Bikini bodybuilding juggernaut Ashley Kaltwasser is already laying out plans to win back the prestigious Olympia title in 2024. In a recent Cutler Cast podcast, Kaltwasser opened up on her style of training, her six-meal diet, and her ambitions to become a four-time Bikini Olympia champion.
“Then I got third this year and I’m like holy crap, It’s a pattern now. I feel like I’m in the mix. So, I’ve been in the mix for a while. So I’m right there.”
A mainstay of the Bikini category, Ashley Kaltwasser cemented herself as an Olympia titleholder in 2013 after becoming the fourth woman to lay hold of the crown. From there, Kaltwasser flourished as a champion for the next two years, showcasing supreme symmetry, proportions, and aesthetics.
In addition to achieving the sport’s greatest honor thrice, Kaltwasser’s competitive spirit has seen her win the most Pro shows of any competitor, regardless of division, a record that was once held by bodybuilding legend Dexter Jackson.
Even though it’s been almost 10 years since “AK” sat atop the throne, she believes the right preparation and game plan could see her exit the organization’s 60th-anniversary show with a few more pounds of gold.
Ashley Kaltwasser Talks Judges’ Feedback, Training + Diet, and 2024 Olympia Ambitions
According to Ashley Kaltwaser, the transition from early track and field training to bodybuilding workouts shocked her system. She added that her training methods haven’t changed drastically throughout her career.
“I wouldn’t say my training is the same all the time but throughout the years I’ve gotten stronger and I can do more weight, more reps, all that good stuff.
I mean of course the workouts themselves will vary but the style of training it didn’t really change that much. The biggest style of training came from track training to Bikini training, that was like a big shock to me.”
A typical rep range for Ashley Kaltwasser is 10-15 and she prefers to stay within eight pounds of her contest weight. specifying that Bikini is a ‘lifestyle division.’
“Typically like 10-15 [reps] on a given day,” Kaltwasser shared. “Yeah, I don’t go off the path. If I were going to compete, maybe five pounds [is what I would currently need to lose].”
“We’re a month now [from being able to do a show],” clarified Kaltwasser. “What purpose would bulking do for me? I know. Especially for Bikini, this is a lifestyle division, we shouldn’t really be bulking.”
Kaltwasser incorporates dumbbell work and machine exercises during preps.
“No, I do all that [dumbbell work] and I do machine work.”
While her happiness doesn’t depend on the result, Kaltwsser made it clear she would love to win back her title at the 2024 Olympia.
“Of course, I would love to win the Olympia but I will say it’s not everything. Then, if I put all my weight into winning the Olympia, exactly, you know, I think a lot of people would say ‘Oh, well, you need to like take a huge off-season to do that, etc, etc.’ You know, I think if it’s my time to win again I will and I would love to.”
Kaltwasser discussed her approach to handling feedback and revealed she was too conditioned at the 2023 Olympia compared to Maureen Blanquisco and Jennifer Dorie.
“The feedback that I need to work on in particular, I will spend more time on that and energy on that specific body part. For years, they were saying it was my upper body, my shoulders, and stuff, so man I really pushed it.”
“From all the judges, the main thing was I was a little bit too conditioned. And I agree, if I look at the top call-out, first, second, they were a bit softer than me.”
“Yeah some people have little allergies or meat-eating preferences. Here’s the thing, if you want to stick with a diet for a long period of time, you gotta like it. I don’t eat seafood. I won’t go near seafood. I never prepped with fish, gross, ew, no.”
“Yeah [I eat red meat]. MuscleEgg, yes. I’m a very picky eater I don’t like savory eggs I like sweet eggs. I make them into pancakes, dessert pancakes.”
“I’m good at dieting because I love my food. Like 5-6 [meals a day],” said Kaltwasser. “Yeah, but I’m not as strict as you might think. I don’t time my meals. If I’m not hungry I won’t eat. If I’m like a week out from a show and I’m too shredded too lean I will eat when I don’t want to. But I do think eating when you’re not really hungry creates bad habits in my opinion.”
This isn’t Kaltwasser’s first time offering insight into her bodybuilding preps. Given the delicate balance of maintaining a physique for contests, Kaltwasser gave tips on the challenging process. Most notably, Kaltwasser shared that it’s best to keep meals light and avoid protein.
Always in striking distance of a potential contest, Ashley Kaltwsser’s devotion to her craft is nothing short of inspirational. Fans look forward to seeing her tested against the best Bikini talents in the world from October 10-13 at 2024 Olympia.