Our Athletes

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Ashley Kijek

Hey, everyone!

I have always struggled with my weight. However, I am "that girl" who couldn't gain any weight. It seemed that no matter what I ate, I could not gain the weight that I wanted. At 23 years old and 5'4”, I weighed 98 pounds. I was severely underweight and very depressed. I didn't like the girl I saw in the mirror. Shortly after I turned 24, and when my weight wasn't increasing, I decided to give the gym a try. Nonetheless, 2 years later and lots of lifting in the gym - I was sitting at a healthy 125 pounds, which is the most that I have weighed, ever.

I truly love going to the gym. It is amazing to see what the human body is capable of and how it can change. I decided to show my love for the gym by participating in NPC Shows as a Bikini Competitor. I did my first show in March 2015 and I loved it! I cannot wait to step on stage again. Many of the competitors and fellow “gym junkies” that I have met along the way are some of the nicest, most humble people that I have ever met. The gym is honestly my favorite hobby. However, I love doing anything outdoors, especially in the summertime and spending time with my puppies.

The biggest piece of advice that I have for people looking to get into a fitness lifestyle is to have fun! Set goals - smash those goals… Enjoy the process!

Danny Giles

Sooner born, Sooner bred...

Hello from sunny San Diego! I am Danny and for me fitness has been a part of my life since I can remember. My Dad was an athlete and my Mom has always been a workout machine. For me it all started when my Mom gave me a copy of Muscle and Fitness. I was 7 years old, and it was the with the Masters of the Universe one with Dolphins Lundgren on the cover. I was hooked and wanted to look like those athletes inside that magazine. Never got to actually train until my teenage years even then I was a hard gainer and played multiple sports at the time. And when I wasn't playing a sport or at a camp for a sport in the off season I would watch ESPN2 when they had all those home workout shows and take notes. And take the workouts to the gym.

Training for me has always been almost therapeutic. In the early years I was using the gym to give me a competitive edge in sports, as I started working the emphasis switched to training just for something to do. I'd always maintained at the time what seemed to be a misplaced discipline with diet and training. Never thought of ever competing until November 2012. I watched a close friend of mine compete for the WBFF. I looked at some of the competitors on stage and as I walked around people thought I was competing and it made me think, "maybe I could give it try.." So then and there I decided to compete that next year.

October 2013 I competed in my first show; the WBFF Southwest Championships. I didn't place anywhere near as high as I'd hoped. Which kind of left me wondering if I'd made the right choice even competing in the first place. After some serious internal beat downs I realized I can't go up just once and leave it at that. Especially remaining as disciplined as I continued to be with diet and nutrition. So this spring I am going to compete out West to become eligible and eventually get that coveted pro card!

Currently I train people at all types of fitness levels, from people wanting to shed a few pounds to preparing people for Spartan races. There isn't a special recipe to being fit. All it takes is the willingness to consistently try your hardest, get knocked down, and just keep coming back. Don't allow anyone or anything to take your focus off your goal.

Brianna Maida

Who knew after facing chemotherapy, I would be here today chasing my dreams in the fitness industry!?

Hello, my name is Brianna and I am 22 years old. I was that girl in the gym that avoided weights and did tons of cardio thinking I could get fit. I was wrong! I competed in my first NPC competition a year ago where I won 1st place! Then it was on to my first national show where I placed 12th out of 50 girls. Needless to say, I've been addicted to the weights ever since. Go figure, right? I was that "skinny fat" girl that obsessed over the numbers on the scale and hated the word CARBS. Competing taught me a lot about different training methods, different cardio circuits, and proper nutrients your body needs while eating clean. I now love the word CARBS!

Five years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I immediately said to my parents I will never live a "normal" lifestyle again. At 16 years old I was in eight month fight for my life. I endured multiple blood transfusions, losing my hair, gaining weight from steroids, and being depressed every day. I hit rock bottom.

Beating cancer, I felt accomplished. Yet, still feeling insecure with my appearance when I looked in the mirror, when I stepped on the scale, when I wore a bathing suit; that's when I made a change and dedicated myself to the gym and eating clean. After following so many bikini competitors on Instagram, they inspired me to compete. I said to myself; why not face a challenge for 16 weeks of a strict diet and hardcore training, when I have already faced an even harder challenge of 8 months? After seeing how the body is able to transform in such a short time, I became addicted and obsessed with this lifestyle. The dedication, will power, tears, sweat, early mornings, late nights shows how strong of an athlete I am.

Here I am today, not completely living a "normal" lifestyle. I worry about blood work, checkups, scans, side effects I face daily from the chemotherapy BUT IT WILL NOT STOP ME from chasing my dreams. My biggest dream is earning my IFBB pro card.

Everybody has a story to share and this is mine. Always pay it forward to those in the gym or outside the gym. Everybody starts somewhere and I'm just getting started. A fitness tip: Do your research when hiring a trainer, educate yourself about working out and clean eating. Whether your goal is to compete, lose weight, or build muscle, remember to stay consistent with your training and eating and I promise you the results will show!

Xo Brianna