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👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
I'm Allison Ethier, age 42. 43 in November. I'm from Maritimes - New Brunswick, Nova scotia, PEI (Prince Edward Island) in Canada - however, I current live in the Nation of Quebec, Canada.
I'm a former high school math teacher & pedagogical coordinator for the math department, however, for the last 10 years I have done online coaching, fitness consulting and contest prep.
I married my high school sweetheart and 2 kids aged 3 and 13 years.
I got many titles in bodybuilding and fitness. Here are the most notable in the last few years:
- Weider Pro Natural Champion - 1st ever IFBB natural pro show.
- Olympia 2020 Qualified.
- 2018 Vancouver pro champions.
- Qualified for Olympia 3x, but have only gone once, as one time I got preggers at the same time.
- Arnold Amateur Champion.
- North American Champion.
- BodyBuilding.com Bodyspace Spokesmodel Champion.
You can checkout my resume here.
I have been competing for 20 years, and got started after I saw a fitness competition on TV while I was doing my undergrad at the University of Western Ontario.
I was a cheerleader at the time, work, and school - my plate was full - so I waited to start this new adventure.
I transferred to the University of Prince Edward Island, for my teaching degree, and after 4 months of drinking, (and not much studying) I was ready to get back to a normal scheduled life.
A friend found Oxygen magazine, and I looked at some local gyms for a show, and started training - and won.
It was my first show - only myself and another girl - but it set the stage for my competing obsession.
6 months later I was highlighted in Musclemag, and 1 year later, I was competing for the same federation I was watching on TV years before - Fitness America.
I had an entire career in another federation before I won my IFBB Pro Card in 2009.
Right now I am working on growing my online coaching buisness, update my blog regularly (Stories from the Stage is a great section of my site), my website updates/improvments and hanging out with friends.
I'm sometimes too busy for a social life and I have given up on TV to make space for other things. And honestly when I sit around and have time to do ‘nothing’, that is an awesome day.
No sponsors at the moment. I am open, and am on all social media channels. So there is plenty of ways to get in contact with me :)
I continue to train/compete after all these years, as I enjoy the challenge of seeing how food, and nutrition, and good quality training, together with the right lifestyle habits can adjust your genetics.
I like being athletic, and right now at this stage of my life, it is all about health, and staying injury free.
When your health is being challenged, there is no cost you would not pay to get it back.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
My training philosophy has changed over the years. Generally it has been a lot of cardio, body part splits, etc.
After having kids, my time was shortened and I had to get smarter about training.
Now my training depends on if I am competing or not competing. If competing it is very structured, as I am doing something very specific under a timeline.
However, when I decide to stop or become more “normal” full body training (my favourite), and I leave myself play days, where I decide what I want to do that day.
I do keep cardio even in the off season as I can eat more and stay leaner. I do a fitness routine which is the worst, and hardest version of HIIT you can imagine.
Treadmill walking, outdoor walking, stepper and step mill, are all other cardio I do as well. It is the only time I get to watch tv.
I love hot yoga, and cross-fit, so in the off season I will add more variety, just to mix it up. I have also done pole fitness classes which I love.
I carry my cooler with me everywhere - Cellucor C4 pre-workout, Muscletech creatine, and my portion shake post workout are staples.
Circle bands are in my cooler as well. Headphones are a must. So are 2 phones, one for my music, and one to video any thing I am inspired by that day, and oh #selfies too.
I tend to be forgetful even in prep so everything goes in the bag - that way I don’t forget anything.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
Take breaks. Love what I do. Stay creative, and always being brainstorming new ideas
I have had 2 kids, and both times, had to climb that mountain again. Get back in shape and loose 65 lbs wth the first, and 35 lbs with the second.
Once when I was 28 years, then again when I was 40 years old. Both times it took around 15 months to get back in shape. I am on my second, and still breastfeeding 3 years later.
I competed at the Olympia 2018, and was breast-feeding the entire prep.
To keep my motivation I take vacations, try to feel normal every now and again. Big breaks like 2 weeks at a time. They fall generally around the time of the kids holidays - Christmas/March Break/Summer
I live this lifestyle but I don’t feel boxed in by it. I eat healthy all the time.
I have seen many get eaten up by the bodybuilding lifestyle, and then reject publicly the industry they once boasted to love. I am trying to avoid being in that headspace.
I feel stronger, more in control, sleep better, when I am training, dieting and eating well. I just am more optimal to do other things, when my training and nutrition are on point. And it does not have to 100% it can like 70-80% and I am still good.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I feel stronger now than ever. I am in love with training, and if competing ever ‘competes’ with that, I am done.
I have to love going to the gym, having fun, or else it is a ‘grind’. Rise and grind they say (I even have shirts that say this) in fact is rise and play - the gym is an adult playground.
Compete at the Olympia in 2020, win another pro show, everything is bonus at this point.
