Proper State of Mind…
I started working with Ashleigh at the beginning of April, 2015. I had been inthe gym since my 46th birthday in late February of that same year; the reasons for going back were simple… I recently turned another year older; I was out of shape and going downhill physically, as well as mentally. And to top it off, 3 of my friends called me fat….
I have always had a sports background. I like endurance training and sports such as long distance cycling and running. But the further I went down the path I was on, the more I started disliking those activities that I once loved and made me happy.
I started working out with an old program that I had some success with 6 years prior that helped me lose 40 pounds and gave me the strength to run a half marathon and complete a double century. This time, after a month or so, I simply wanted help. That is when I approached Ashleigh.
“A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.” Morihei Ueshiba
I love this quote, as it describes the transformation I am experiencing. Ashleigh’s training methods are quite unique from what I have seen in the past. She listens to your goals, helps you achieve them, and she cares about your well being; both in and outside of the gym.
The reason I love the quote is because of the changes I am experiencing. Ashleigh’s training has been to work with movements that place the body in the proper alignment which develops a good stance and posture. I am gaining strength. I am putting on and taking off inches in the proper areas, but the biggest change has come to my posture. I can actually feel the difference in the position of my shoulders, back and hips (No more Sciatic Nerve issue in my leg!).
All of this is leading to a “proper state of mind.” My confidence and smile are back. I feel great!! I always tell Ashleigh “thank you” and “she is a God send” and in typical Ashleigh fashion she tells me I’m the one doing the work, but without her help and guidance, I would not be at the place I am now.
“The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.”
In September, 2012, I was referred to Ashleigh. For a few years, I'd really been having challenges. Kidney transplant in 2005, hysterectomy in 2011, years of immune compromise, with a frozen shoulder to boot. At that time, I was also on full dose medications for infections, chronic shoulder and neck pain, and an immunosuppressant drug called "Prograf".
Ash dove in and did numerous assessments, in addition to communicating with my doctor. Nutritionally, we changed a fair bit and really worked to boost my immune system. On the training front, we did a lot of injury prevention work while also improving my overall strength. She referred me to Dr. Joe Giovatto, who did my A.R.T soft tissue work on the side, making a huge difference with the shoulder. I am eternally grateful for their work - the only option presented to me by my physical therapist was a surgical procedure called "manipulation under anaesthesia", because my shoulder "wasn't getting better". Thanks god I didn't take that path. This shoulder injury usually takes 20+ months to heal - Ash and Dr. Joe did it in less than 9 weeks.
It's been several months now, I have my health and flu strength back. My doctor was literally shocked at the recent lab tests, which were so good he's lowered my dose of Prograf. First time in 8 years that's been possible, and it's mostly unheard of. Instead of getting sick a lot and having a frozen shoulder, I fight off infections easily (while doing chin ups and squats!!). My quality of life is better than it's been in years, and I am HAPPY!!
I am strong, happy, awesomely well, and have the ability again to LIVE LIFE.
Thanks Ash and Dr. Joe!!
A year ago, we were 63 and newly retired from sedentary professions. I had trained for and participated in sprint triathlons and we both love golf and biking. We were in good health. However, we wanted to ensure a long, active retirement and we were pretty sure we weren’t doing it on our own. Then we found Ashleigh.
The process started with an evaluation during which Ashleigh surprised us by identifying problem areas. My back and hip were vulnerable, I was beginning to use my arms to assist myself up stairs and I was suffering greatly with plantar fasciitis, seeing both a chiropractor and orthopedic doctors. Scott had shoulder, back and elbow issues and was beginning to stoop forward toward the “widows hump” that plagues his mother. He also had such tight ham strings that he could not squat or lunge. We thought we were in great shape, but it turned out we needed help.
Ashleigh designed our workouts to start with rolling and stretching for areas that needed therapy and needed protection. Then she added strength exercises for areas that were ready for progress. She researched the causes for the plantar fasciitis and referred me to specialists who have shown me how to control this condition without surgery. And sent Scott to a fabulous chiropractor for work on his shoulder.
We work out once a week with Ashleigh and once or twice a week on our own. Ashleigh continues to vary the workouts, so we are not bored.
A year later, we are both feeling great. My back and hip issues are forgotten, I can leap up the stairs and I no longer have pain from plantar fasciitis. Scott is doing overhead lifts, so his back, shoulder and elbows are no longer problems. And his posture is corrected. And his hamstrings are now loose enough to have full range of motion in his squats and lunges. We have forgotten what it is like to ignore all those minor hurts because they are gone. We both feel energetic and strong and that’s about as physically fit as I could have imagined a year ago.
This year, we have taken Ashleigh up on her offer to try her nutrition program. What a surprise. We’ve both dropped 12 pounds in less than a month in a program that required small adaptations with big results. This has been made easy by Ashleigh’s teachings. We now understand the sugar/insulin mechanism and how it interferes with weight loss. We now know what it takes to feed the body at the cellular level and why it is important to have a diet varied in proteins and fats. We are now huge consumers of vegetables and enjoying them greatly: these are not the steamed veggies of the spas-of-torture; these are veggies with flavorings that we truly enjoy. There is no diet. Only knowledge. And once we understood the relationship between food and how we feel, it has been easy to implement.
I cannot finish this song of praise without touching on how inspiring Ashleigh has been. Her academic accomplishments and life experiences give her an unusual wealth of information to share, which she does freely. She is compassionate, encouraging and thoughtful, with a playful sense of fun. Ashleigh has made a difference in our lives and we feel extremely lucky to have access to this very special person.
I am the last person who would have considered adding deadlifting to my exercise program. I always thought that this movement was actually detrimental to a person’s health. It seemed to me that it would place a great deal of strain on a person’s low back area. I just couldn't see any benefit to it.
I have personally had low back issues over the years, so for me to incorporate deadlifting in my workout regimen was never even a consideration.
But in working with my coach, Ashleigh Gass, a highly successful fitness competitor as well as an awesome strength and conditioning coach, I have found deadlifting to be an excellent addition to my workouts. I have found that the deadlift has greatly improved my lower body strength as well as my overall body strength. I also found that my concerns regarding my low back being adversely affected were unfounded. Ashleigh explained to me that if proper form were utilized, I wouldn't have a problem.
With Ashleigh’s expertise as my guide, it took me about 10 minutes to learn the proper method for performing this movement and I now happily incorporate it into my weekly workout routine.
Thank you Ashleigh !!