Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Ashley Brand

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Ashley Brand! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

In my high school days I was active in cheerleading and softball that kept me pretty toned and got me familiar with working out. After graduating and entering college I became less active and pretty soft. A couple months in I started working out maybe 2 days a week when I had free time but with my eating and partying habits didn't make or expect much gains.

Then, a friend of mine (now my soon to be fiance) convinced me to do a summer membership at his gym while I had more free time. At first I stuck to what I knew, which was mostly cardio and leg pieces. I eventually picked up some magazines at the store (Oxygen & Flex) and read about what other people did.

After gaining some knowledge I started piecing together specific body part workouts with a mixture of compound and isolated movements. I started seeing significant gains, got really excited, attended a local NPC show, then set a goal to enter that same show next year.

Ashley Brand
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Ashley Brand.

So when the show rolled around on March 29th, 2008 I entered, won my class, and placed 2nd in the overall! I had an awesome time at the show and plan on doing 2 more this year and maybe even Jr. Nationals next year if I can put on some quality size between now and then. I am definitely setting goals and dreaming big; that helps keep me focused to get the job done.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I do Legs, Shoulders, and Back twice a week since those are the most important for me to add muscle to at this time. I usually warm up for 3-5 minutes before starting my workout to get my heart rate up. If I start with my heart rate up its easier for me to keep it up and burn more calories.

I do one hour of cardio a day when prepping for a contest bumping it up to one and ? hours a day the last 2 weeks if needed. Off-season I try to stick between 30-45 minutes a day. A typical training split looks like this for me:

dot Monday: Back & Abs dot

dot Tuesday: Legs & Calves dot

dot Wednesday: Delts & Abs dot

dot Thursday: Cardio dot

    Usually 40 minutes Stairmaster and 20 minutes elliptical

dot Friday: Back & Triceps dot

dot Saturday: Legs, Biceps & Abs dot

dot Sunday: Delts & Calves dot

I know that most people take off at least once a week and sometimes I do, but most weeks I go everyday. I like to think that I'm really good at listening to my body and it tells me when I need a break so until it tells me I usually keep going.

Ashley Brand
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Ashley Brand.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I try to eat every 3 hours and this is what I normally eat:

AM Snack:

Lunch:

Mid Afternoon Snack:

PreWorkout & Postworkout:

One Hour After Postworkout Shake:

Before Bed:

I also mix in a carb-rotating week every 3 or so weeks.

Ashley Brand
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Ashley Brand.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I'm definitely not afraid of creatine. The first time I started taking it I saw and felt gains pretty quick. I also like a bulk share of BCAAs throughout my workout, which I get from my Xtend. I'm sometimes a little bit of a caffeine junky especially on long work days so that's when I grab my VasoCharge or Hydroxycut.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love everything about it. I believe there's nothing more productive I can do for myself than try to reach my full and true potential. I was truly blessed when I found the fitness world and am more than ecstatic to see where it takes me. I love the sense of pride, determination, and dedication it has taught me. [I do all things through he who gives me strength.]

Ashley Brand
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Ashley Brand.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

God willing, EVERYTHING! I plan to continue my love for competing and see what doors that opens for me. I want to dabble in a little bit of everything. I'm interested in doing some FAME competitions in the near future along with more NPC competitions. I would love to one day be an asset to a supplement company as a spokes model and all that jazz.

Ashley Brand
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Ashley Brand.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Stay positive. Anything worth having doesn't come overnight or without a little sweat. Be consistent with your goals. Set small goals to keep your journey positive towards your large goals. Stay positive and if you're having trouble doing that, surround yourself with others who can help bring you back up. Refocus, regroup and recharge and get after it again!!

Ashley Brand
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Ashley Brand.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I enjoy seeing Nicole Wilkins climb up in the sport and I'm a fan of JulieAnn Kulla, who just won Jr. Nationals. I'm also a big fan of Jenny Lynn and Monica Brandt.