Ultimate Guide to Fitness of "Ashten Buck"

Hello, who are you and what sports/fitness routine do you play?

Hi my name is Ashten Buck. I am a previous gold winning competitive bodybuilder who has given up the sport for something a little more... Slow. I realized that the prep work of the sport was putting a lot of stress on my body. The overtraining and undereating was causing my hormonal imbalances and chronically elevated cortisol. Over the last few years, I’ve been incorporating pilates and HIIT training throughout the week. Slowing down with pilates did not over stimulate my nervous system, and the HIIT training keeps my blood sugars regulated for the week. Even though I don't physically feel like I am pushing myself to the limit, my body composition is the best it’s been since my competitions. 

How do you get ready to train for your sport/how do you train?

With pilates, it's great to stay consistent. A lot of it is body weight, however there are some programs that include weights (which I highly recommend). Between 3-4 times per week at least 20-30 minute sessions will get your body more adapted to the exercises you're trying to perform. Remember, pilates are a mixture of strength and yoga - used to lengthen and strengthen the muscles. Working on flexibility and stretching is important for all sports, but for pilates, it’s included in the movements. Improving flexibility gives the body more resilience and decreases the likelihood of injury. I will often warm up my muscles with light active stretching 10 minutes before and after a training session. 

Aside from the movement itself, nutrition and mental state is very important for all exercise. Lean protein gives your muscles the building blocks to repair and recovery. Healthy fats, especially monounsaturated and omega 3s are important for keeping your joints lubricated, feeling full and satisfied, mind clear and inflammation under control. Carbohydrates are essential for energy production. Complex carbohydrates, the ones with more fibre, tend to keep digestion regular and blood sugars more manageable. I personally like to workout in the morning around 9am, so I have a small breakfast and then a more protein filled post workout breakfast to keep me full and satisfied for the remainder of the day. 

For my type of workout, all you need is a open space (like your living room), a workout mat, 5-15lb weights, water and access to youtube. I personally like doing guided pilates classes on youtube 1. Because it's free 2. It gives you motivation 3. Endless options. 

Who doesn’t like free stuff, motivation and endless options?

After a workout/game, how do you recover your body? What do you do to get your body in shape? What type of diet do you eat? 

To get my body in shape, I schedule my workouts. I look at my calendar for school (I’m in Naturopathic Medical School so its pretty busy) and I find a time to dedicate for my workouts. I stopped counting macros after bodybuilding, because it is a slippery slope. Instead, focusing on nutrient density and balanced meals will positively impact your hunger and satiety hormones (ghrelin and leptin).

Working out is only one part of the equation. Stress management is KEY. I focus on meditation, getting my work done, prioritizing free time for friends/family and sleep. If the body is in a state of stress, recovery is hindered. Cortisol breaks down muscles, its considers “catabolic”. So if you’re interested in making gains, you need to get your stress under control, and yes… overtraining can cause cortisol to rise. 

How do you prevent injuries when you’re training? What type of stretches do you normally do? What’s your routine looking like?

I do lots of stretching. It is important for all sports - especially pilates. Pilates utilizes a lot of yoga movements, which helps lengthen and strengthen muscles. Before every workout I will do active stretching (ex. Stretching my quads, alternating one leg at a time, holding the stretch for at least 10 seconds). This helps to warm up the tissue, but also preparing the body to be stretching for longer periods of time with the pilates. After my workout, I will hold my stretches for much longer. Similar style to yin yoga - holding the pose for 1-2+ minutes. My stretching routine will be anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes.

One technique I utilize daily is “whole body vibration”. I have a machine that you stand on for 10-20 minutes a day that shakes your whole body. Don’t worry this does not rattle the brain, instead it helps improve circulation, lymphatic flow and recycle lactic acid out of the muscle. That lactic acid is what causes the “burn” and the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This whole body vibration really helps with my recovery, I couldn't recommend it enough. 

If there is someone wanting to get to your level, what type of advice would you give them?

ANYONE can get on my level. I told you what you need, an open space, workout mat, water and Youtube! Find a “Pilates for Beginners” Youtube video and start there. Do modifications to the exercises if you need to, but JUST START.

Also, I find pilates a workout you don’t need to over train to get better at. Just showing up consistently will train your body to lengthen and strengthen. You will get stronger, flexibility will increase. 

How do you structure your day now? What projects are you busy with?

I am currently a Naturopathic Medical Student so my daily life is very busy. I have 11 course semesters with practicals. Aside from school I work for Healthy Planet, doing product education and creating educational content for their social media. Pilates has become a saving grace for me, because I can do them from the comfort of my own home and choose the length/intensity of my workout. In my downtime, I like to spend it with my partner and dog Maverick. We usually go hiking, camping or just hangout at home and do absolutely nothing. Any downtime is appreciated in this house! 

How has your journey on social media been? Future plans?

I am very present on social media, I do love it. I treat it as a creative outlet that allows me to educate people! I believe knowledge is power, so the more easy to digest information provided the better hopes it will positively impact someone. In the future (few years future), I plan to offer services so anyone interested in health can learn credible information so they can help people in their community. Maybe a couple more guides too :) 

Anything else you would like to share?

Focus on your mind. The mind and self efficacy is relevant in any sport. If you can believe you can do something, chances are you will. 

Knowing what you know now, what do you wish you could tell yourself 10 years ago?

“Ashten, you don't have to go to the extreme to appear healthy and fit.”

How can our audience find you online? 

Find me on Instagram and Tiktok: @ashtenbuck

I make educational content to learn about natural health in an easy way! I also sell a Candida Cleanse Guide for people that know they have a Candida Overgrowth. You can purchase my guide at www.ashtenbuck.com


Link to Ashten Buck's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ashtenbuck/

Ashten Buck is a previous gold winning competitive bodybuilder. She is a Naturopathic Medical Student.


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