Aleisha Hart’s career as a professional figure competitor has been growing like the muscles on her body.
Not only is the Greater Sudbury woman the top International Federation of Body Building (IFBB) pro in Canada, but she’s been pictured in dozens of magazines and her fitness consulting business is flourishing beyond her wildest dreams.
The 35-year-old recently took fifth place at the IFBB Europa Show of Champions, held in Orlando, Florida. It was a crowning moment in her three-year professional career, sharing the stage with the top figure competitors in the world.
“I’m top in Canada right now, which is a huge accomplishment, to be this far,” she said. “There’s only three or four Canadians on the pro circuit.
“I’m competing with the best in the world, and it doesn’t get any better than that.”
However, she still has goals beyond her current success.
“I want to compete on the Olympia stage,” she said, explaining the Olympia is like the Stanley Cup in hockey. “That’s my goal, to get there this year. To get there, you have to win a pro show.”
The Orlando show was the start of her pro season. Over the next few months, she’ll compete in New York, Pittsburgh, Toronto and California, among others.
Hart is also gaining national and international recognition as a go-to fitness model. She has appeared in more than 35 fitness magazines, some multiple times, including Oxygen, Muscle Mag, Inside Fitness, American Curves (cover), Flex and Muscle Fitness Hers.
“I want to be an icon in the health and fitness industry,” she said. “I’m continuing to brand my face in the industry as a Canadian IFBB top pro, but my magazine exposure has just flourished beyond my expectations.”
In February 2009, Hart launched her fitness consulting business, AleishaFitness.com. Over the past three years, the business has grown to the point where Hart needs to bring in a team to help her with the ever-increasing clientele.
“I didn’t think it would get to where it is today,” she admitted. “I’m making a mark in the industry now, and it’s only going to snowball from here.”
According to the website, AleishaFitness.com provides integrated lifestyle training, intense fitness training, bodybuilding preparation, figure and fitness training, sport-specific programming and customized diet planning and education.
“I customize everything specifically for my clients’ needs,” Hart said. “I (work with) girls who want to compete, to your everyday lady who just wants to get in shape and tone, and find a balanced lifestyle.”
And really, that’s her overall goal, “to mentor and coach and be excited for people to make that difference in their lives.”
“If you don’t set goals, you’ll never achieve them,” she said. “People need to start stepping outside their comfort zones and setting higher goals, mentally and physically. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
Hart was recently nominated as one of Canada’s top trainers of the year through Muscle Insider and Optimum.
“I’ve produced a number of provincial and national athletes,” she said. “And I have over 30 weight-loss success stories over the past couple years.
“It’s rewarding for me to be able to show people the way to live a healthier lifestyle,” she added.
Christina Hayden is one of Hart’s success stories.
“I was uncomfortable, I was unhappy and I just wanted to change,” Hayden said. “I stepped on the scale one day and said ‘enough is enough.’”
She was referred to Hart through a friend about a year and a half ago. Since then, Hayden, 36, has dropped 68 pounds, gained confidence and even challenged herself to step onto the stage as a figure competitor.
Her first show was in Stratford in mid-April where she took second place in the masters category and fifth place in the open category. Her placings also qualified her for the provincial competition.
“It’s quite a journey you go through,” she said. “A healthy lifestyle changes your outlook.”
On May 12, Hayden, along with 11 of Hart’s other clients, will take the stage in front of a hometown crowd at the Sudbury Classic Championship, being held in the Alphonse Raymond Auditorium at Laurentian University. Pre-judging will take place at 11 a.m. while the finals are set for 7 p.m. Competitions will be held in body building, fitness, figure, physique and bikini categories.
Hayden said her key to success was really clicking with Hart as her coach.
“She’s very approachable, down to earth and genuine,” Hayden said. “It’s the time she takes for her athletes. If you’re willing to make the changes, she’s willing to make the time.”
Above everything else, Hart is a mom. She said her nine-year-old son, Ty, who calls her his “Super Star Mom,” already understands the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
“He understands that hard work pays off, and he knows the importance of eating healthy, training properly and getting rest.”
Ty’s demographic is actually an area Hart has been trying to tap into more.
“I’ve been speaking in schools on health and nutrition during gym classes,” she said. “Obesity is very high in young kids, and kids aren’t educated on how they need to eat properly. To be able to teach and guide them properly is a big thing.”
For more information, visit AleishaFitness.com.
Posted by Arron Pickard