Usually girls have babies and their career is done, however, I just knew I was not done, and had more to prove, as I don’t feel I have peaked - what ever that looks like. I am an athlete first, bodybuilder second.
My business is thriving, and I love coaching my clients on the value of weight training, and how you can use it to keep bodyfat at bay, and as a form of ‘anti-aging’ medicine.
It does not take much to see results in a really short period of time (like weeks), but you have to be on the right programming for your level of fitness, and start there.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Recovery is key especially at this age. I listen to my body - which is a learned skill.
I back off when I need to and don’t beat myself up over the small things, as I know there is always tomorrow to come back and work in the gym.
I have had mild twinges of pain here or there, but I listen to that, as that is the body’s way of speaking in a whisper before something greater or an injury happens.
I do make sure to get enough protein, sleep of course, and take extra vitamin C for inflammation. However outside of that, I do it all through food.
Concerning the protein, I make sure to get enough through each meal having at least 10-20 grams of protein, and I keep protein powder nearby at all times (I prefer Optimum Nutrition, including when I am vacationing or travelling).
It never hurts to have a little more protein in your diet.
I stretch often as well, and foam roll at least 4-5x per week. It is part of my training so I don’t have to make extra time for it.
I have stretch marks, veins, and less hair in certain places, and more hair in others - which is part of the aging process, but I do not ‘feel’ old.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My diet is like most other diets - higher in protein, some complex carbs, lots of fruits & vegetables, and some fats - the good kind, nuts seeds, and avocado, cheese.
My in season has become my off season and vice versa. My foods stays very consistent all year long.
I don’t crave sweets as I have eliminated sugar from my diet - I do alcohol every now and again, but that is mainly when friends/family come to visit.
I am a mom, run my own business, and I need to feel optimal to get things done.
Hungover or tired, is not optimal, so for those reasons, and avoiding all that, I eat well, sleep at least 7-9 hours a night, and do this basically 365 days a year. I eat the same breakfast all the time.
I don’t force my husband to eat anything he does not want to eat, however, he does request when I am in prep mode for their to be junk food in the house.
I used to track extensively but eat more intuitively now.
I don’t track. I try to, but I can tell when I need more food - or need to train more.
I have been doing this for so long, that no one asks me if I want certain things, as they know the answer is no.
I have been to weddings (not my own), or parties, or social events, and brought my own food with me as I am in prep mode. I just joke that I am the perfect houseguest, as I feed myself, and they never have to worry about me.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
I am inspired to be around those who work hard in spite of their limitations.
I have always wanted to be the best, at whatever I do, and the challenge, is coming out on top - however, you define that to yourself.
I am competitive about many things. However, it is an internal competitiveness to do my best at all times.
I have never really looked up to someone and thought wow, I want to be like her/him - I want to be the best version of me, and I know I can if I work hard enough. I am always slow to pick things up, but once I get it, it sticks.
I have a can do attitude, and paired with work, and the right direction, anyone can achieve what they want. I truly believe that, and I want to coach others to believe that it is possible for them.
As a coach, I am not trying to make my clients into me. I guide/coach my clients to be a version of you, while skipping a few newbie mistakes, so we can get you to your goals faster.
I am always trying to life hack the fat loss process. How can we make it happen as fast as possible in the context of your life, and keep you moderately as comfortable as possible.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
The best advice is finding your BIG WHY? Why do you want to train regularly?
What is your big motivator to make this change in lifestyle. Losing weight is always the #1 reason people come and see me, but to keep your motivation, you need to find a bigger reason.
Losing weight is very fleeting, and when things get hard, you have to dig out your big why to get you moving.
For me I fear aging, like losing my independence, or being massively ill in a way that requires me to stop moving. I am addicted to movement and losing that, would kill my spirit.
I train regularly to keep my autonomous life, and be able to do things for myself.
As I mentioned, aging scares the sh*t out of me, so that fear keeps me on track. Fear does not hold me back it propels me forward.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
Yes, I am taking clients.
I have a strong committed client base, with a low turnover. If clients take a break from my services - they always come back. This speaks volumes to the kind of support and guidance I give to my clients.
I am trying to teach my clients to fish, I don’t want you to be boxed in. I want you to learn, and learn how to do this on your own.
How to be consistent, get support, how to adjust when life gives you lemons, and understand your nutrition.
8-16 weeks is a good guideline to start with.
I just launched my START-HER fit kit, a 5 weeks challenge to get you going. Training, nutrition and support and lesson/teach for 5 weeks.
I will be doing another START-HER Fit Challenge in January so anyone who sees this can sign up for my newsletter to know when the registration goes LIVE.
All my clients are online clients, so as long as you know a squat, pushup and lunge your good. We can work together.
I can be contacted through Facebook, email and the contact form on my website (see the next question below).
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
I am also on Pinterest and Tumbler.
💬 Allison Ethier quotes
Allison shares some great, motivating insights in this interview. Feel free to share these quotes on your Instagram, Pinterest and so on 😍