Born & Bred
Raised right here in the Bluff City, Ashley Seema Hall, 33, is a tried and true Memphian. She is a graduate of Harding Academy and the University of Memphis, where she cheered for the all-girl squad and won her first National Championship in 2008. She and her husband, Roderick, and their boxer, Kash, continue to call Memphis home.
A legal assistant at a prestigious law firm in the heart of downtown is how she spends most of her days. When not working, her second love is fitness. She works out with Anthony Travis, owner of Xtreme Fitness, about four times a week and personal trains with him once a week. They tackle 275-pound tires, nonstop burpees, rope slams, tire flipping, ball walls, running/sprinting, strength training, kickboxing, and so much more. Outside of her sessions with Anthony, she bikes the Greenline to Shelby Farms with her husband and takes their dog on walks.
When it comes to eating, Ashley says, “I’m more of a ‘whoopsies, these clothes don’t fit so I need to dial it back in’ kind of person.” During the workweek, she prefers to pack her meals to help keep her on a routine. Typically, she has two rice cakes with cookie butter for breakfast, a chopped salad for lunch, and popcorn for a midday snack. On the days she exercises, she throws in a protein shake or Quest Birthday Cake bar. For dinner, she generally eats what she wants. “Lately, we’ve been eating a lot of turkey burgers and fries. It’s all about balance, honey!”
Goals, Goals, Goals
Aside from winning a collegiate national championship, her most proud fitness goal was winning first place in the bikini division of her class at the NPC Battle on the Bluff in 2016.
In 2014, she competed in the NPC Dexter Jackson Classic in Memphis. She placed fourth in Bikini Novice Class A. In 2016, she competed in the NPC Battle on the Bluff in Memphis. She placed first in Bikini Class C. With her background in competitive cheerleading, she leaned on that competition itch.
When it comes to bodybuilding, Ashley believes it takes two things—self-discipline and willpower. Her training lasted about 18 weeks, and she went to the gym twice a day. Planning was key—everything was measured out, from her last drop of water to that extra piece of chicken because of macro calculations. Along with a nutrition coach, Ashley also had an exercise coach and a posing coach. It takes a village to deliver such an impressive competition package.
Her favorite thing about bodybuilding is what it teaches the competitor: courage, resilience, optimism, and confidence. Her least favorite part is the diet because, as she notes, “I love to socialize and eat!”
“Seeing the benefits of my hard work always keeps me going,” Ashley says. Working out with friends holds her accountable and keeps her active. In addition, she also believes in treating herself to a new workout outfit here and there as a reward.
Because of her busy work schedule, a regular exercise routine calms her mind and gives her a satisfaction like no other.
“The key to maintaining my sanity is knowing when to take a break and recharge. I’ve learned that it is okay to say no to certain things in order to live a happier and healthier life.”
By Halle Griggs
Photo by Tindall Stephens