Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Helene Ahlson Interview
Helene Ahlson is a Swedish Figure competitor who is now becoming well know in the U.S.. After winning her class and overall at the 2009 Excalibur, a lot more people got to know and see her and how amazing she looks. And at a young age, she has a long way to go, and will keep improving and keep becoming more known. Also a personal trainer and lecturer, you can tell Helene loves the sport and loves helping others reach their training goals. If you do not know Helene yet, read this interview and find out more about this amazing woman and great competitor.
Q: First Helen I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: No problem.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: My name is Helene Ahlson and I'm 30 years old. I live with my boyfriends Lasse, and our dog The Great Grand Danoise, Zeke, in Stockholm, Sweden. I have a younger brother, mother and father who all live in different places in Sweden.
Q: Before you started training, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: My biggest interest in life between the age of 6 and 21 was horses. I spent over 10 hours a day with the horse and competed in a high level in both jumping and dressage.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: In high school I went to a special class where athletes on a high level were given the chance to train on school time. It was difficult for me to go to and back from the horses on these hours so I spent this time in the gym for a compliment to my riding. After a while I found out what I could do with my body with hard weightlifting and I was completely satisfied.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you saw results?
A: Like is aid before, it didn't take a long time for me to like weightlifting. And I think I got results rather fast, even if I already had some muscles from the hard work in the stable with the horses.
Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and what made you decide to compete?
A: I started to train with weights when I was 16 years old and competed for the first time when I was 25. So it took a rather long time before I decided to compete.
I hadn't thought about competing before I started working as a Personal Trainer. Then I wanted to see how I could change my body with a diet (just because I wanted to know how I could help my clients in the best way). The diet went so well that some of my friends told me to go to a Figure competition just for testing. I did and it went very well, and after that I kept going.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: Both yes and no.... My family has always been supporting whatever I've been doing and today I think they really like what I'm doing, except the last week before competitions when you aren't the extremely social Helene any more.
My friends didn't like the dieting thing in the beginning, but now they have got used to it. Today most of the people are interested in what and how I'm doing it, and they understand why I'm doing all this. My boyfriend has been a competitive bodybuilder before, and that was also how we met from the beginning.
Q: Was the first competition what you expected?
A: Like I said before, the first competition was a test, so I had no expectations at all. If I was surprised by anything, then it was my own reaction to the whole thing; that I really liked it and wanted to do this again.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2005- Luciapokalen Sweden- Short Class- 3rd
*2005- Betterbodies Model Search- 1st
*2006- Swedish Championships- Tall Class- NP
*2006- Luciapokalen Sweden- Tall Class- NP
*2009- Oslo Grand Prix- 2nd
*2009- Sweden Grand Prix- 2nd
*2009- Excalibur- Class C-1st and Overall
*2010- Arnold Classic- 6th
Q: What do you consider your best body part or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: Back and shoulders
Q: DO you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: I like to train shoulders. I have a love-hate relationship with chins and dips, they are HARD but really a good exercise.
Q: What is your normal training routine like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: OFF SEASON:
Training: 5-6 days weightlifting, 1 day high intense cardio a week. The weightlifting is mostly hard and heavy with some weeks with lighter weights and higher reps.
Diet: I don't count my food, I just eat as much as my body needs for this hard work. I go with the feeling.
Training: The weightlifting is like off season. Then I do cardio every day about 60 minutes, often early in the morning with a walk to work.
Diet: Even on my diet for a competition, I don't count my food, I go with the feeling. I listen to my body, how it feels and how strong/weak it is and do my changes about the food after that.
Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: That I'm to hard. But I don't hear that anymore, it was only in the beginning when you never knew what the judges wanted on stage.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Actually I don't know. I haven't met people who don't understand me. One thing that GIRLS are afraid of is to train hard in the gym. They believe that they will be monsters then! Look at every Figure girl in the world, where are the monsters? And we are some of the most hard working girls in the gym!
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: Best: You learn to know yourself and your body. How it reacts on a diet and how you mentally react and handle it.
Worst: Sometimes on the diet you get unsocial with your friends and family because you're tired.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Pancakes with vanilla ice cream.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors?
A: Actually, no.
Q: You are also a personal trainer. What got you interested in doing that?
A: I have always been interested in helping other people to reach their goals. In the beginning it was with the horses and how it's in Figure?Fitness at the gym.
If I can help people to feel better and help them to a happier, more healthful life, I'm happy. I will teach them what I can and see them reach their goal, small as big.
Q: If someone wanted to be trained by you, how can they reach you?
A: They can check everything at my website: www.foreverfitsweden.com, and they can even reach me there.
Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: I see that like a part of this lifestyle and business. Right now I'm on the plane back home from the USA where I have been doing some photo shoots. But yes, of course I like it. Otherwise I wouldn't do it.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Find some activity that you really enjoy doing, hopefully it will become something more than just an activity for you. Something that you are dying for :-)
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: My biggest interest in life is traveling. I want to see as much as I can before I get to old.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Helene Ahlson.
4-6am: Wake up
5-7am: Breakfast, shower, go to work
7-9am: Train clients in the gym
30 minute break for food
9:30-12:30pm: Clients in the gym
12:30-3pm: Time for lunch, training, and shower
3-6 or 9pm: Clients in the gym or online work with clients, articles, interviews, planning work for fitness trips, sponsor work, Teamwork, etc.
6 or 9pm: Hopefully some free time with my man and dog :-)
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: My dog is heavier than me, actually 15kg more.
Q: Describe Helene Ahlson in five words.
A: Energetic, Happy, Discipline, Fighter, Grateful.
Q: Any st plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I will compete at the Arnold Classic ( Helene has done this since the interview was conducted) and work at the FIBO in Germany. Arrange some fitness trips abroad. That's what is happening before the summer this year.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
Q: Are you looking for sponsors, and if so what are they getting in Helene Ahlson the athlete and competitor?
A: I have sponsors in Sweden, but I am always looking for great cooperation with new contacts and sponsors, especially in the USA now when I'm competing and working a bit over there.
If you want a girl who always promotes her sponsors first, always shows in with sponsor logotypes, always does her best and promises results when she competes or works with media etc., always has a bright smile on her lips and besides works as a Personal Trainer, Diet and Fitness Coach, writes and lectures about training, and competes and models in Figure, contact me.
Anybody who is interested in any cooperation with me, please contact me at email@example.com or see my webpage: www.foreverfitsweden.com.
Q: Helene, again I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: I want to thank my Swedish sponsors:
www.betterbodies.se - training clothes
www.mivitotal.se - supplements
www.self.nu - supplements
www.budofitness.se- training and supplements store
www.skradderiodesign.com - competing suits
www.gymomotion.se - gym
And of course my family, boyfriend, and friends who always are supporting me.