Ashley Newman - Powerlifter

Ashley: Iíve been an athlete my entire life. I grew up with a younger brother and three boy cousins. So it was the boys and I playing sports all through my childhood. In high school and college, I ran Varsity Cross Country. I received my black-belt in Taido and competed in grappling tournaments throughout high school.
In middle school I suffered from Anorexia and bulimia. I started running cross country and starved myself. My lowest point was 5'6 and 85lbs at 14 years old. My mom helped me get over the disorder and start my journey to a healthy weight. My weight went up to a healthier weight and then when I was 19 years old I dated a guy who was into bodybuilding. He really helped me overcome my issues with food and get on a healthier path. We decided to do a 12-week transformation together. After that I was hooked and wanted to learn more about bodybuilding.

I competed in a bodybuilding show in 2012 in the bikini division. And spent several years putting on size to compete in Physique. I graduated from Rhodes College in 2013 with a BS in Biology. A few weeks after graduation I went to Los Angeles, CA for work and trained at the Mecca in Venice. I fell in love. The following year I packed up my car and drove from Atlanta, GA to Los Angeles. I train at Golds Gym Venice every day and absolutely love life and my body.

Last year (May 2015), a friend asked me to film a squat video with her. She wanted me to max out and I worked up to 315lbs. She and the guy spotting us, Brent, told me I should look into Powerlifting. I talked to Chris Bell and started listening to his brother, Mark Bellís podcast. I listened to an episode with Chad Wesley Smith and loved what he had to say about working with females. I started working with Chad in September of 2015 and he did my programming for my first meet January 9, 2016. I totaled 986.4lbs and am currently ranked 6th in the nation in the 198lb weight class for Raw Powerlifting.

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Diet off-season vs pre-contest
I cut out the pizza! My diet off season is primarily red meat and lots of carbs. My goal in the off season is to be ready to train and build a strong base. I also do not do cardio in the off season. I want to get the most out of cardio and my diet so I like to keep my calories high and cardio low in the off season. Before a meet my diet becomes strict to make weight. I incorporate a variety of different proteins as well.
I have tried low calorie and lots of cardio. This left me tired and unhappy. Also was very stressful trying to get all those hours of cardio in. I prefer to diet and train hard rather than do a lot of cardio.

Chad Wesley Smith does my programming for my lifting. I usually train 4-5 days a week and have 3 days of 30 min of steady state cardio.

On Stage
I compete in powerlifting. So the main thing is blocking out the crowd and picking a focal point and concentrating on your lift.

My first meet I was very excited at check-ins. They check all of your equipment, you weigh in and get measured for all of your lifts. I was very excited and had butterflies. Once I hit my first attempt I turned into a complete animal and it was just me and the weight. I absolutely love that about powerlifting. Just you and the weight.

My second powerlifting meet is May 21st at the San Jose Fit Expo. I will be competing in the 181 weight class.

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