Wednesday, November 21, 2012
IFBB Pro Asha Hadley Interview
Photo 2: LM Photography
Photos 3-5: RX Muscle
In sports, you sometimes hear the word phenom. In the fitness industry, that word could very well apply to Asha Hadley. Asha looked amazing in her very fist show and has progressed with each and she won her IFBB pro card at Nationals, just a couple shows into her competitive career. With that goal now achieved, she moves on to the next, which is to qualify for the Olympia. Considering how fast she is progressing, it should be yet another goal she achieves in no time at all.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I've been working out since high school. I did a weight training class in high school. I continued training for exercise purposes all through college and after college, I've always been in the gym. I didn't start training to compete until a year or year and a half ago.
Q: What led you to compete?
A: In college I got interested in competing but never really had resources to get into training to compete and learning all you need to know. About two years ago I was introduced to the gym that I train at now. The trainer kinda specializes in contest prep and sports specific training. Seeing people in there that had competed, I kind of just fell into it and saw the opportunity to take my workouts to another level and finally compete like I have always wanted to.
Q: A lot of the girls I interview say that after that first show competing becomes an addiction, was that the case for you?
A: Yeah! I have to say that I felt that. My first show was very stressful but immediately after it was like a euphoric feeling, I couldn't wait till my next show. I really really loved it. I always heard you either love it or hate it after your first show, I was fortunate enough to like it.
Q: You started with figure but switched to physique, was there a specific reason you made the switch?
A: I started in figure and in my training I was trying to get leaner to do better. I ended up putting on more muscle. I was told physique would be a better fit for me. I wasn't too upset with that because I like the look of the physique girls, I like the posing. I fell into it I guess you could say.
Q: Was the posing hard to learn at all?
A: No, the only thing that isn't natural for me and I still need to improve on is the actual routine. I am not an artistic and creative person, I would rather stand there and be told what pose to do. The whole routine to music and choreography is probably my least favorite part of it.
Q: At USA's you took third, in that situation do you walk away frustrated to come so close or more excited knowing you are so close to that pro card?
A: Right after the show I have to say I was frustrated and disappointed because I am very competitive. But then, I had a talk with my coach and my husband and remembered saying before the show that I would be happy with second call-outs. That was my second physique show. In retrospect it was pretty amazing to take third in only my second physique show. Now I am happy, but at the time I was pretty pissed haha.
Q: After USA's where there any improvements you felt you needed for Nationals?
A: Yeah, immediately after USA's, I saw I needed to get a little leaner. I did a lot of comparisons of my show photos to the people that won. I always do comparisons of myself and the pro physique athletes. I saw that I needed to work on my triceps, my calves, and I needed to get bigger and leaner.
Q: At Nationals you looked more confident and sure of yourself, is that accurate?
A: Yeah, I definitely felt more comfortable. I guess because I mentally grew into the aspect of being a physique athlete. At USA's I had just switched to physique two weeks earlier. I was just thrown in there and hadn't mastered the poses and things like that. By the time Nationals came I was better with my poses and more confident on stage.
Q: When they do call-outs and you realize you have a shot at your pro card, do you get nervous or excited or neither?
A: It's a combination I think. I feel nervous, I don't feel super confident that I have it until I have the trophy. Even after pre-judging I was reluctant to say that I was gonna be number one. I don't like to be over-confident, I like to be realistic.
Q: When you first realized you were now a pro, what went through your head?
A: I was relieved, very happy. I immediately started thinking about what I have to do next and improve on. There are things to improve on and to better yourself.
Q: Some people compete many years and don't get a pro card, has it sunk in how much you have accomplished in such a short time?
A: Yeah, I think about it frequently. I feel very blessed to have competed only a year and gotten something that people are still competing and started before me and still haven't got yet. I feel fortunate. Sometimes I kinda feel bad if that makes sense. I don't know if it is just what I am meant to do and that is why I have accomplished what I have accomplished in a short time. I don't take it for granted at all, I feel very fortunate to have made it to the pros.
Q: Do you know when you want to make your pro debut?
A: I just got my IFBB packet in the mail yesterday. I think the Europa in Orlando will be my first show in April.
Q: Where do you want to be better for the pro stage?
A: I think that I need to work on my lower abs, it is always an issue with me. Maybe more work on my hamstrings. Of course, the posing, my posing wasn't the best, but is something I want to work on to feel more confident about.
Q: You reached the pro card goal, so is there a new goal?
A: Qualify for Olympia, that is the next big goal. Other than that, just do well in the pros.
Q: In the gym, not a common physique and not many women train that hard, do you get a lot of the stares and attention?
A: I do. It is something that I don't know if it bothers other girls, but sometimes it bothers me. I sometimes hear negative comments, that is one of the things that bother me. I get the attention and am used to it, and sometimes people compliment me on my physique. The more muscular female physique is not accepted in society, not like the figure girl or bikini girl, everyone likes those girls. People think bodybuilders or physique girls are disgusting and that really bothers me. People are entitled to their opinions, but I am happy with what I do and have accomplished.
Q: If you could spend one day training with one person you have never trained with, who would it be?
A: It would be Arnold, but Arnold in the 70's when he used to compete.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My husband for putting up with my crazy schedule. Of course my trainer Randy Scoates.