Over this academic year, DRAW will be featuring a “Member Micro-Blog” from some SRC members as they train for various competitions. These blogs are one person’s journey and training practices and do not represent DRAW’s professional opinion. Ashly will be writing our first member micro-blog for DRAW. In the next few weeks she will be preparing for an Alaska Figure competition in Anchorage in early October.
October 5, 2014: 1 Week Out*
* This is Ashly's process and plan. This is by no means the right or wrong way and not endorsed by DRAW. This is unedited to provide a real insight into one person's journey.
I am one week out from the Crystal Cup AFX (Alaska Fit Expo). I am feeling pretty good right now, but a little nervous. This last week I will be altering my diet and workouts a little bit. Today (Saturday will be my last leg day. I met up with a couple other girls to do the leg circuit together. This is what we did:
5x15 Stiff leg dead lifts w/ hamstring curls
5x15 squats w/ an ab exercise
20-10-10-20 Leg press (20 is doable, go up for the first 10, go up the second 10, then back to original weight at 20).
100 weighted toe raises.
This was extremely difficult. The point of lifting heavy is to get all the glycogen (sugar) out of our system. I was pretty sore, especially my calves since I never do calf raises. It was hard for me to walk but by Wednesday I felt great! The rest of our week looked like this:
Sunday: back and biceps, abs, stretch legs, posing practice
Monday: No gym, stretch legs
Tuesday: Chest and triceps, shoulders and abs
Wednesday: Fasted steady cardio in the AM for 30minutes (no eating before this). Right after I ate 1c of oatmeal with cinnamon only and a banana.
Thursday: abs, posing practice,
Friday: Legs up. This reverses the blood flow to your legs.
Saturday: 10am prejudge starts; 7pm night show
From Sunday-Tuesday I drank at least a gallon of water, and only ate high fat (almonds, avocados, sausage, etc.), high protein so any meat I want, and veggies with high fiber and low sugar (broccoli, asparagus, spinach), NO FRUIT, and HIGH SALTED foods. This was challenging. Doing this makes your body retain the water you’re drinking more because of all the salt. By Tuesday I was extremely bloated and couldn’t wait for the day to be over.
Wednesday I woke up and did my steady cardio for 30 minutes. I went home and had my oatmeal (which was extremely filling) and took my banana with me to work. That banana tasted AMAZING! Starting Sunday we are on NO SALT and regular water, starting to eat carbs like sweet potatoes and white rice, (these carbs go to system faster and don’t have a ton of fiber like wheat rice and quinoa, and less protein. All protein that I’m taking in now is just chicken until the show. The girl who has been helping us, Josie Bullock, advised us that we want to stay away from high fiber foods because it will cause us to feel bloated and we don’t want that. We also started taking Expel water pills as directed on the bottle. This helps get all the access water out of our system as well as all pulling all the sodium out of our system so we are tight.
Thursday, I increase my carbs to 250g and decrease protein. I still eat protein but my main focus until the show is carbs. I eat a lot of asparagus as it acts as a diuretic as well as drinking tea. I have slowed down my water and drink only when I’m thirsty.
Friday I increase my carbs between 300-400grams! I stop drinking water at 2pm completely. I can drink coffee if necessary and am allowed 8oz of water from now until show time. This sounds unhealthy but I prepped my body for this so I won’t be dehydrated. I now start eating no salt rice cakes with jam. This is sugar entering my system to fill my muscles out and definition to them. I snack on these as well as fruit high in sugar or candy if I want. Today I’m off my feet as much as possible to keep my legs looking lean and tight from minimizing blood flow to my legs.
Saturday prejudge is at 10am. Wake up is at 6am! I am having my hair and make up done at the hotel then head over to the Denain’a Center. Prejudge is when the judges actually judge you and at the 7pm night show, that is where they read your biography and announce who the winner is.
I’m extremely excited and ready for this weekend! It has been a long week because of this crazy diet and change in lifting, but well worth the time and dedication I have put into it all. There are about 15 of us girls going down representing F&H Fitness Studios. I cannot wait to get down to Anchorage and experience this show for the first time with everyone else!
September 22, 2014: Train for yourself
* Full disclosure: This workout work routine works for Ashly. Always adjust sample workouts for your personal comfort and goals. Seek professional advice if you have questions.
I have been working out since I can remember. When I am at the gym I often get asked, “What are you training for?” Before starting to compete, I tell people I was training for myself. If you workout hard people automatically assume you are doing it for an event or sport, nobody ever thinks it is just for yourself.
