Meet: Ashley Hayward

An original Tough Mama before One Tough Mama even existed. Ashley has been training with Michelle in some capacity since 2009. She was one Michelle’s first client’s in her career years ago and was also in the first MOM STRONG after the birth of her daughter Noelle and recently just returned to work as a teacher after participating in MOM STRONG a second time after the birth of her son, Max.

Known For: Her badass deadlift in Mom Strong. Ashley hit a lifetime PR of 220# on her second last day of Mom Strong at 1 year postpartum. Go Ashley!!

What Ashley has to say about OTM programming: “I’ve participated in Mom Strong and have just started with group training. I LOVED Mom Strong. It was more than a workout, it was a place to go twice a week to be with other moms who were going through the same ‘mom’ things. The moms became a little community that I could rely on for encouragement and support. The workouts were just a great bonus. I always left feeling strong, even if I spent most of the class chasing Max around!”

“I’ve only done one group workout so far, but it was great. I like the small group size because it allows me to actually get to know the other women I am working out with! I’m looking forward to the next workout (as long as there are no squats!)” - HA! There’s always squats.

It has been my pleasure working with Ashley. I especially loved the transformation in confidence when she switched from bootcamp-style training to partner strength training in 2012. Just last night in class she was overheard telling another participant “don’t tell Michelle you want to do something - because she will make sure that you do”. Then went on to share how she told me she wanted to do push-ups several years ago and be damned if she can’t crush out some badass push-ups today.

To help you get to know Ashley a bit better we asked her a few questions:

  1. Squats or Deadlifts? Definitely deadlifts! They make me feel strong. Squats get into my head too much and I get scared I’m going to get stuck at the bottom. (FYI Ash has a mean deadlift AND squat)

  2. If you didn’t have to sleep what would you do with that extra time? Wait. We are supposed to sleep? Someone needs to tell my kids that! But if I didn’t sleep I would read. I used to read a lot but now it seems the only things I read at The Lorax and Cat in the Hat! I want to read some adult books.

  3. What’s your favourite song to workout to? I don’t have a favourite song, but when I am in the gym alone I always pick the ‘00s Pop station from Apple Music. The songs usually have a good beat and are fun to sing along to.

  4. What have your kids taught you most? Patience! Turns out kids don’t always do things exactly when you want or expect them to. Who knew?! I’ve learned to be patient with my kiddos and not get upset or worried if they don’t do things on my time. They’ll get there eventually.

  5. Aside from training, what is your favourite pastime? I really enjoy playing beach volleyball in the summer. It’s so nice to get outside at the end of a day, even on the rainy, yucky days and play. Getting a kid-free evening once a week is also a bonus! I love spending time playing with my kids. Noelle and I have had a lots of tea parties lately, and Max loves to play hockey or catch,