Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Tamara Ashton Interview
Very few women have made the first impression on me that Tamara Ashton did. First time I saw her, both her physique and her obvious beauty really struck me. But to learn a little about her, you become even more impressed. She has all the ability to soon earn her Pro card and to really make a name for herself in the industry. I often say people CAN win their Pro card, but in Tamara's case I truly believe she WILL earn her Pro card.
Q: Tamara, first I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Your welcome, thank you for this opportunity.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I'm from the California Bay Area, where I currently live and work. I'm the oldest of 3 girls. Be ethnic background is a little "Heinz-57", I'm Irish, Japaneses, Italian, American Indian, Basque, English and German.
I have three border collies who are full of energy, a great career and a passion for fitness. I am a peace officer and find it rewarding to help others. I have a BA in Leadership Management and I'm working toward obtaining my Personal Training Certification.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: Growing up I didn't play any sports. When I got to high school I joined the swim team and was a cheerleader my sophomore year. It wasn't until I was 22 that I decided I wanted to try to get in shape, although I had not idea how. I joined a Muay Thai gym and took kick-boxing and Muay Thai classes.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: After being injured a few times at work, I wasn't able to continue practicing kick-boxing and Muay Thai and I loved the feeling after a great workout. I knew I needed to get into the gym. Growing up I recall seeing the women doing their fitness routines, I thought they were so beautiful with all their muscles, and grace. I wanted to look just like that.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy?
A: I recall reading Oxygen magazine and started to bring it with me to the gym, trying to get into shape. I slowly saw results, in my training, but I did not know how to eat right. That's something that really held me back.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I was inspired by my friend and IFBB Figure Pro Carin Hawkins to really get into shape. She guided me to a trainer who taught me a little about eating right and training. 2 months into it I started to see results I was inspired. I decided I wanted to take it to the next level.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported?
A: In the beginning everyone was supportive. Although they did not know what I was getting into.
Q: Was competing what you expected?
A: Yes and no, I knew it was going to be hard and require discipline. What I didn't expect was the feeling of solitude that I felt, with this being such a individual sport.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
*May 9, 2009- Contra Costa Body Building, Figure, Fitness & Bikini Championships, Hayward, CA-Class A, 13th place
*May 23, 2009- California State Bodybuilding, Figure & Bikini Championships, Culver City, CA- Class A, 10th place
*July 18, 2009- Photo shoot with Danny Fittro of Fit Treasures Magazine, Stockton, CA
*October 10, 2009- San Francisco Bodybuilding, Figure & Bikini Championships, Hayward, CA- Class A, 4th place
*October 17, 2009- Border States Classic XXX, San Diego, CA- Class A, 7th place
*November 7, 2009- NPC Sacramento Bodybuilding, Figure, Fitness & Bikini Championships,Sacramento, CA- Class A, 5th Place
*2010 May 22, 2010- Contra Costa Body Building, Figure & Bikini Championships, Hayward, CA- Class A, 1st place
*July 31, 2010- Jr. USA Las Vegas, Nevada- Class A, 10th
Q: What would you say is your best body part?
A: My back I think is my best.
Q: Is there a part you most like to train?
A: I enjoy working my shoulders, because I love to see the results and the pump I get.
Q: What is your typical training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I count macronutrients, which helps me to eat a variety of food both during pre-contest and off season. I carb cycle which I find keeps my body guessing and my metabolism on fire. Training wise, On my pre-contest I do cardio 6 days a week twice a day, I count calories burned rather then going for time. And I weight train 4-5 days a week.
On my off season I cut back the cardio to 3-4 days a week and weight train 4-5 days a week.
Q: When people see your physique or hears you train for the first time, whats the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Everyone seems very positive. When I'm at work working with a new squad they all notice what I'm eating and how often I eat. They are very interested in what I'm doing and why. I have actually inspired other people to workout and eat healthy. There is an officer at another agency who is training to compete in her first figure competition because I inspired her.
At the gym I get complements on my physique and am asked if I compete. People seem very impressed and encouraging.
Q: When they see or hear it that first time, whats the one question you are most sick of hearing?
A: It has to be comments about what I'm eating or how eating a cookie won't hurt.
Q: Whats the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Most ask if I'm going to get any bigger (muscular wise) like a man, they have this look of disgust on their face like it's gross. I tell them that I am going to stay looking similar to the way I do now. People have this misconception that lifting heavy weights will transform your body into looking like a man.
Q: Whats the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part is looking your best and knowing you've done ALL you can up to that point.
The worst is the rebound your body goes through after a show... You feel icky and bloated.
Q: Any competitors you admire or are a fan of?
A: Oh gosh, the list is long... There are so many women who are just amazing. One of my favorites is Ava Cowan, I can really relate to her "the more I'm told no the harder I go" attitude. I also admire Miriza Deguzman, she has an amazing physique and is tiny like myself, but mighty.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Oh my... That's a super long list. Haha! Probably a hamburger with sweet potato fries of course.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, whats the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: I would say you have to have discipline and not give up. It's so easy to give up and give in.
Q: Do you think it is becoming more common to see women in the gym training as hard as men?
A: Yes, I think a lot more women are being motivated and inspired to be fit and healthy.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, when I can.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Tamara Ashton.
A: A typical day in my life, if it's a work day it starts at 3:30am, I pack my lunch, head to the gym for my first round of cardio. I get ready and head to work, which starts at 6:30am. I'm a deputy so I have to be on heightened alert at all times. My work day ends at 6:30pm. Then it's off to the gym for a workout and round 2 cardio. I get home from the gym at about 9/9:30pm, then I have to prepare my meals for the next day. I usually get to bed around 10:30/11. That is my day 3-4 days a week, very long!
On my days off, aren't quiet as long and I get to sleep in till about 7am. And I'll workout and hit cardio again in the afternoons.
Q: Describe Tamara Ashton in five words.
A: Determined, Loyal, Honest, Responsible and Independent.
Q; Any set plans for the future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Team Universe in 2011. My goal is to get my Pro Card.
Q; Are you looking for sponsors? If so, what do they get with Tamara Ashton?
A: Yes I am looking for sponsors. They can reach me at TAshtonFitness@yahoo.com, I also have a website tamaraashton.com.
A sponsor would be getting a very determined and dedicated athlete. My goal is to go straight to the top! It is my dream to one day grace the cover of a fitness magazine. I am determined to make that dream and goal a reality.
I would plug and support the sponsor any way I can and every time I can. I would advertise them on all the sites I am on. I would wear clothing with their logos on it as much as possible to advertise the sponsor.
Q: Tamara, again, thanks so much for doing this. Any last words before you go?
A: I would like to thank you for this opportunity. I would also like to Thank all of my friends and family who have stood by me through my journey and who continue to support me. I would also like to thank my trainer and coach Donald Boehm who believes in me and has helped me to create the physique that I now how and am constantly improving.