3x Ms. Bikini Olympia 14x IFBB Pro Champ Cover model Insta: @ashleykfit
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
I am a former track athlete and grew up in the state of Ohio. Being an athlete I always knew how to work hard, practice was no joke. At the University of Akron I ran till I puked at almost every practice. Track had such a positive influence on what I am doing today. A lot of people don't know what is like to work hard, but running gave me a great mental and physical base to start out with.
2. How did you decide you wanted to get into fitness?
After track I was going through a time where I wasn't competing or training for anything, it was totally different. I am a very competitive person and it was driving me crazy! I found the bikini division and thought this would be a new challenge that I would try. I trained for 8 weeks and did a few shows. Within a year and a half I turned pro and things started happening fast. Once I won Olympia I quit my job bartending to focus on fitness. Once I started focusing on fitness sponsorships, appearances, photoshoots and seminars came, and before I knew it I was making a decent living off competing.
3. What does a typical workout schedule look like for you?
I usually do an hour of weights and maybe 15-20 minutes of cardio. My cardio isn't as high as some girls do, but I stick to 4-5 days a week of HIIT training. On the weekends I have found a lot of fun in running 5k races to get in shape for some shows.
4. What does you diet look like?
I like to follow a low carb, moderate fat diet, but I am very lenient with it. I don't have a certain diet that I stick to, I am more of an intuitive eater. I don't count calories but I do stay lower cars and moderate fat because that's what works best for me.
5. Do you allow yourself a cheat meal?
I have a cheat meal one a week until I am 3 weeks out from competing. I love pancakes! Not the boring kind but the fancy flavored like IHop red velvet! If I want to pick a cleaner cheat meal I love to eat Mediterranean food!
6. What is your secret Starbucks recipe?
I get a venti iced americans with SF vanilla and add my own protein to act as the creamer, such as vanilla Isofusion. Make sure you are getting easily dissolved protein, usually protein isolate works best so it isn't clumpy and blends well.
7. Advice for making your abs pop?
As the saying goes, abs are made in the kitchen.You can have best ab regiment but if your diet is not on point you won’t see them. I can see my ab development shine through when I am closer to a competition. I like to perform up and down movements to train. Make sure you don’t forget about lower abs because they get neglected. I do a lot of hanging leg raises or reverse crunches.
8. Spring break is coming up, how can you stay healthy while traveling?
If you are going on vacation you are going on a trip, it's not practical to eat 6 times a day every 2 hours. Bring good healthy food with you even if its protein powder or canned tuna, little things to fill in what you would have eaten. Skip the hotel breakfast and bring healthier choices with you. When we are hungry we don’t think whats the better option, but having foods with you will assure you make better decision. Don’t be so concerned with eating 6 times a day, if we are out with friends we aren’t going to pack meals on the go. Make healthy choices when you are out and be aware whats in your food. Don’t let it take over the experience. Life is too short to obsess over every little thing you eat.
9. How can Instagram be deceiving when looking at fitness motivators?
Instagram can be deceiving when you can alter photos like crazy. No one will ever look like a certain person no matter how hard you train. Angles and mirrors can be deceiving, one mirror you look fit and the other fat. Be very aware of how realistic everything is. Always remember the people you see are experts at what they do, they know how to pose themselves in the best way possible.
10.Advice for people starting their own fitness journey?
Don’t expect results right away, it's going to take time and consistency. Someday the scale isn’t gong to change, and I advise not weighing yourself everyday because so many factors making it flux. Keep the bigger goal in mind and say "I’m gonna keep going". Even for me if I start from off season to on season it will take about 3 weeks to notice a difference.
11. Advice for future competitors?
If you are competing do it for you, don’t do it for placing and money, enjoy the experience and journey. Whatever you place know you worked hard and that should be good enough reason. Savor the moment, take pics, and make friends, that is a moment in time you will cherish. Document and you can look back on it and never focus on the number placing. It's what you can do and what your personal best is.
12. What are your goals for the future?
I would love to win another title but more importantly, I would love to get a position where I can inspire more people. I won three times but I want to inspire even more people to better there lives in health and fitness since they are very mislead by the media and social media. To the normal person, they don’t know what being healthy or eating healthy is. I want to educate more people on healthy choices and keeping good body image. I want to inspire more people and that would be the pinnacle on what I have ever done.