Athlete Spotlight: Julia Schaefer Aspire Athletics, Powerlifting Gym in Seattle, WA
Name: Julia Schaefer
Sport: I have a background in the NPC Bikini division of Bodybuilding. However, I am always dabbling in other areas of fitness. While bodybuilding will always be my one true love, I am always looking for different avenues of fitness to explore. Up next for me: possibly powerlifting and/or some type of run, whether it be an obstacle course like the Tough Mudder or a Half Marathon.
Gym: Aspire Athletics
Achievements: Just so I can feel like a badass, I have to state my largest athletic achievement to date: winning U.S. National Champion in Dressage on the Arabian Horse Circuit.
In the world of NPC Bodybuilding Bikini Division, I have won a handful of Tiaras and Trophies, including one Overall.
Best Lifts: Last time I tested out my 1 rep max for a Squats it was 220lb. That was when my bodyweight was 108lb, so I was ecstatic! That was a little over a year ago, so I have definitely put on both muscle mass and strength…I guess that means it is time for me to give my 1 rep max another go around! At the moment, I’m doing a 10×3 at 190lb.
Deadlifts have surprisingly surpassed my love for Squats. Again, I have not tested out a 1RM in over a year, but am currently pulling 3 reps at 265lb. At the same time I completed my 1RM for Squats, it was at 215lb for Deadlifts. So YAY for improvement!!!
To totally bro out though, I have to say the most effective lists in my opinion are:
- DB Lateral Raises: I am ALWAYS working on my shoulders, and these have by far helped with development more so than any other shoulder exercise. I do just about every variation of lateral raise possible, and try to complete high reps as heavy as possible!
- Deficit Reverse Lunges: HOLY HAMSTRINGS! I have recently added these to my routine, and they are SO wonderful for hamstring development (and making you sore as all hell)
- And well, I have to include the Deadlift—any form of it. I try to include Conventional Deadlifts into my program at least once a week, and then throw in Sumo and Straight Leg from time to time. Deadlifts make EVERYTHING grow
How did you get started?
I have always had more energy than I know what to do with. When I was a kid, my parents had be enrolled in dance, gymnastics, swim team, and horseback riding. When it came time for me to choose a direction to dedicate myself, I chose horseback riding.
My junior year of high school, the combination of some personal issues along with joining a new barn and buying a new horse led me to switching to an alternative school for athletes. This new school was all one on one classes, and only required me to be in an actual classroom for about 2-3 hours per day, 3 days a week. The rest of my time, I either spent at the barn or at my new found love, the gym.
At the gym, I worked with my first trainer, Corrie Maxwell, whom I owe my crazy passion for both weight training and nutrition. She taught me more than I could have ever imagined, gave me all of her ACE and NASM materials to study, and pushed me to explore this new passion. For that, I will forever be grateful.
What does your training look like?
I train 6 days per week. These 6 days can switch up depending on the program, but will ALWAYS include two glute/leg focused days
What does your diet look like?
Oh boyyyy… the diet. I eat clean about 90-95% of the time. I don’t follow IIFYM or any other calorie counting diet. Throughout the last four years of competing, I have truly learned my body and how it reacts to different foods. I eat pretty much the same foods day in and day out (with different seasonings, of course), and then usually go out to eat once or twice on the weekend with friends.
Typical Day Looks Like:
- Meal 1 (Pre-Workout): 1 scoop whey protein, 1 scoop BCAAs, 1 cap Liquid L-Carnitine, coffee <3
- Meal 2 (Post-Workout): ½ c oats, 4 egg whites
- Meal 3: 4 oz chicken breast, 2 c steamed broccoli, ½ avocado
- Meal 4: 4 egg whites, huge salad with kale, cucumbers, bell peppers, and broccoli
- Meal 5: 4 oz chicken breast, huge salad with spinach, cucumbers, bell peppers, and cauliflower
- Meal 6: 1 scoop casein protein
Do you have any upcoming goals or competitions?
No upcoming competitions. I always set goals for myself though. Right now, I want to squat 250lb, deadlift 300lb, and have my best physique to date! Always striving to better my best.
Favorite Movie/TV show?
American History X and Fight Club are always on the top of my movie list. Some less serious movies that I love are Anchorman, Wanderlust, and I Love You, Man
American Horror Story is the only TV show that I really make an effort to watch, other than that, my roommate will have stuff on and I’ll sometimes pay attention, oftentimes not.
If you could trade places with anyone on earth for 24 hours, who would it be and why?
Honest answer, I actually don’t think that I would trade places with anyone. For starters, I am still trying to master the life that I am living. But more importantly, I know that even people with the most outwardly envious lives have their own shit that they have to wade through. I know this probably isn’t the most exciting answer, but it is the first answer that popped into my head.
Favorite “cheat” meal?
This is a tough one! It would be a tie between Frozen Yogurt and Thai Food. I LOVE a good steak, but I don’t necessarily consider that a “cheat” meal.
When it comes to Thai Food and Froyo though… I have no off switch! YUM.
Who do you look up to?
There are quite a few people who I look up to.
Again, to take a cheesy route, I look up to my parents and my sister. All three of them are some of the hardest working individuals I have ever met. And my parents were able to build a great life and provide my sister and I with more than we could have ever asked for… and now they just get to sit back and enjoy the ride.
I look up to Amber Dawn Orton, a previous physique coach of mine. She is one of the hardest working individuals I know, and furthermore, treats everyone with so much kindness and compassion. She truly cares about each one of her competitors, which I don’t think many people can say about their coaches.
Another mention, would be Natalie Joffe. She is a trainer, nutritionist, and life coach in Seattle. She has helped me truly start to live my life. I cannot even begin to explain how inspiring she is; she is truly authentic, compassionate, and every other positive descriptive you can think of.
What 3 things would you take with you on a desert island?
- Beast Sports Nutrition Pineapple Aminolytes: they are the most amazingly delicious BCAAs you will ever taste. I drink them way more than required, but I just can’t help myself!
- Blue Bonnet Vanilla Whey Protein: also DAMN delicious. And well, I can’t let the muscle I have worked so hard for go to waste!
- My puppy, Sheldon. Not a thing, per se, but he is the best recent addition to my life. He provides me with a companionship and unconditional love that fills my heart with so much happiness.
Anything else you would like to share?
My philosophy of achieving your best physique:
- Use yourself as your competition. Always work to beat the person in the mirror. You cannot control what anyone else is doing, but you can control what YOU are doing.
- Utilize self-compassion. Focus on the positive; congratulate yourself for even the most miniscule victories, for those victories will eventually add up! A positive mindset will bring you further than you could ever imagine possible.
- This is especially for the ladies: do not be afraid to eat, and do NOT, under any circumstances, think that cardio is the answer for weight loss!
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