Lauren Ashleigh is a Canberra based figure competitor, power lifter and ladies grid-iron champion.
SportsTec is proud to assist Lauren with injury and rehabilitation recovery.
This interview provided some insight into her busy athletic life.
Q) What sports have you been or are currently involved in?
A) My sporting background was actually growing up as a sprinter. I am currently involved in Powerlifting, Bodybuilding and the Ladies Gridiron League (LGL). I am a linebacker for the Canberra Mustangs Ladies Gridiron League team and we have just completed our first season in Australia (now in off season). This works perfectly for me being able to now pursue my powerlifting and bodybuilding as they come into peak seasons.
Q) What inspired you to start powerlifting?
A) I wasn’t inspired to start powerlifting, rather coerced into it by a friend at the gym, who convinced me I could be strong having seen me doing heavy weights on a leg press. I had never actually squatted, bench pressed or dead lifted outside of a Body Pump class at the time, but I am certainly one to try absolutely anything, so I was trained up to speed in 6 weeks, and competed taking the Gold for my weight class in my first comp. I was hooked from that day onwards. There is nothing that compares for me to the feeling of having heavy weight in my hands. Weight training has changed my life.
Q) How long have you been powerlifting for?
A) I have been power lifting for just over 2 years.
Q) What is your most significant accomplishment in sport so far?
A) This is a hard question for me as I am extremely hard on myself. I will have accomplished something when I have hit my goal of being number one. Until then, in all honestly I don’t see anything as an accomplishment, rather just part of my journey. I just have to keep on working harder.
Q) How do you manage your injuries? Do you find it affects your performance significantly?
A) Admittedly, I am terrible at injury management! I am extremely stubborn and refuse to allow my body to experience the feeling of deload days or reward it with too much rest. Although my body recovers extremely well from any session I throw at it, this stubbornness is highly unbeneficial to my training... so definitely don’t do as I do and listen to the professionals! I’m slowly getting better at this!
I have become so used to lifting with tight body parts that I don’t even notice I’m tight or out of alignment until it’s pointed out to me…. or until I suffer minor injuries. This is then when I spend the next few weeks in Sarah’s office at SportsTec Clinic, and she has me good to go in no time (whilst of course I continue to lift!).
I have been incorporating a lot more core work into my program thanks to Oli, and I have noticed the difference this has made for a lot of my lifts as well as a noticeable difference to the strength of my pelvic floor.
Q) What is your greatest strength?
A) I truly think my greatest strength is my mindset. I believe that living an enriched, wealthy and positive life filled with an abundance of energy, strength and self belief is what’s important. I am an avid goal setter and think that a healthy mindset is an intrinsic factor in personal growth and essential to be victorious in our chosen endeavours. I believe this attitude has been my biggest asset in all aspects of my life.
Q) Tell us your favourite thing about powerlifting.
A) Definitely the feeling I get from lifting heavy weights. When my blood rushes to my head, my heart beats a million miles an hour with fear and excitement, the gasps for air….. it gives me such a feeling of euphoria and my mind such clarity.
Q) What are your goals for the next 12 months?
A) My ultimate goal in the fitness industry is to get my Pro Card as a WBFF Figure Diva. My bodybuilding endeavours always take priority for me when I need to choose between the stage or the lifting platform.
My goal in powerlifting is to become the #1 ranked lifter for my weight class nationally. Over the next 12 months I will continue to work towards this.
Q) How many times a week do you train, and for how long?
A) I currently train 6 days a week for several hours. The style of training I do will depend on how far I am out from the platform or the stage.
Q) What is your best piece of advice for anyone wanting to compete?
A) For anyone wanting to compete on stage… I would say to acquire self discipline and know the reason why you want to compete. Competing on stage takes a long time and can take a lot of sacrifices… it takes a lifestyle. A lifestyle of fuelling your body and patience to build you dream physique. Many people won't understand what your doing and will judge you critically or unfairly. You need to be headstrong to stay focused on why you are doing it. You need to accept the process and put faith in your coach. It can consume your whole life and change your whole world.
Competing on the platform… use fear as a driver. Never give up on that lift too early! Grind until you can’t grind no more.