Throwing it back to the USN Face Of Fitness 2019 competition

Connect with some of the ladies who made the Top 12

With the winner of the USN Face Of Fitness 2019 crowned, we thought it would be a great time to showcase all the spectacular women who made it to the Top 12.

In this feature; read up on three inspirational ladies – Kgaugelo Mdhluli, Unetsie Steenberg Botha, and Courtney Degnan.

Kgaugelo Mdhluli

Age: 36
Occupation: Freelance business consultant

City: Centurion

Facebook: Kgaugelo Mdhluli

Instagram: @ladykay_fitness

Twitter: @KgaozzaM

Kgaugelo, another first time entry for the USN Face of Fitness competition – impressed with her enthusiasm and energy for fitness. She believes that there’s nothing more fulfilling and confident boosting than feeling good about yourself and comfortable in your skin.

Q: How do you market yourself on social media?

Initially, my social media platform of choice was personal blogs, whereby I blogged about events that drew my interest. It was during my fitness journey that I started to develop an interest in branding myself as a fitness model. I had to be comfortable with making my accounts public and sharing my transformation. I mainly use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. My posts relate to my experiences, challenges and victories as a fitness model and as an ordinary woman. I want my posts to be relatable and motivating. It is not about having massive followers but having real connections with people needing extra motivation to challenge themselves, and that is where I find the real value of good content.

Q: How does your off-season lifestyle differ to that of preparing for an upcoming fitness competition?

Offseason: I train 6-times a week and my routines include strength training as well as cardio. I use this time to focus on muscle groups which I would like to improve on. I may do the occasional park run on a Saturday morning. I adopt a flexible dieting approach during this period with limited supplementary intake. I enjoy having an occasional glass of wine and indulging in something sweet. Balance is key.

Show prep: I train 6-times a week- twice a day. My morning session includes fasted cardio followed by sauna, and evening sessions consist of strength training as well as cardio. During prep, I follow a strict meal plan which includes 6 meals a day consisting of lots of proteins, moderate carbs and fats. As the show day approaches, I decrease my calorie consumption. I generally prep for about 12 weeks.

Q: 3 characteristics that best describe you?

  • Resilient
  • Optimistic
  • Dynamic

Yay or Nay?

Squats? Yay! Not only do they build muscle and help you achieve beautiful toned legs, they work your quads, hamstrings, calves, abdominal muscles and your booty.

Fat burners? Yay and nay! They definitely are effective for weight-loss, formulated to give you that extra boost to increase your fat burning potential. It is important to remember that supplements are best used in conjunction with a solid diet and training plan. I recommend that you cycle fat burners – use them for short periods of 4-6 weeks.

Sports massages? Yay! Bodybuilding can be intense, going for a sport massage can help prevent injuries, relief muscle pain and tension, improve endurance performance, as well as increasing blood flow throughout the body.

Q: What are your goals for the future?

I will continue sharing my knowledge and experiences on social media. Currently, I am pursuing a fitness and nutrition certification. I’m also open to any opportunities that may emanate from my involvement in the fitness industry. I might even take up a new sport. I foresee interesting, exciting years ahead for me…

Courtney Degnan

Occupation: Stott pilates instructor & business owner

Age: 31

City: Durban

Instagram: @courtneydegnanfitness_

Facebook: Courtney Nicole Degnan

Courtney is one of this year’s Face of Fitness success stories. Having entered the competition 3 times previously and not making it through the voting stages , she has shown tenacity and dedication – placing in the Top 12 in this year’s competition. If not at work, or training, Courtney is whipping up something delicious and nutritious in the kitchen. From fitfluencer to foodie – she shows her passion for fitness throughout.

Q: What content do you aim to give your followers online?

I always try to keep my content fresh and dynamic. Eating healthy is challenging for most, so I try make healthy food and recipes on my Instagram feed and stories, once a week. I also like to put an exercise video up on my feed to help inspire others. A mix of nutrition, fitness and supplements.

Q: Which dieting protocols have you used in the past?

I have tried various types of diets such as Keto, Paleo, and Atkins diets. Ultimately, I’ve found that my body best responds to a wide spectrum of foods and a healthy balance of macronutrients. I don’t believe in cutting carbs out, I actually eat carbs every day as my staple source of energy.

Intermittent fasting is another dieting technique that doesn’t work well for me. I suffer from low blood sugar levels and therefore I can’t function optimally without eating my breakfast in the morning.

Q: 3 characteristics that best describe you?

  • Driven
  • Kind
  • Humble

Yay or Nay?

Oats in the morning? Yay! My current favourite breakfast is plain oats with chocolate whey, banana or strawberries…delicious and keeps you going for hours.

Burpees? NAY… I think I’ve done about 5 burpees in my whole life.

Pre-workout nutrition? Yay! I either eat food peanut butter on a rice cake, oats, or a banana to give me energy. If I don’t have the time to eat, then I’ll resort to a pre-workout supplement.

Intra-workout supplementation? Yay! I can’t give my all in the gym without my favourite BCAA’s by my side.

Post-workout supplementation? Yay! I generally have a protein shake with added glutamine to help my muscles recover.

CrossFit? Nay! I’m more of a Pilates type of girl.

Q: What can we expect to see from you, going forward into 2020?

I am working on my fitness and lifestyle oriented website. I aim to help others achieve their own health and fitness goals by using this site as a platform to guide them through it. I will be furthering my education and studying nutrition, in order to help people on a more professional platform. I also plan to compete at WBFF in 2020

Unetsie Steenberg Botha

Age: 39

City: East London

Occupation: Dietician & business owner

Instagram: @unetsie

Facebook: Unetsie Steenberg

Unetsie believes that she represents every aspect of being a woman- being a wife, mother, working as a dietician within her own local practice as well as being athletic. She is the perfect example of commitment and balance – aiming to show women that it is possible to have a busy life but still maintain a good physique.

Q: 3 characteristics that best describe you?

  • Determined
  • Hardworking
  • Consistent

Q: What do you consider to be a healthy diet?

A healthy diet is one that isn’t boring, or restrictive in the sense of eliminating food groups entirely. I recommend a more balanced and sustainable approach. Maintaining good eating habits and focusing on health is essential.
I eat a combination of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, good fats as well as omega 3 fatty acids. I choose good cooking methods like steaming, grilling, baking and poaching. A healthy diet is directly linked to a healthy lifestyle.

Q: What are your preferred treats?

My eating habits have always been healthy. I stay away from fried food, takeaways and refined carbohydrates. I do however spoil myself with the occasional piece of dark chocolate, red wine and low fat ice-cream.

Q: What are your supplementation essentials:

  • Omega 3 to prevent inflammation within my body.
  • Multivitamin supplement – complete in B vitamins, Zinc, Chromium and vitamin D for optimum thyroid function.
  • L-glutamine for muscle recovery after intense workouts.

Yay or Nay?

Squats? Yay! Squats definitely help grow your legs and test your strength.

Oats in the morning? Yay! I love my oats with cinnamon or peanut butter.

Fat burners? Nay! I believe that if you eat clean enough, you won’t need fat burners.

Early morning gym sessions? Yay! I prefer to train earlier, that way I can focus on work and family.

Training partners? Nay. I have a personal trainer who pushes me to the limit.

Author: Gary Fairweather


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