Ashley Horner was someone I wanted to interview for sometime as shes someone many of my female readers can relate to.
This remarkable woman didn’t let having children effect her body, she went one better and used this life-changing experience as the catalyst that drove her to get her best ever body.
The proof is in the pudding as they say (or not in this case!) and Ashley placed 4th at the 2011 Arnold Classic.
This proves that even the busiest of women can achieve their physique goals if they want it bad enough!
I caught up with Ashley to find out more about her journey from sporty teenager to female fitness model and just how she got in such amazing shape!
Skye: Ashley, firstly thank you for taking the time to talk to us today, I’m sure our female readers will be desperate to find out a little more about you.
You’ve spoke in the past about always being active as a teenager, being involved in sports and going to the gym with your mother. Were you different in that respect from the majority of kids at your school?
Ashley: Being active was always easy for me because of the way I was raised; I never had video games influencing me or the television.
That time line in my life (high school) I was always a little ‘thicker’ than the girls I ran around with. Most girls in Jr. High and High school don’t know how to properly take care of themselves and they think that being skinny by not eating is an easy way to feel accepted.
I always had nice legs from all my soccer playing. I think that in today’s society it’s important as mothers and fathers to stress to our children how to take care of our bodies.
Eating disorders are growing at an outrageous rate but if we begin to educate the family we can put a stop to obesity, diabetes, anorexia and bulimia.
I was never bulimic or anorexic but I knew girls all around me who were…
Losing Baby Weight
Skye: You gained 45 pounds during pregnancy and had to battle to get back in shape. Many women can relate to this and they want to lose their “mum tum” as quickly as possible.
How did you do it and what advice can you give women in this situation?
Ashley: First of all I know how anxious they are about getting the pounds off, its important not to loose too quickly especially if you’re breast feeding you need to make sure you are getting the proper calories and proper nutrients and staying well hydrated for the little one.
I ate clean, my calories were high, I was always hungry but I was active with my little one every chance I got… its always finding that balance in your life introducing a new life into the world.
You have to bond with your baby and take a few moments for yourself. I had a lot of weight to loose after I had my son, but I rested every chance I got, I ate clean and when I was hungry I fed my body, But the moment I got to hit the gym I made every second count.
Figure Model Competitions
Skye: What was the motivation to begin competing in figure contests and how has it enriched your life?
Ashley: My very first moment of motivation was out of fear!
I knew that I wanted my body back and I wanted it to be better. I looked at other moms who had let themselves go and I was so afraid that I would become a statistic.
I committed to train for my first show and then after that it was a ‘HOLY SH*T what did I get myself into’ type of motivation.
Skye: Who are your favourite figure athletes that you take inspiration from?
Ashley: I love a lot of the figure athletes, mainly the ones with the empowering aura about them like Ava Cowan.
Skye: Many women are scared of lifting weights because they fear they’ll gain too much muscle. How do you train with weights and do women really have the genetics to be muscular naturally anyway?
Ashley: Every woman is built a little different genetically but chances are they will never get masculine we just don’t have the hormones to produce the mass that males do.
I honestly wasn’t happy with my body till I began lifting as heavy as I possibly could, ate a high protein diet and ate the right carbs. (meaning whole grains, such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes and whole wheat breads like Ezekiel).
I have never taken an illegal drug in my life… I rarely touch fat burners and I love protein shakes after I have a great weight lifting session. Your body digests the liquid proteins much faster.
Skye: A lot of women I speak to want to do weights but are intimidated by the weights area in their local gyms and underwhelmed by the limited weights equipment in women’s gyms. How can women embrace weight training in this situation?
Ashley: I would suggest that they go during the times that are not overly crowded.
When I’m training a client during peak hours and I know he/she is a little intimated by the sights and sounds around them I will grab the dumbbells a few plates jump ropes or whatever else I’ll be using in that session and use one space in a corner out of the way.
I don’t believe you need a lot of equipment to have a killer workout. One of my best workouts that I can recall was a cross fit workout and it included sprints, push ups, speed squats and pull ups. It kicked my booty and I felt it the next day so if your gym area is ‘under equipped’ get creative.
Skye: For the reason mentioned above, many women prefer to train at home. Do you think this is as productive and what equipment would you recommend they purchase for their home gym?
Ashley: Depending on their level of training, it may be a good thing to train at home in certain situations like a baby sleeping. But, I think it’s easy to be put in situations to be more distracted; laundry, cooking, cleaning, Facebook, grandma calling, feeding the dog and so on.
Being a mom, you always have a tendency to feel guilty for taking 60 minutes for yourself when the laundry has been sitting on the couch for the last few days.
What would be better if a group of girls decided to workout together in a home doing insanity or p90x helping each other adhere to clean eating and build each others self confidence would be great.
It’s all about accountability. For my first show when my son was less than a year old I had a girl friend, Sarah Hoey, whom I met in Lamaze class and we both had the same goals after our kids were born.
We trained and competed together. We kept each other accountable and watched each others babies.
We’re both still training together even though we live in separate countries and we are meeting up to do Universe together in Miami, Florida.
Download Ashley’s Workout & Diet Plan
Click the image below to download Ashley Horners Workout and Diet Plan and see how Ashley works out!
Ashley Horner Workout Plan
Ashley Horner Diet Plan
Skye: I always say that cheating on your diet in moderation is better for long term adherence. What does an Ashley Horner cheat meal look like?
Ashley: An Ashley Horner cheat meal… hahaa! Well once upon a time that would be as much greasy pizza followed by as much ice-cream as my body could hold, and then I’d have a long date with the toilet and tums!
But over the years I’ve learned that it pays to eat clean even if you cheat… I LOVE homemade pizza with my own home made whole wheat crust! It’s amazing, and I will eat the entire thing!
For a dessert cheat I will do a crumble, frozen berries of all kinds even some tart cherries mixed with cinnamon and almonds or walnuts. Oatmeal covered on top, some honey and bake that at 350 for 30-40 minutes. On top I will add cool whip! YUM so good!
Skye: How does your eating plan change when you’re not competing? Do you still eat the same foods just in different quantities?
Ashley: When I’m not in competition mode I eat a lot of peanut butter I just LOVE that stuff!
My calories are pretty high but I still live for clean eating, drink a lot of water every day and keep my carbs minimal after 4 or 5 pm.
I always keep my body in check; especially with my modelling you don’t always have that much of a notice when a photographer is ready to shoot you. But I love to eat and hate cardio, so I make good choices when it comes to putting things in my mouth.
Skye: Where can readers find out more about you?
Ashley: Find me on my website for more recipes and workout ideas plus some video coverage: www.ashleyhorneronline.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ashleyhornerfitness