Helene Ahlson - 14 Years with Better Bodies
How did you get interested in training?
Ever since I learned to stand up I've been an active person and I have always wanted to stay active in some form or fashion. When I was 6 years old I got interested in horseback riding. I fell in love with it and I quickly became a dedicated horseback rider who my mother had to drag out of the stable.
How long were you horseback riding and on what level?
Already at 10 years old I was competing, and shortly thereafter all my spare time consisted of riding several horses per day, working in the stable, training other riders, and competing around the country.
I was training, competing and riding all my free time until I was 20 years old when it all just stopped.
I didn't quit because I was injured or due to anything specific that made me quit. I just lost the motivation to keep doing horseback riding on the same level.
How did you become interested in gym training?
When I was 16 years old I stared at an elite athlete high school with focus on horseback riding. We had extra training hours for practicing with the horses, but they were scheduled the middle of the day and I couldn't make it to the stable, take care of the horses, ride, home to shower, and be back within the time we had allocated. Instead I ended up at the schools basement gym among all the big power-lifters and hockey- and soccer guys. It was simply me and all the dudes. I liked it and I got stuck there.
I liked the atmosphere, the masculine and a little tougher attitude, the performance aspects of the training, and the feeling of being strong. And I was always strong, because there weren't many girls to compare myself with down in the cave.
We had this community feeling that is hard to explain if you haven't experienced it. The ones who were older welcomed me and taught me a lot both about weight training and myself. I found a new side of myself that I didn't know existed.
Rumors say you once competed in Bench Press, how was that experience?
The national coach in power-lifting brought me to the district championships in Bench Press. They needed a girl in the "flyweight" class. I was the only girl small enough training at the gym so I didn't have much choice other than to be of good sports and participate.
I had never bench pressed until the day I was asked to participate in the competition and I only had a few weeks to become friends with the bench and prepare. I did it, but I'll never do it again!
It wasn't a bad performance, I think I even got a medal. But that tight suit I had to wear... what was that???!! OMG, I was hiding like the bull Ferdinand when it was my turn.
When they announced my name I ran out to the bench, laid down, pushed the weight up, ran out, threw the suit off and headed home. The coach called the day after, asking where I had gone since I had won a medal. Thanks, but no thanks. Never again.
You live fitness, how did your career start?
My interest for the gym had become a part of me and I continued training in parallel with the horseback riding until I was 20.
At that age I traveled abroad and it was hard to bring the horses. Naturally the focus shifted to the gym.
Back in Sweden again I stared studying at GIH (The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences). In parallel with that I also added other courses for further education, which are a big reason for being where I am today career wise.
How did you get in contact with Better Bodies?
At the same time as I was studying I started my own company and started working as a Personal Trainer.
I did a ”test diet” on myself to help my clients get in shape the best possible way, and all of a sudden I ended up on the Bodyfitness (now figure) stage at Luciapokalen 2015 where I placed 3rd. .
The same weekend I was voted as one of the finalists in Better Bodies Model Search, which I surprisingly won!
i dare to say that this weekend was the starting point for the rest of my fitness career. The Bodyfitness competition made me long for more since I wanted to improve myself and win. The model search gave me a big model contract with Sweden's most successful clothing brand in the industry, Better Bodies.
How has the journey been from 2005 until today?
After this everything has just spun further. Competitions and photoshoots all over the world have succeeded each other and my own company Forever Fit Sweden has grown in the same pace.
13 years and 17 competitions later (of which 5 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze, and 2 finalist spots) I can feel that I am done with the stage, heels and bikini for a while.
I've had the opportunity to compete all over the world, been lucky enough to place well at big championships (Worldcup, EM, Excalibur LA, Extravaganza San Antonio, Arnold Classic Amateur Ohio, Olympia Marbella, Oslo GP, Sweden GP, Swedish Championships etc.) and I have always had fun along the way. The happiness, experiences, and memories will always last and enrich my life. There is nothing I would've rather done and nothing I regret.
How are you training today?
I got to a point where I felt like I needed a new challenge, a push forward, something that lights the fire within again... and there it was; CrossFit!
As a crazy competitive person who always looks for new challenges, who always strive to win, always wants to improve and try new things, CrossFit was the perfect match. I fell in love with it and got hooked.
There is nothing that'll give me as much adrenaline as CrossFit, nothing that makes me feel so good, and nothing that fills me with as much endorphins as a CrossFit workout.
There are always new things to learn within CrossFit, it is hard and almost impossible to ever say that you know it all. If I am to mention a sport where you're really all around conditioned it would be CrossFit. You'll need strenght, range of motion, speed, explosivity, endurance, lactic acid tolerance, gymnastic skills, mental strength, balance... the list is long and keeps going.
I am not saying that I've retired from Bodyfitness (Figure) forever, but my heart currently beats for CrossFit and I want to see ho far I can get.