My workouts are pretty simple. I lift 2x a week (T,TH), do abs 5x a week, and do cardio 5-6x a week (M-Sat, Sunday off), depending on how I feel. I like to switch up my cardio and hit the stair stepper, or doing sprints on the treadmill1-2x a week. I always do a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) because this cuts down on fat, works your fast twitch muscles, builds lean muscles, and steady cardio is boring to me. Here is a sample of a day workout for me:
Abs: 20-15-10-5 I do all four exercises 20 times, then 15, then 10, then 5 with no breaks. I always make sure I am laying on the ground your back is flat.
- Leg raises while laying on the ground, with med ball held 2in off ground over head
- Bicycles or single leg to elbow
- Russian twists (20 each side, 15 each, 10 each, 5 each)
- Reverse crunches with med ball
Warm up: Some of us take longer, I always say warm up until you have beads of sweat on your body. Stretch a little bit, then start cardio. I usually do cardio for 30-40 minutes, I do sprints every 2 minutes. This is a stair stepper workout I do:
1-2:30- Level 18 “rest”
2:30-3- Level 20 (sprint)
3:00-5- Level 18 “rest”
5:00-5:30- Level 20 (sprint)
5:30-7:30- Level 18 “rest”
7:30-8:00- Level 20 (sprint)
8:00-10:00- Level 18 “rest”
10:00-10:30- Level 20 (sprint)
If the level is too high, just adjust to what is comfortable for you to “rest” at but maintain your heart rate.
For all my weight workouts I do them as a circuit. I will do exercises 1-5, rest for a minute, then do it again until I’m done. This type of circuit training rids of fat, keeps heart rate up, and builds endurance in your muscles.
1) One leg squats: 3 sets of 12-15 reps bw (body weight)
2) RDL (Romanian Deadlift): 3 sets of 20 w/ 45lbs
3) Box jumps: 3 sets of 15-20
4) Walking lunge with glute squeeze at top: 3 sets of 20 each leg w/ 20lb dumbells
5) Swiss ball hamstring extensions: 3 sets of 15-20 single leg
Cool down: walk a couple laps
With the abs, cardio, and lift it takes me about an hour and a half at the most. Based off my schedule I have to go to the gym at 5:30am. There are some days where I am able to go at 4pm, but that’s rarely happens. My schedule takes a lot of dedication and discipline, since I have to be up so early but once I start doing this, doesn’t take but probably week three to get used to it. I love going when its not busy so I can get in and out and do my workouts.
September 18, 2014: Eat to Train, Not Train to Eat
I started this journey in March 8, 2014 for my first show May 31, 2014. I never thought I would be able to do Figure competitions. Being center of attention is not my thing. My friend who owns a fitness studio in North Pole kept asking me to compete, and I finally gave in. I had been used to training hard because I grew up playing boys competitive hockey and went on to play D1 women’s college hockey. I thought to myself “Where do I start for this type of competition?” I knew the gym aspect, but diet training was new to me. I sat down with my friend and she gave me her theory: no processed foods, only whole foods. This made sense. I read ingredients of food, if it was something I could not pronounce or I did not recognize, I did not buy it. I always tell myself we eat to train, not train to eat. We need to feed our bodies food it can recognize so it can digest and use it properly. My diet consists of all fruits and vegetables, good carbs (i.e. wheat rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, Dave’s Killer bread™), fish, organic chicken, and occasionally red meat. For snacks I eat fruits, vegetables, raw almonds, popcorn, rice cakes, protein shakes, & Quest™ bars. I eat probably every 3 hours even if I’m not hungry because I know my body needs food. Lastly, but most importantly I drink plenty of water. A lot of people do not drink enough water and this is a critical mistake. I carry around a 32 oz (1L) water bottle and always have it full so I know I’m drinking enough liquids to replenish my body.
I know some of my fellow competitors do some crazy diets and cut carbs at a certain time or even completely, or even limit themselves to one fruit per day, but I do not believe in that. Once we learn how our bodies work, then we can feed it properly because every body is different. We need to remember to listen to what our bodies are telling us and give it the proper nutrients. We are only given one body so we better take care of it the best we can because there is no replacement.
The UAF Student Recreation Center opened in 1994, with a total of 55,799 square feet of recreation space. It is the focal point for student fitness at UAF.
Many different activities happen within the SRC's walls - as three multi-purpose courts, weight room, fitness studio, indoor climbing wall, 1/8th mile running track, stretching area, and cardiovascular equipment are all housed inside.