IFBB Bikini Pro & Fitness Model Tabitha Klausen-Leandri Talks With Simplyshredded.com

How did you get started?

I struggled with eating disorders as a teen, and fitness/clean eating has turned my life completely around. I went from 115 lbs. at my worst point to a healthy 140 lbs. at almost 6′ tall! I quit smoking after 5 years, and started eating healthy for the first time. I started lifting weights at my local gym with the help of a friend’s guidance. That “friend” ended up becoming my Husband. I made the decision to dedicate my life to helping others change their lives. I decided I wanted to become a NASM certified personal trainer and teach people the correct ways to get their bodies in shape, and their self-esteem back! I also started traveling 30mins almost every day to The Montanari Brother’s Gold’s Gym New Haven. There I met my current Coach Jerry Montanari. He told me I would be perfect for competing and once I finally agreed, (I was terrified of getting onstage!) he gave me a contest diet and prepped me for my first show.

With the help of my posing coach Kenny Wallach I graced the stage of the 2009 NPC CT State Championships and won the Overall Bikini Title, making me the 2009 NPC Bikini State Champ! Later that year I turned Pro at Team Universe! It was an amazing feeling to earn the right to compete in such a high level in such a respected League, The IFBB Pro League.

Photography Credit: John Stutz (1st Photo) Isaac Hinds (2nd Photo)

What gets you motivated?

I stay motivated in a variety of ways including:

  • Fitness Magazines: I love reading fitness magazines for new exercises, workout tips, facts, and the fitness models being in top shape in the magazines always make me want to push harder!
  • New Music: Getting a new playlist ALWAYS pumps me up! Sometimes it is a playlist of all new songs, or it can be a mix of older songs. Country, Rock, Alternative, Metal, Dance, Pop, Rap, & Hip hop are all favorites of mine!
  • New Outfits: If I get a new workout outfit, or new shoes, you can’t get me to the gym fast enough! Nothing makes me feel better in the gym than a new pair of shoes, or a cute new top!
  • A New Class: Yoga, Bootcamp, Pilates, a Dance Class, even a Pole Dancing Class! Try a new class, make some new friends, and have a great workout!

What is your routine like?

Sample Routine:


  • Wide Pulldowns x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Cable Rows x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Close Pulldowns x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Machine Rows x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Assisted Pullups x3 for 10-12 reps


  • Leg Extensions x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Leg Press x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Romanian Deadlifts x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Leg Curls x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Inner/Outer Thigh Machine x3 for 10-12 reps


  • Flat Bench x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Lying Pec Fly Machine x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Press x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Pec Fly Machine x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Seated Machine Press x3 for 10-12 reps


  • Cable Tricep Extension w/rope x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Overhead Machine Extensions x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Dumbbell Kickbacks x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Flat Bar Cable Pushdowns x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Machine Preacher Curls x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curls x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Drag Curls x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Cable Curls x3 for 10-12 reps


  • Dumbbell Side Raises x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Dumbbell Front Raises x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Dumbbell Press x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Front Raises x3 for 10-12 reps
  • Machine Alternating Front & Side Raises x3 for 10-12 reps


  • V-Ups on a bench (front and sides) 4×15 each
  • Reverse Crunches and “Twisters” 4×15 each
  • Weighted Abs on Swiss ball 10lbs 4×15
  • Hanging Abs 4×10-15 (front and sides)

Cardio: I do 3x for 20-30 mins on the treadmill at a high incline in the off season

If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  1. Leg press – I LOVE the leg press! I feel like it is one of the best exercises to really stimulate the quads and hamstrings. At one point I had gotten my leg press up to 700lbs! That was a feat I was very proud of! The press helped me to define my quads, hams, and glutes and also to put more emphasis on my glutes and hams I perform single leg presses.
  2. Curls – One of the first exercises almost every beginner learns their first time in the gym. I did so many curls in the beginning because I was obsessed with my biceps! Hahaha, seriously I would flex for anyone and everyone when I first saw my biceps growing! This was the start of my obsession with the gym, I think that was where the iron bug first bit me, in the biceps!
  3. Reverse crunches – Definitely one of my favorite exercises! This exercise kills my ab muscles, and is both fun and challenging. In the beginning this exercise changed my midsection the most! To progress this exercise I added a twist and also performed these exercises on a decline bench!

What is your diet like?

I found out the end of last year that I was Wheat/Gluten intolerant, and I had been diagnosed with lactose Intolerance since I was a baby, this makes my diet a bit more complicated. I had to remove foods in my diet such as fiber one cereal, whole wheat bread, wheat pasta, and I have to be very careful of cross contaminates such as foods processed in the same facility as wheat, oats, barley etc… I read labels EVEN more carefully than I ever have before!! (I didn’t know it was possible! Haha)

Sample Diet:

  • Meal 1: Eggs, Turkey Bacon, Fruit
  • Meal 2: 6 oz. Chicken & Onions, 1/2 cup Brown Rice
  • Meal 3: 6 oz. Chicken & Onions, 1/2 cup Brown Rice
  • Meal 4: 6 oz. Chicken & Onions, 1/2 cup Brown Rice
  • Meal 5: 6 oz. Chicken & Onions, 1/2 cup Brown Rice
  • Meal 6: 6 oz. Turkey and a Baked Potato

Photography Credit: John Stutz

What is your supplementation like?

  • Muscle Milk Light Chocolate Shake (Postworkout)
  • Cytosport Fast Twitch preworkout in Power Punch

Plans for the future?

Right now is just to heal. I was recently involved in a car accident and injured my knee, neck, and back. That was about 4 weeks out from The New York Pro where I just competed and placed 10th. I feel I could have placed higher if I had brought a tighter package to the stage. Due to my injuries, the stress, and the fact I couldn’t really work out 4 weeks prior to the show, I was just lucky to step on stage!!! When I compare past pics from other shows to this past show I was stunned by the improvements I have made! I have no shows planned right now, and I am taking time off from working out at all. I am going to physical therapy 4x a week currently. I need to focus on getting 100% better so I can bring my best to the stage next competition!

I am also focusing on my personal training business. I train a wide variety of clients and now bikini competitors! I train at private locations and online as well. It has really been taking off so it’s keeping me very busy!

Bodyspace: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/tabitha2686/
Website: www.tabifit.com