Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Ghia Walker, I’m 36 years old and I live in California.
I’m the creator of Dough It Well, which are crave-worthy protein treats, like cinnamon rolls, brownies, donuts, biscuits and bread. That being said, I love to eat, come up with yummy recipes, workout and laugh… a lot.
I’ve competed in bodybuilding, in both the figure and fit body categories, placing 1st, 2nd and 4th in various competitions.
Since I was a kid, I’ve been fairly athletic, joining sports teams every year. Then when I was 16 I started going to the gym, but it was only around 33 years old where I started to lift heavier.
I’ve always taken pride in being athletic, but it was when I started lifting heavier that I realized how much more control I could have with shaping my physique – which is one of the things I appreciate most about bodybuilding.
In addition to that, bodybuilding also encouraged me to better educate myself on body functions, nutrition and food sources.
As an added bonus, it’s also been fun to help people realize that you can be strong with a vegan lifestyle.
Describe a typical day of training
I’m one of those folks that can go to the gym with someone, but the moment we hit the workout floor, I have to go my own direction. The gym is my personal zen zone and alone time.
My training methods switch up frequently based on my schedule, travel plans and in general, to keep the body guessing.
But if I were to sum up my overall approach to training, I typically lift 5 days a week:
- 2 days for legs and glutes
- 1 day for delts
- 1 day for back and arms
- 1 day for chest
Now let’s say that I’ve been doing this split for months – I’m still not doing the same exercises/techniques every time I hit that body part.
Legs for example, one day I may hit a high rep (15-20 reps / 4 sets) for an exercise, then on the next leg day I’ll do much higher weight and do lower reps and sets. But regardless, one thing is for sure, every day I hit the gym I will push myself near or to muscle fatigue for each exercise.
Also, because I’m always so busy, I plan out my exercises before I get to the gym, but I also have alternative exercises in case the weights or machines I want to use are taken.
If you were to ask my what my favorite exercise is, it would have to be lateral raises for the delts. Why? I’m naturally very “hip”py and have a leaner waist, so having stronger delts really helps to emphasize an hourglass shape.
As for cardio, I don’t do it on a regular basis, it mostly depends on how I’ve been eating the prior days. But regardless, you’ll always see me with a Fitbit, trying to hit my 10k steps a day.
As for supplements, I use to take pre-workouts, Active Alliance BCAAs, creatine and Now Foods L-glutamine, but have actually stopped them completely for now (I’m sure I’ll pick up them up again at some point).
And on top of this, I’ve momentarily quit coffee – mainly to even out my energy throughout the day, instead of having energy highs and crashes.
How do you keep going and push harder?
There are a few things I always keep in mind or use to push harder:
- I always try to be a good representation of a strong person, especially as a vegan and as a woman.
I think there is still some curiosity on if vegans can be strong, and still some thoughts that if you lift heavy you will automatically get bulky.
So if I can use my physique and health to bring more exposure to strong and healthy living, then I’m all for it.
- I think about Dough It Well and my family.
Part of the reason I’m working hard to expand Dough It Well is because I want to play my part with helping people be strong, and with supporting my family.
Because this brand creates protein treats, my physique should represent the results of proper intake when paired with exercising.
- I use an app “Strong App” to track my lifts. Each day I go to the gym, I look at the exercise that I’m doing and aim to lift a higher total volume, than I did last time.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I’m doing really well. I’m feeling accomplished with the many things I’ve ventured into – competing in bodybuilding, turning vegan and launching Dough It Well.
Although, building your own business doesn’t come without setbacks – I am so exhausted! But I’ll continue to work hard at it because it’s what I’m passionate about.
Within the next 5 years, I would love to have grown Dough It Well to a globally recognized brand that many people just know and crave.
As for bodybuilding, I would like to be in a few more competitions because the thrill of changing your physique is so amazing.
Looking back at my bodybuilding experiences, there’s nothing I would change. I have learned so much through the process and turned vegan – those two things have changed my life for the better.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
In the sport of bodybuilding, injury is inevitable.
Over the years I’ve learned a number of things about how I can prevent and manage an injury:
- If I can’t un-rack and re-rack the weight, I have no business working out with it.
- Form. Form. Form. I only go heavier if I’ve reached my max reps/sets for one weight, with good form.
- Rest. Don’t’ keep working out the injured muscle.
- Don’t slack on seeing physical therapists. Many times the injury can be addressed by strengthening minor muscles.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My eating preferences changed since I turned vegan in 2017. And besides being vegan, I always try to think of a couple of things when I eat:
- How will the food fuel me and does it give me the macro/micronutrients my body needs?
- Will it satisfy a craving?
For those curious, I became vegan when I started doing research on nutrients and food sources, during my bodybuilding prep. When I saw the animal cruelty it was easy to decide that I couldn’t contribute to animal abuse.
As a foodie, eating good food is important to me. I’m big on flavor and texture.
Often times you’ll find me eating Dough It Well cinnamon rolls or donuts, seitan (alternative vegan meat), vegetables, nuts, fruits and cereal. Oh and how can I forget!… Chocolate!
But even though I eat a ton of food, I work really hard to have a good balance by tracking my macronutrients through Cronometer, and once or twice a week I either have cheat meals or fully untracked days.
I know this isn’t how most bodybuilders approach macronutrients, but when I’m not actively prepping for a show, I allow myself to be a bit more relaxed to minimize stresses wherever possible.
I always take my multi-vitamins, try to be mindful of my sodium intake and nowadays I’ve been in love with maca.
I start my mornings off with warm vegan milk and water mixed with maca powder. It’s got a great earthy flavor that has helped to keep my energy even throughout the day.
What has inspired and motivated you?
This whole journey started because my older sister Sasa, kept asking me to join her in bodybuilding competitions.
I pushed back so many times, because at that time I was scared of looking too bulky from lifting heavy. But one day I finally said yes, was lucky enough to find a vegan bodybuilding coach (Dani Taylor from Vegan Proteins), and launched Dough It Well.
I wonder all the time what life would be like if my sister hadn’t asked me to compete in bodybuilding. It really has put my life in a different and exciting trajectory.
But of course, there are still those days where I’m so exhausted that I don’t even feel like going to the gym or that I’m working so hard that I pull 24+ hour days.
In those days, it’s my husband, Brandon, that either pushes me or tells me to go slower. He’s an amazing support system.
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
If you want to improve yourself. Think deep and hard about WHY you want to do it. WHY is it so important to you?
Everyday remind yourself of your why. And when you are struggling, think about your why. Whether it’s because you want to prevent something like high-blood pressure/diabetes or because it’s part of a brand you’re building.
If you embrace your “why”, your “how” will naturally follow suit.
Are you taking on clients right now?
I’m not currently taking additional clients as I’m fully booked. If I’m coaching anyone, I think it’s important to have the proper time to create a program that’s unique to their situation.
So while that means I take on less clients than those with cookie-cutter programs (no knock on them), it personally makes me feel better that I’m giving my 110% to personalized online coaching.
Where can we learn more about you?
I’ve got a few places where you can learn more about me: