Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Emerald Cup 2015 - Kristin Abhold

Kristin Abhold competed in Physique A placing 6th in a very solid division. Kristin is definitely someone to keep an eye on as she progresses through the ranks.

Let's start with your stats.

5' 2" tall; offseason weight, 123 lbs; stage weight, 113 lbs; age 26.

What's your athletic background?

I was a three-sport athlete in high school: cross country, basketball, and fastpitch. I also played soccer from 5-years-old to 16. After high school, I started doing distance running. I completed two full-marathons, two half-marathons, a Tough Mudder obstacle race, and various 10k and 5k relay races. After about two years of running, I needed something else, so I switched to bodybuilding.

How did you get started lifting weights and training?
I started weightlifting when I was 15. It was offered as a class at my high school. After that first semester I was hooked! I ended up taking weightlifting as a class every semester until I graduated and even earned some awards for lifting. I continued to lift to supplement my running and eventually switched over to competing.

How old were you when you did your first show?

I was 24.

What inspired you to start competing?

Honestly my first inspirations were Erin Stern, Nicole Wilkins and Dana Linn Bailey. I loved that all three were athletes to begin with and then started competing because they needed to fulfill that competitive drive. I felt the same way. I also had a lot of people start asking me if I was a competitor about a year before I actually decided to start. That was motivating too!

What do you think is the strongest part of your physique?

I think my shoulders and my biceps are the strongest parts of my physique. Coincidentally they are also a couple of my favorite training days.

What are your goals as a competitor?

Ultimately I want to earn my pro card as a physique competitor and then continue to do shows and travel to expos. I’ve been inspired by so many athletes and I would love the opportunity to inspire the next generation.

I'm sure you get noticed in public because of your physique. What is the strangest question someone has asked you or the strangest incident you've experienced?

I get approached or stared at constantly it seems - sometimes not in a positive way. A few weeks before Emerald Cup I was approached mid-workout by another gym member. It was an elderly man I've seen several times before. He came up and told me that he could tell that I had been training hard and that I looked fantastic. I replied with a "thank you" and a smile. That's when he told me that I was starting to look like a guy. I was a little thrown off by the compliment and then the insult right afterwards so I simply said "ok" and went back to my workout.

Do you enjoy performing onstage?

The stage is actually what terrifies me. If I could just do the training and the diet and stand in line with the other competitors without going on stage, I would love it. But, I also love pushing myself to face my fear and continue to compete. Each show I feel more confident and have more fun onstage.

What is your profession?

I am a personal trainer at Axiom Fitness in Boise, ID.

What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to find out?

I think the fact that I was a distance runner throws people off. I went from only weighing about 103 lbs as a runner to about 116 lbs as a figure competitor in about a year. I started hitting the weights more, doing less cardio and eating a ton. I feel so much more confident in myself now than I ever did as a runner.

Anything else we should know about you or that you would like to add?

I love to wear crazy bright colors and make my gym outfits match - and I'm talking down to my headband, socks and shoes, and shaker bottle. It's fun for me to get creative with my outfits since I have to wear a uniform to work. So, if you see a lot of my pictures on social media talking about matching, that's why!

Where can we see more of you?

Instagram: kleigh_abhold

Snapchat: kleigh8715

Visit Craig Productions for information on the Emerald Cup and other events.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Emerald Cup 2015 - Tasha Whelan

Bikini and bodybuilding muscle may have grabbed the spotlight at the Emerald Cup, but on the second level of the Meydenbauer Center, powerlifting reigned supreme. From early morning and well into the evening, lifters competed for cash and trophies in the Emerald Cup Double Viking powerlifting meet. We had the good fortune to work with Tasha Whelan, one of the standout competitors at this event.  

Let's start with your stats.

I'm 30, 5'7 and 138 pounds.

What are your best competition lifts?

Squat 285 lbs; bench 180 lbs; deadlift 380 lbs.

What's your athletic background?

Growing up I played all sorts of sports, but mostly track (sprinter), and softball throughout my youth. I started boxing and hip hop dance in high school and continued that through college. I also played on a couple of recreational softball teams. From there on and off with running and then into lifting heavier weights. I started with bodybuilding type training. I've put on 30 pounds of lean mass in the past few years. From there, I started powerlifting.

How did you get started in powerlifting?

I got into powerlifting because it felt so darn good to be a strong woman in the gym. I've never really enjoyed being "average." I like to be a little different. I work in a really large health club and I'm one of just a few that do powerlifting. I definitely turn heads, and not because I'm super sexy, but because I've developed a lot of muscle, a whole lot of strength, and tend to out lift a lot of men in the gym. Can't really complain about that. I kind of enjoy it - a LOT!

I was competing in a women's crossfit meet and one of the coaches asked if I was a powerlifter. I said no, but I like to lift heavy. They showed me a flyer about a small local powerlifting meet and suggested I do it. I convinced my training partner to sign up with me, and from there, I completely fell in love and craved more strength. It feels AWESOME to be strong.

What are your goals as a competitor?

Currently I have no competitions in mind for bodybuilding, although it's definitely on my list in the next couple of years. I do plan on competing in the Washington strongman competition next year. Figured I'd see how it goes.

Right now, I'm training to compete in a powerlifting meet in August 2015 that is an Arnold Classic qualifier. As long as I hit my openers, I should qualify and compete next March at the Arnold. I'm super stoked about that.

Do you like showing off your muscles in public or do you prefer covering up?

As for showing off my muscles in public, I don't mind. I figure I've worked so hard on developing them, I deserve to show them off. Depending on my mood, I either enjoy it or get annoyed by it. People always glance or stare, which is fine for the most part. Plus most shirts don't fit my arms, so sleeveless works best.

What's your profession?

Personal trainer and performance coach at Pro Sports Club.

What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?

My phobia. It's a bit weird, but very real. Have you heard of koumpounophobia? Most likely not. It's the fear of buttons. Yup - BUTTONS. Gross. I can't wear them or touch them. I do not own one piece of clothing with those things on them. EEWWW. Weird much? I know. Makes me unique, so I'd like to think. HA.

Anything else we should know about you or that you would like to add?

Aside from lifting weights, I really enjoy the outdoors. I love to hike and be in nature. In fact, for my 30th birthday, I took off to Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Talk about a real dirty thirty celebration.

Where can we see more of you?

Facebook athlete page

Facebook personal page

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