Gym meals would like to welcome our newest athlete to the team, Lauren Ashleigh. Lauren has many achievements in the sports of powerlifting, strongman (well, strong woman) and figure which include things like pulling trucks and setting deadlift records, to name a few.
Below we discuss what drives her, her passion and her mindset. Let's take a look.
Q - So, tell us a bit about yourself?
As an athlete being extremely driven and motivated is something I embrace. Discipline and a passion for being the best I can be in my chosen sports keep me hungry, and I refuse to settle for mediocrity. Pushing boundaries and challenging the limits of my capability is my sporting mission and dares me to strive for excellence in everything I pursue.
My main passion is the world of bodybuilding, competing in WBFF Figure. I prep clients from various federations and instruct posing classes. I love every aspect of this sport, in particular, the opportunities for personal growth and also the chance to ‘pay it forward’.
My other endeavours within strength sports are Powerlifting and Strongman. This is where I really get to test my physical limit and have tangible lifting goals I can chase.
My proudest achievements thus far have been pulling a 20-tonne truck, securing invites to the Arnold Classic Australia in Pro Raw Powerlifting (2016 and 2017) and Australian Strongman 2017 and most recently lifting the All Time Australian Deadlift of 205.5 KG in the 67½ KG weight category.
Q - Who or what inspires you?
When I first started on my fitness journey I was inspired by all of the big names and their killer physiques. However, these days I’ve found my inspiration comes from those around me more than anything.
Often success is a by-product of those whom you surround yourself with. It may not be obvious straight away, but my experience is that you truly do begin to emulate the people you spend the most time around. They all play a critical role, inspiring you, supporting you and grounding you. I hold myself to high standards and set very adventurous goals, and it is these people who provide the council and feedback when I chase my dreams with laser-like focus and unbridled enthusiasm.
Q - What are your current goals for the future?
The purpose for all this? Empower and encourage women to the arena of strength sports, which for so long was predominately male-dominated theatre. To also showcase that women can be powerfully feminine, while still symbolising poise and grace.
Q - How do you currently structure your training?
Training at the moment is hectic, to say the least. I choose to continue to train all 3 disciplines (Bodybuilding, Powerlifting and Strongman); therefore this can mean twice daily sessions, ensuring I train everything I need to hit each week.
Programming is shaped by what my primary focus is at any given time. A typical week means hitting all of my main compound movements and incorporating deficit deadlifts, speed work, paused work and grip strength, to work on sticking points with my powerlifting. I then incorporate bodybuilding training and train each body part twice a week, with legs and shoulders 3 times a week.
On top of this and depending where my focus is; I will do HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) sessions, LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) cardio sessions and of course incorporate posing as much as possible. I pride myself on a strong work ethic and undertake a high degree of GPP (general physical preparedness), which accommodates a larger training capacity. Together with a strong mindset, intuitive recovery protocols and a considered nutrition plan I am able to sustain the training required for three sporting disciplines and higher training productivity level.
Q - Can you talk us through your current philosophy on diet and nutrition?
My main focus over the past year or so was consistency, ensuring I was eating large amounts of quality whole foods and nutrients, which in turn improved my output in each session. This ultimately resulted in increased muscle mass and eventually my ability to maintain a low body fat percentage in my stage offseasons. This has resulted in my ability to have a much more balanced off-season in terms of dining out and not having to be as restrictive on myself.
In saying this, I do notice the significant changes to my training and quality of life when I am fuelled with quality. This is where Gym Meals Direct has been a lifesaver providing me this quality and making it taste delicious!! Taste is just as important when you’re eating as much as I am, as it makes it much easier to not deviate and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything! The only thing I am missing out on is not meal prepping; and let’s be honest, not all that sad!
Q - What is the most rewarding aspect of all this for you?
The fitness industry is my world. It has forced me to learn a lot about who I am in many ways, it has provided me challenges that have forced me to grow mentally and emotionally, but above all lifting heavy and being on stage provides me with a sense of euphoria, a feeling hard to describe, but to those who have experienced the platform or the stage will know that just being up there competing is awesome.This is the high I chase, the journey forged and the result always impermanent. So there is always more to learn, more to achieve and more of myself to give.
My fitness journey is a continuum of chapters yet to be scripted. Forever plotting a new story line with constant reviews being drafted daily as I continue to work to complete the next sequel and make my dreams reality.
If you want to keep up with Lauren and her journey check her out on facebook and Instagram!