Image: supplied.

The ultimate health, wellness and fitness Festival, FIBO Global Fitness Africa, is back in Johannesburg.

The festival, presented by Dis-Chem Pharmacies, returns to the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg for three days next weekend.

Last year’s festival was an overwhelming success with over 6 500 attendees through its doors, and over 100 fitness and health exhibitors interacting with the public and professionals alike. 

The Ticketpro Dome will transform into a playground for fitness enthusiasts and professionals to network, seek out the latest wellness concepts and innovations, and further their knowledge in the fitness industry. 

Among the attendees at this year's FIBO Global Fitness Africa is WBFF Pro, fitness bikini model, and personal trainer, Le Che Hendry.

The Saturday Star caught up with Hendry ahead of the fitness expo, to chat with her about her fitness journey.

She’s also given us some handy tips on how to get in shape for summer. 

Image: supplied.


Can you tell us a little bit about your fitness journey so far?

I have been going to the gym for the past 12 years, but only started competing in 2014.

Staying in shape is part of who I am and I strongly believe in looking after what the Lord blessed me with.

I was awarded my WBFF Pro status in 2015 and relinquished that in 2017 as my goals were bigger than the WBFF.

I competed in Pretoria classics in May 2017 and was awarded my Pro status and stood at WFF Universe in Brazil 5 weeks later where I placed third in my first international pro show. I have competed in various competitions in between both titles. 

What do you think has set you apart from other athletes in your sport? 

I believe that I am a winner. So in my head, leading up to comp day, I have won and the body always follows the mind.

I am very competitive and have been throughout my eight years of competitive dancing where I was a 13 times South African dance champion.

The mind is the most powerful tool that our bodies encompass. 

What are some of your training rituals? 

I don't have a set program, my schedule is based on my weak points.

I hate doing cardio so I make sure my diet is on point when it comes to comp prep so that I don't need to touch cardio unless I'm not lean enough.

My body reacts very differently to most people so I base my training on tricking the body. 

What advice would you tell your younger self when you were getting into fitness?

Balance. For the first couple of years in my competitive fitness career I had no idea how to balance personal life and prep.

It took a while for me to learn how to have both in my life and still be happy. 

How do you remain focused and driven in such a competitive sport? 

For me there is no second place. My aim is to win and that keeps me focused and driven when things get tough. 

For ladies looking to get their bodies in shape for summer, what advice can you offer them? 

The best advice is to find a balance between healthy eating and treating yourself. 

Heading into summer, everyone wants to do crash diets and don't understand why they weigh more in January that what they did before they lost the weight. 

Bottom line is, these diets do not last. The best is to lead a healthy lifestyle and to make working out part of your daily routine. 

Another important factor is patience. Stay calm and know the results will show in time. 

What are your five favourite exercises in the gym?

Donkey calves 

Stiff leg deadlifts on the smith machine 

Abductor pulses 

Shoulder press 

Lateral pull down 

What five foods would you say are the most important to fuel your body?

Lean proteins (eggs, chicken)

Red meats (ostrich and beef)

Avocados 

Vegetables (any green vegetables that are filling) 

Clean carbohydrate sources (sweet potato, rice cakes, pumpkin) 

What fitness apps do you recommend using?

My fitness Pal if you are on calorie based eating plan, but even then you should be enjoying your life and not counting every last gram of food. 

Are you a believer in supplements? 

I believe that supplements aid your progress but are not a must when training or even competing depending on your body goals. 

Supplements can never out perform proper nutrition from food sources. 

When it comes to competing, I follow a high protein diet and therefore require the extra protein from NPL Whey or Isolate over and above my protein from food sources. 

I also incorporate NPL Thermo cuts, not as a fat burner but more so as an energy source. 

I don't believe in using products to burn fat. I 100% believe in a clean diet to do the trick. During my off season my stack can include anything from CLA, Whey isolate, Amino burn to case in.This is all goal dependent.

How has fitness and training helped you personally? 

To be honest I do it because I love it. Feeling healthy is worth every minute in the gym. I'm passionate about health and fitness and I can honestly say I get so much joy out of leading this type of lifestyle and even from stepping on stage. If my passion is fueled I am happy. 

How do you work on improving your physique? Describe your current training program? 

I start with my weak points. Naturally I have good genetics when it comes to shape but I unfortunately have a very stubborn body that is difficult to understand. 

My body is not always responsive which can become frustrating, so changing up my workouts is super important.

I always start by planning out my body split based on my weak points and then working on those until I am satisfied. At the moment my training split is as follows: 

Monday - quads and glutes 

Tuesday - chest and shoulders 

Wednesday - back and calves 

Thursday - hamstrings, glutes and sometimes abs 

Fridays - arms 

Saturday - shoulders 

I do cardio on the days I feel up to it. I strongly believe in enjoying a gym session, and on the days when I'm not feeling up to it, I don't go. 

It's not about being lazy. It's about listening to my body.

Do you stay in shape year-round? As a model, what is required of you as far as maintaining a certain appearance? 

I do yes. I do not stay stage lean as my professional dancing career requires a fuller and healthier look. Being stage lean year round is 100% possible, I did it for two years, but everything in your personal life suffers. 

It's important to find balance between a stage look and maintenance. As I am an ambassador for a few companies, being in shape and upholding a certain image is very important not only for them but for myself too. 

I have never and will never be one of those athletes who uses the 'bulking phase' as an excuse for being overweight. It's about self respect and upholding your name.

Do you have cheat days? And if so, what is your ultimate cheat meal?

I have cheat days yes, generally a Sunday. But I do listen to my body during the week too. I find that If you limit yourself to a single cheat day and ignore all cravings during the week, you undo all the hard work in one day by binging. 

During competition preparation I generally have an entire Sunday off for the first four to five weeks of prep and then depending on my condition, I stop with cheat days 8 weeks out and incorporate one refined meal which would be a steak and white potato once a week.

What is your ultimate cheat meal?

My ultimate cheat, that's a tough one, as I don't think I have one. But something that always goes down well is movie popcorn with salt and vinegar and butter salt with a giant box of Astros on top. 

Tickets to FIBO Global Fitness Africa, presented by Dis-Chem Pharmacies 2019 can be purchased at www.computicket.co.za

PRE-SALE Ticket Prices:

Day Pass: R120.00 per person

Weekend Pass: R200.00 per person

DOOR-SALE Ticket Prices:

Day Pass: R150.00 per person

Weekend Pass R250.00 per person

The Saturday Star