TUES: “Chalk Talk” with Ashley Pritz
Ashley has been a member of Performance360 for nearly six years, was named our New Member Liason at the start of the year, and is now in her second month as an Assistant Coach.
She has experienced nearly every high end physical goal one can achieve here (10 pull-ups, 300# deadlift, 230# squat, 2-mile record, and more), and just as important, she is approachable, relatable, and wants nothing more than for others to achieve the same success.
Today, we sit down with Ashley and get to know her philosophies in the gym.
You have a diverse fitness background. Tell us about the fitness avenues you’ve explored over the last 10 years.
My background in fitness started at a young age with running long distances. Puberty hit me real hard and I was a round, short, little nugget. I became an extreme nutrient over thinker and caloric deficit creator. I began personal training with a friend who was well known for competing in Strongman competitions. After some years, he recommended that I train my own clients at a Worlds Gym where I lived. I felt comfortable and happy with group training (think total body gym type machines with two or three friends and me kind of yelling at you).
Continuing education and keeping up with the sciences of fitness wasn’t a priority of mine at this time and I could feel the struggle to keep up with questions and the expertise of my colleagues. So I eventually gave this up, thinking that I just wasn’t cut out for a life of coaching. At this time, my strongman trainer was wanting to get into training female fitness competitors. I decided to become one of his first clients. We trained for hours a day, walking at inclines in the morning and night and lifting heavy weights. Mostly ascending pyramid types of sets and reps.
Nutrition was never difficult for me because at that time I was also in college, thinking I was going to find my place and excel in nutritional sciences.
What have you learned about each of your experiences?
I’ve learned that you can yield results for most things you do. It all comes down to what results you are after and at what detriment to your mind and body. I don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ mindset when it comes to fitness.
In my opinion, its different strokes for different folks. Education comes along with this and it must involve an ever evolving and open mindset.
As a P360 member for roughly six years, why do you believe in the fitness we do here?
First and foremost, trust. I see the coaches put in the time to be educated and share their knowledge and I trust them and it. I also appreciate that the information to educate ourselves is out there for us to study. Articles, social media posts, the walk throughs as a member. It’s all there for anyone to learn.
The “Why” is the second huge reason that I believe in this style of fitness. Everything is there for a reason. This will affect that, and strengthen this for x, y, and Z reasons, etc.
Also, the functionality of our training. We are humans that want to move and function like humans do. So, lets get everything moving. To the front. To the side. From the windows to the wall. =)
How has your mentality shifted or improved since you started strength training?
A huge mental shift for me has been body love. It’s hard to always get right, but even if you don’t love the aesthetics on a given day, how could you not appreciate what your body is capable of?
There is also that feeling of pride when you perceive that people see that you make an effort to take care of yourself. Not just for the aesthetic and such, but also that feeling of your engine revving. The energy that you gift to yourself from putting in the work. Stoking your fire, you could say.
What made you decide you want to coach?
Honestly, I realize my strong suit isn’t technical information and communication. I do not perceive myself as someone who retains an eccentric amount of knowledge about how this works and how that works and why does that move this way. What I do LOVE is being on the same playing field as someone else and having the conversations with them about their strengths and weaknesses. What holds them back or really gets them going. I enjoy being a support and hopefully being able to open their mind up about the different mentalities about their fitness.
What’s the single biggest takeaway you’ve learned here that you wish to impart as a coach now?
It seems so funny and small, but mental stress and fun would be a compound takeaway. I think about these things all of the time.
Think about it. We spend a huge portion of our lives working. Most of us are not doing things we desire to do with that time. We are then spending an hour a day at least, doing something fitness related. My thought is that this shouldn’t be a huge mental stress. It should be a release. That doesn’t mean you go in and perform a mediocre, easy, no effort sort of pace, but have some fun with it!
Pick your workout. Enlist a friend to join you. Sing along with the music. High five someone who is sweaty as hell. I don’t feel that your fitness habits should be a constant mental grind and battle of you versus your workout. There are options, here.
Have fun and make gains!
What are some of the things you got wrong in your training, and what lead you to correct them?
The biggest thing I’ve done wrong in my training is comparison to others. I’ve been that person that’s come in to the gym, looking at everyone’s numbers with the expectation of trying to get higher numbers or faster numbers.
My attitude within the gym was actually kind of a blessing to me when it came to correcting that. I’d go in with these crazy expectations of myself without consistently putting in the work. When I failed, (and man, I failed my expectations A LOT) I acted upset and angry and I stopped having fun. I had to take a break and really think about why I wanted higher numbers or if I even actually did. What was my purpose for training? What did I want to improve and WHY did I want to improve? Once I thought about it all and gave myself genuine answers, the mental stressors eased up and I started to enjoy my workouts and I started to give my body the appreciation it deserved.
What does being strong and physically capable mean to you?
Being strong and physically capable is a source of pride for me. I feel proud that my strength and capability shows that I care about body and mind. It means success in something that I have control over, and that is the best message that I can leave.
First. For Structure.
5/s Tempo (3” Down) Bulgarian SS
5/s LM Hollow Body Press
20” Sand Bag Hold
Complete 3 to 4 Rounds in 15 minutes.
Then. For PPB Re-Test.
Aerobic Power 2