While a student at the University of Florida majoring in nutrition and food science, Asha Hadley was flipping through fitness magazines one day and became inspired to take her work out program to the next level.
Now at age 32, the Jackson South Community Hospital dietician just won second place at the 2012 National Physique Committee (NPC) Southern States Championships in Fort Lauderdale. The top finish will allow her to compete in the NPC USA Bodybuilding Championships coming up in Las Vegas.
“I was always into sports growing up,” said Hadley. “And then I decided to do what I could to be in optimum shape and get my body into top physical form like the women I admired in the magazines.”
Competition classifications for women are body building, fitness, figure, bikini, and physique. With perfect muscle definition from head to toe, the five-foot-seveninch, 160-pound Miami native appears ready for the nationals and will compete in the physique category.
Having won first place last year in the figure category at the Florida Gold Cup competition, Hadley was prepared to continue competing in the same category until a judge at the Team Universe competition told her she would be better suited for physique.
“I didn’t have such a good showing at the Team Universe New Jersey show<” she said. “After talking with the judge, I knew if I stayed in figure I would not do so well. I had to change categories within a week and do a local show to qualify me for the national competition in the physique category.”
With very little prep time, Hadley managed to enter the Fort Lauderdale show right after Las Vegas and pulled off the ranking she needed to qualify to compete in the nationals in the physique class. “The week before the show is hard on your body and I had to do all of that again at the last minute when I changed categories. Now that I’ve qualified to compete in physique in Las Vegas, I will hopefully do better.”
In the days leading up to the show, Hadley cuts all sodium out of her diet and eats mostly lean chicken and green beans.
The day before the big event she will also eliminate water. “The day before the show, contestants cut the fluid intake to pull the water from underneath their skin.” said Hadley. This helps keep the muscles looking full and supremely cut for the competition. On competition day, it is all about hair and make-up, spray or foam tanning, and making sure the bathing suit is properly glued on.
“Prejudging is during the day after morning meetings for the athletes,” said Hadley. “You do mandatory poses for the judges and if they like what they see they will call you back again. Then, in the evening, you do the same poses during your minute-anda- half routine with whatever music you choose for the main show, and the award ceremony follows.”
While training, husband Harry Guerrero and her dogs — Max, Bella and Batman — help get her ready for competition day. Although it takes three to four months generally to prepare for one competition, Hadley says it is all worth it.
“It is a good way to take advantage of what God has given you and not put it to waste,” she said. “Your body is full of muscles and to be able to form, build and tone those muscles to put them in great working order is a gift.”