👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Ashley Gorham, currently residing in Omaha, NE with my husband, Tim and two little girls, Mila and Demi (two and five-years-old) – I can’t forget about our black labrador, Zues.
I’ve spent the last 10 years as a coach in the fitness industry, growing a business from the ground up with my husband. We’ve helped hundreds to transform the quality of their life through exercise, nutrition and accountability.
In 2010, I earned my WBFF bikini model pro card and have competed in two professional shows since then. I was also a runner-up in Mrs. NE America and most recently did a TedX talk about the detrimental effects of the diet industry.
My platform has transformed over the years and my main focus is empowering women to step out of dieting and into their power through self-love and self-awareness: The Body Project, which is a project in the works and I’m currently in the middle of creating a website.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
For training, I typically do two upper and two lower body days a week. I usually do one heavy upper working in a 6-8 rep range and a one moderate upper day working in a 12-15 rep range and repeat for my lower body days always prioritizing compound lifts.
I’m a big advocate for de-loading or taking 5-7 days off every 4-6 weeks for rest and recovery and my body responds very well to this.
I may do restorative yoga, stretching or light cardio, but nothing that requires a lot of recovery.
Food is my power and I stand behind eating over taking supplements, although there are some great ones out there. For me and my goals, I use food but I also take a daily vitamin, probiotic, HCL, and Ox Bile. But not really any sports nutrition supplements. I’ll use Caffeine if I need a boost pre workout.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
Motivation is not what gets me out of bed – it’s discipline and drive to the things that need to be done even when I don’t feel like it.
I’m a big proponent for really listening to my body and recognizing its very important signals. Sometimes I’m just tired and in those moments, I rest without any guilt.
Since I have two little kids, I exercise first thing in the morning at 5am. Creating structure in my schedule helps me keep my family and myself in routine so mornings run smoothly (for the most part); preparation is the key.
I workout because it’s part of who I am, it’s simply as important as brushing my teeth – it happens naturally with no thought.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
My goal for the next five years is to really make an impact on women. To teach them to be gratefully dissatisfied so they can pursue their goals and take big leaps in their life from a place of self-love and positive momentum.
We live in a culture that constantly promotes such unrealistic ideals of who or what we should be and how we should look – this creates such a negative and defeating experience.
I want to use fitness as a platform to promote strength and power instead of showcasing unrealistic expectations that few can achieve.
Everyone can have fitness in their life – it doesn’t mean you have to be ripped and shredded.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I slipped a disc in my back on my first week in the gym after having my first baby. Whenever I’ve been injured, I rest until it’s better and work with Dr. Dave Jones, a chiro in Omaha.
We can prevent injuries by slowing down during training to ensure movements/exercises are done correctly, while also having a plan. Resting for me is essential to avoid injury and overtraining. I can really tell when I simply need an additional day of rest.
In my opinion, sleep is the most essential piece of self-care. You can’t build, recover, have efficient immunity or energy to exercise if rest isn’t prioritized.
I personally try and get 7-9 hours of sleep and will move my schedule around to make that happen – I’ll skip a workout before I skip hours of sleep. If I eat and rest enough, my workouts are phenomenal.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I’ve tracked my macros in the past, particularly when I was preparing for a show, but now I just make good choices and enjoy indulgences as I see fit.
When I did track my calories during prep I stayed around 2,000 per day and build myself up to over 2,400 after prep (25% protein, 40% carbohydrate, 35% fat).
I’m very much against deprivation as I’ve seen it backfire far too many times with people being too rigid or restricting calories which can increase the likelihood of binging or overeating. Cutting calories too low also enables the body to lower its metabolism to conserve energy. Metabolic adaptations happen and the less you eat, the better your body becomes at adapting to the low intake.
If I want some chocolate, I’ll have some chocolate and move on with my life. But chocolate is definitely easy to overeat if you don’t watch it, which is why self-management is so important. Being present with food is a great thing as it keeps you aware. Take a couple of Hershey’s kisses out of the bag and put the rest away instead of bringing the bag to the couch while watching TV, which leads to mindless eating.
Allowing myself with foods I craved enables all those cravings to happen less often. I never cut out food groups or cut my calories too low – the repercussions are detrimental, and I can’t be 100% by avoiding what my body needs to perform at its best.
I love wine and will have a glass occasionally, I’m not a big drinker and would rather feel good the day after.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
I’m very inspired by people who’ve overcome difficult situations or adversity; people who are driven to step out of their comfort zone and believe in their ability to succeed no matter what.
My husband has played such an integral part in my life – he encouraged me to do things that I may have never done otherwise.
It’s so important to surround yourself with the right people, the ones who make you believe that you can move mountains.
I truly believe setbacks are a setup to bigger and better things.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Improvement starts with acknowledging what you want to work on and truly believing in your ability to get there.
It’s easy to get consumed by self-doubt and step away at the first sign of adversity. But being open to accountability, having integrity and staying consistent (and persistent) will make things happen.
Like what I’ve mentioned before, be gratefully unsatisfied to stay driven and focused on the things you want most with utmost confidence and a positive attitude.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
My website is under construction, but I will be taking clients as soon as it’s finished, which should be around January 2020.
The consulting/coaching I provide is very comprehensive and is personalized as per what the individual needs.
My niche is called “The Body Project” and I help women break the dieting cycle and find a more sustainable way to love fitness, while achieving their goals.