im looking for new sponsors.


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Email for training and nutrition program, posing practice and photoshoot: iina.levanoja@outlook.com. You can find me in Instagram @iina_ifbbpro and my athlete page in Facebook Iina Levanoja IFBB Pro.


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