1. When this year’s NPC Excalibur show was done and results came online, I heard many wondering who the h*** is Helene Ahlson and where did she came and won figure over all. I guess that you are the best possible choice to answer in this question, so who is Helene Ahlson?
I use the hours of my days of course on my own training and contest preps and on my work as a personal trainer, fitness coach, fitness model and writer. That little time I have after all that, I spend with my guy, friends, my Grand Danois Zeke and on traveling.
I have trained at gym for nearly 14 years but with competing goals in my mind since 2004. I have always admired those ”old ones” in our sport who have been training for many many years to build up that physique they have and are experienced in training and competing. Those are the ones who prove that getting succeed and getting results in this kind of sport requires incredible many years of determined hard work – it can’t be achieved with tricks, shortcuts or using contacts!
2. Before we talk a bit more about this Excalibur contest, let’s talk a bit more about your backgrounds in figure (body fitness) You have actually competed for a few years. Could you give us a short recap of your competing career before this year? You did tried some fitness model contests as well?
3. So, you did have a longer pause in competing before last year (2009), right? Why that?
For 2,5 years I worked really hard and struggled at gym to improve my weak points, specially my legs. Heavy squats, lunges, leg presses gave me results both in legs and well, in my length too, heh ! Yeh, I shrank nearly 1cm!
So the main reason for my pause was to get an improved package. For that, I try to have as many work outs as possible with Lasse. For me it is really important to train with someone who strive for the progress at least as much as I do, and with him.. well, I have to give my all and everything to be able to use even half of his weights, heh! Every single work out has been at least 110%, to give less while working out is for me simply wasted time.
During my years 2006-2009 when I really wanted to build up some muscles and achieve some good results, nutrition got a whole new meaning for me. I have always known that nutrition is freaking important no matter if you are adding size or taking weight down but now afterwards I noticed I could have done nutrition things much better in earlier years. Specially in my off seasons now I really take care of getting enough energy cause that is what my body needs if I want it to grow.
4. Anyway, your whole this year was pretty impressive. Not only Excalibur but also your other shows during this year were pretty successful for you. Could you please give your achievements in 2009?
5. In my eyes you brought a much better package in 2009 than in your earlier years. What do you think was the key to take your physique to totally new level? I mean did you change something and did differently for this year or was this just finally the result of hard work?
All in all, I think the key for better package was that strategy we made for those 2,5 years before my next show. The main focus was to bring up my legs to get a better balance and better symmetry and also improve my stage presentation. I guess we succeed.
6. I guess your over all win at Excalibur was a true crown of your competing career so far. How did it felt to prepare for your first show in the States? And what kind of expectations did you have concerning placing and your own package?
After my shows during last spring many persons told me to try to compete in the States. For a while I was not so interested of that idea but when a thought gets a chance to grow enough it finally leads to some acts! So I sent my application to get a permission to do Excalibur show and got a positive answer!
To get a chance to compete in the States was already an achievement for me. But when one goal is achieved, you always set up new ones. It is obvious that as an athlete you keep your bar high and always strive for to be the best, but I have also learnt to be honest to myself and to be thankful for the success I ve achieved.
When I last spring traveled to Norway to compete at Oslo GP, I had no other expectations than just to get a funny trip and learn as much as possible. When the contest then ended with a good placing, the result became even better for me as I had no expectations concerning my placing. This was the attitude I had also concerning the Excalibur show – just to get a fun trip and learn, and now afterwards I have nothing to complain about actually!
When you compete in some other country where you have not competed earlier, so you have basically no idea about their judging, the other competitors and how your physique and posing style will be judged there. You only get to know that after you have competed there and stood on stage! So to have some expectations before hand is a bit difficult.
7. And could you please tell more about the show itself? How was the contest and the whole experience from the start to the end? I guess everything went like planned?
Jan Tana team was also extremely professional with their tanning service at the contest. They did amazing job with over hundreds of competitors and I can easily recommend them.
Even though the back stage area was quite tiny we had really fun and great time with competitors no matter from what country we were from. Americans seemed to be really open minded, helpful and happy for others’ success. And then my own placing, winning class C and over all, was absolutely a crown for an absolutely amazing experience!
