Ashley Losee - IFBB Figure Pro
I actually began my fitness journey as a New Years Resolution in 2013. I had no experience whatsoever and I never played any kind of sports adamantly growing up. I finally decided that I wanted more for myself; I wanted a challenge in my life and to have something to focus and continuously work on. I had no idea what I was doing when I first walked into a gym, but I kept my diligence and figured it out one day at a time. I quickly became impressed with girls I would see on Instagram that competed, particularly women that competed in figure. Starting from there, I made friends with people locally that competed, did hours and hours of research on proper nutrition and training, as well as learning about the NPC. I committed myself to the idea but I was also realistic. I knew that with my current physique, I would not have been ready. I trained for an entire year before I entered my first figure competition in May of 2014. The rest is history.
Diet off season vs. pre contest: Honestly, the only thing that changes are the amounts of food I eat. I eat the same kinds of foods year round, I prefer nutrient dense food. When Iím in contest prep, I measure everything to an exact. Offseason is a little more flexible as far as amounts but I donít skip meals, I eat 6-7 meals per day, every day. Every prep for me has been different and unique each time. What has worked in the past will not necessarily work again, simply because I take long offseasons (5-6 months) to work and enhance my physique, so I donít expect it to work the same. Last year fats were really paramount in my nutrition but this year has been all about the carbs! My goal is to never lose weight as I use that term loosely, I completely rely on my weekly progress pictures to paint the whole story for me.
There hasnít been a plan that has not worked for me in some degree, as I tell people all the time there are levels to this. Itís all about trial and error and figuring out what works best for you. And then getting better from there every time. It takes a lot of time and consistency, and Iím talking years. Everyone has to start somewhere.
I keep my training fairly simple. I train back and shoulders twice a week and split my leg days into two different days. I always train to failure, moderately heavy, never maxing out. I am very mindful of my form and execution to the last rep. A lot of the training is mental, when you think you canít do more, you always can. I only do cardio in the offseason and that is very simple as well. I prefer to do the stairmaster because I am no endurance athlete! I do a combination of interval training, bouncing back and forth between high intensity and steady state. As far as nutrition, most of my carb intake is based around my training time. Other than that, Iím currently doing 7 meals per day, every two hours I am in taking a pre-portioned meal.
Building self-confidence: I watched so many videos on youtube and went to a couple of shows before I ever competed so I knew what to expect. Plus I had trained so hard for so long that I was PROUD to walk across that stage. It was one of the best feelings one could feel, for the first time I felt that I had actually accomplished a major goal and something that I did for me.
I will never forget the 2016 Wings of Strength Chicago Pro. I had just earned my pro card 2 weeks prior from winning my class at the NPC Jr. Nationals. I was still on a high from that experience and there I was again, getting ready to compete as a professional alongside 21 other incredible figure pros that I had looked up to all these years. Literally living my dream. The experience as a whole was entirely different than anything I was used to. Iím used to keeping my composure and amiability while everything is usually chaos during competition days. This was different. Everything was calm, organized, professional. That was one of the first things I noticed. Everyone was friendly and welcoming during the athlete meeting. I had no expectations going into this show. I only had intentions of gaining the experience, establishing myself and new friendships. I wanted to see how I stood amongst some of the best. That would set the tone for my very close and upcoming offseason.
Prejudging was very different than any prejudging I have participated in, but thankfully I did ample research on what to expect and to be prepared. I remember going out and doing my routine, the same routine that comes natural to me after all these years and I just took my time. Nothing else mattered those few moments, I purely enjoyed being back on stage one last time for the year. Surprisingly, I made it into first call outs. I was smack dead center, then moved out to the end. Which was still a shock to me but I knew there would be a confirmation call out at the very end which is a good indicator of those in top placement. I definitely did not expect to be in the confirmations but they called my number, twice actually because I was in disbelief.
As soon as I came off stage, I went back to my hotel with my husband to relax. I am very superstitious about when I compete and I donít like to openly talk about prejudging or what could happen at finals. Of course, everyone wants to win. But I was ready to go back and enjoy every moment and let the rest unfold. Every competitor got to do their individual routine again, and then they announce the top 5 winners starting from 5th place. I couldnít believe it when they announced my name as the 5thplace contestant, I walked out into the middle and the trophy girls put a huge medal around my neck. I could hear my family and friends cheering so loudly for me. I was in utter disbelief and purely shocked, there were so many emotions rolling through me at once! It was exactly what I needed to go into my offseason and do whatever it takes until I get on stage again.
As far as right now, I plan to take things one day at a time. I want to compete as much as I can in 2017, but there are many factors that come into play with that. Aside from competing, I have a job where I work full time every day and it is difficult to take time off. Needless to say, I am very excited for this year and the new possible opportunities that may come, one show at a time!