Ashley Fuller - IFBB Physique Pro

My name is Ashley Fuller and I am 32 yrs old. Graduated from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in June 2016 and am currently working at the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

I started weightlifting in 2009 regularly after being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army after it was found that I had tears in both Achilles Tendons. After I healed up, weightlifting was a way for me to address my muscular imbalances. Once I began Medical School I wanted a goal to work towards so that I would be able to stay in shape, and I started prepping for my first show in 2012. Additionally, I had been overweight for most of my life and being on a disciplined regimen helped to transform my body.

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In off-season, I tend to have more frequent higher carb and refeed days and a deficit of 100-200 calories below what I burn daily. (Roughly 1800-2000 calories). As I approach prep for a show, my coach and I slowly pull calories and I have less frequent high carb days, and a deficit of 400-600 calories of my daily caloric burn. I tend to do best on higher protein, moderate carbs, moderate fats and have found that best for both building muscle and burning fat as calories are pulled and cardio increased.

My coach and I have always been pretty intuitive when it comes to my diet. As I tend to either respond wholly and well, or plateau, we've had to always constantly change my diet based on my response (every two weeks). The least effective changes I have had has been when my fat loss slowed down, and we did not make a change (whether that was changing the days I have a refeed, skipping a refeed, decreasing my high card days, implementing intermittent fasting or adding in a mid- carb day in lieu of high card). I usually do the worse on higher fat diets, as my body burns through fat rather than pulling from my intramuscular and subcutaneous stores.

I usually lift a major body part with a smaller body part, and keep my fasted, HIIT and steady state cardio mixed up. I lift 6 times per week; my only "rule" I would say is that I never lift biceps before or after back, or on back day, and I follow this rule for triceps and chest as well.

I lift my smaller muscle groups (arms, shoulders, chest) on high carb days, and leave back, and legs on lower carb days, and deplete my glycogen stores on those days. I use my carbs to build my weaker/less dominant parts. My upper body takes constant work, where as my lower body has never had an issue with growth.

My cardio usually slowly decreases to maintenance of 25 min, 5 times per week in off season as I recover and regain my metabolism. Off season, my coach and I increase as my progress starts to stagnate, or to stay ahead/prevent stagnation. Like I said, I do varied cardio with varied steady state and HIIT times. My favorites are battle ropes, plyometrics, sprints, and the stair master. I have found those most effective in increasing the conditioning of my lower body.

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On stage
Haha! I have a stage persona I liken to Beyonce's "Sasha Fierce". Since my middle name is Radiance, I call her Ms. Radiance. She is fearless. I also listen to a lot of Beyonce and RuPaul tracks leading up to a show because they make me feel strong, beautiful and fabulous. Once I'm on stage, the fierceness shows herself. Being under the lights brings Ms. Radiance into full fruition, as I love entertaining people.

My most recent contest was the NPC National Championships where I earned my pro card. Athlete Check-in was pretty straight forward. We were measured in height (or weight for classic, women's and men's bodybuilding) and given our numbers. Pretty quick and to the point.
Pre-judging ran a little long, as there were more Classic Physique competitors than the time they had initially allotted for each class. I was on stage 4 hours late. A lot of us WPD competitors were backstage going stir crazy!

Finals went by much more quickly than expected. It may have been a combination of eagerness and anticipation. Overall, the staff and judging I think was fair (not saying that just because I got my pro card). I have been to shows where it was clearly unfair, or what the judges were looking for was inconsistent. However, this show, the expeditors ran beautifully and everyone was very pleasant and professional back stage. I met a lot of great women that I am proud to call my friends, that I have kept in close contact with. I will definitely say that WPD competitors tend to be very encouraging, uplifting and supportive of one another; stage side and in between shows. It is truly a sisterhood.

Being an athlete
Everything I do I would say revolves around my training and sleep schedule. Ha! I think it is just a part of my daily discipline. I find that I am much more focused in many tasks in my life, and my time management has improved immensely. I have also found the confidence to say no to things that I do not neccessarily feel would benefit me. Before I was a competitor, I was very much a people peace maker; I didn't want people to feel left out, often at the expense of my own self comfort. As I have come into my own, I hold my own health and well-being a priority. You have to in order to be successful in both on and off season.

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Future plans: I plan to do my pro debut later this year. My goal is get an Olympia qualification and grace that prestigious stage. And always to beat my last look. Professionally, I am looking to start my own business integrating personal training and naturopathic medicine. I definitely have a plan in the works.

In Health and Fitness,

Ashley Radiance Fuller
Contact info:
Email: arefuller@gmail.comž

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