8. Anyway, your package was really good at Excalibur show and even though to be in the top of European body fitness you might need a bit more muscles and be even more conditioned but many american girls commented that your package was close to the figure ideal. What do you think yourself about this issue? Are you completely satisfied how you looked at Excalibur show or to what direction you wanna take your physique and what improvements you think you would need?
9. So what is your next show and game plan for the year 2010?
10. Awesome, can’t wait to see you on stage again! But your are not only competitor in this fitness world but also a personal trainer and coach. Could you please tell more what all kind of help you offer and for who?
I work with persons’ health and well being at many levels. It may include whatever from just helping someone to find a physical and mental balance in stressful everyday life to coaching competing fitness athletes at elite level. You can see and read more on my website www.foreverfitsweden.se
Last year I started with an own contest team ”Forever Fit” which I and a few athletes coached by me represent at contests. This 2010 year I will prioritize all this and offer many kind of help, also focusing more on posing training, team meetings and finding new sponsors for our team. Last year brought from total 12 entries 4 wins, 4 runner up placements, one 3rd, 4th and 5th place and one out of TOP 15, so it was pretty impressive year for our team.
I am willing to offer help to everyone having a positive attitude and being able to be a good role model in what we do, no matter if she/he is a total rookie or an experienced competitor.
11. Nowadays there are available millions kind of coaches and trainers. What are YOUR main principles concerning coaching? What kind of trainer is a GOOD one in your opinion?
In my opinion a good coach is dedicated on his work, understanding , flexible and is able to motivate clients and is able to create right goals for every single client/individual because we all are different. You have to be able to support when clients are having hard times in achieving their goals and also encourage when it is needed. You cannot be afraid of giving honest and constructive feedback and critique because after all that is the most important part in your clients’ journeys to their goals.
I think the most important thing in being trainer/coach is finding and offering that kind of help your client exactly needs and which fits exactly to him/her, and find right things for each individual, not just print same nutrition plan to everyone. As after all, its PERSONAL training.
12. You do offer also help in posing. In your opinion, what are 3 most important things concerning posing?
13. Anyway, just new year started. How is your training and nutrition principles right now?
14. During off season – cardio or not ? Why?
15. You already gave us a bit clue about what’s next for you contest wise. But what other you plan for this 2010 year? Any bigger shootings planned or maybe some other projects coming up?
16. Before I stop asking these questions, actually there is one thing I wanna really talk about with you - sponsorship issues. You seem to have good sponsors around you while millions of figure girls struggle with finding one sponsor. What are your main principles concerning sponsorship issues and any tips for the girls?
I think the main reason I have been able to get so many good sponsors is the fact that I work in this branch and I can easily recommend and spread their products as I am every day somehow in media talking and writing about products.
I would recommend the girls who are looking for sponsorships to take contact with everyone you are interested of, tell about yourself, your achievements and your life. Your mission is to show them why exactly YOU would be a good person / ”face” for their products. It is also important to be part of this bodybuilding and fitness world – attend in contests and expos even if you are not competing yourself and be active and seen!
Even though I have many extremely good sponsors and co-operation with companies here in Sweden which I am really happy about, I want to add that I am really open for contacts also in the States.
17. Let’s continue with sharing tips! Now after holidays many are in situation that they carry more fat than usually. Most of us start new life with new goals in the beginning of year and we tend to pay more attention to our training and nutrition. I guess you as a personal trainer hear this question quite often and you cannot avoid it now either - please share a few tips how to get started with new life and reach goals?
- First of all, set up some tiny goals in your journey to your ultimate goal, this way your journey does not feel so long and difficult.
18. Was nice to get to know a bit more of 2009 Excalibur Figure over all winner, so thanks Helene! If someone feels now wanting to read more about you or contact you for possible sponsorship issues, coaching or seminars, how they can take contact with you? Website?
19. Someone you wanna thank?
- I wanna thank my hubby Lasse for all support, commitment and sharing all the knowledge of training, nutrition and contest prep issues. I also want to thank my sponsors for all the help and support. Then of course big thanks to my family and closest friends who have been there always for me and been always positive and encouraging , even during tough times!
20. And now at the end, please feel free to add what ever you want to!
- Feels like I already wrote my whole life, so nothing to add!