In this nine part series Alicia detailed her diet, training and mentality over the last two months before travelling to LA to compete in the WBFF LA ProAm Show.
It’s now been a month since Alicia competed and we recently caught up with her to discuss her incredible results. Alicia was crowned the 2017 LA 35+ Pro Fitness Champion and placed second in Pro Fitness Opens.
Tell us more about the experience of winning 35+ Pro Fitness Champion in LA?
It was absolutely phenomenal I must admit! Generally speaking, there are no competitions in Australia like the WBFF Australia shows. We have the best promoters in the world. Mr Ari Hamalainen, Pauline and the entire team are just exceptional.
So I would have to say that experiencing the LA show was at that same next level. It was just phenomenal; the way that it was organised, the venue and just the calibre of athletes that stood on stage was amazing. From everything leading in, which was chaos, through to the final outcome which was just so sweet, I had the best time of my life. Also for me, it was just beautiful to be able to go somewhere else and see something run as well as what I know Ari does here and be able to experience something like this at an international level was really exciting.
What happens at a pro show and how is it different to what is considered an amateur show?
So LA was a ProAm, these shows have both the amateurs and the pros in the same venue and in LA it was all run on the same day.
Typically at world events you’ll have your amateurs on the Friday night and then you’ll have the pro show on the Saturday with the amateurs receiving thier placings at the pro show. But this one was an all in one show. So we actually had the amateurs out and then the pros, and then amateurs again and then the pros again etc.
The pros were separated in our own little area away from the amateur athletes. It’s very well run and well organised. You’re escorted backstage into your own little area getting prepped and ready before you go on stage. For me, mingling and connecting with some of the most beautiful women across the globe is probably one of the best parts about what you do as a pro. Being backstage and making friends with so many different language speaking people was phenomenal. Throughout the day we’re dancing and celebrating what we’re there to do and then next minute we’re onstage. So it’s all systems go!
It’s all this glitz, all this glamour and it’s just such a surreal experience. At the same time backstage you’re getting all of these updates about what the amateurs are doing, how they’re going and it’s just super exciting. The whole thing is just one big buzz and you’re on such a high the whole day.
Image taken from aliciagowans_wbffpro’s Instagram account.
So you’re the WBFF Australia team captain, what does that entail?
In all honesty it’s probably the biggest honour I’ve ever had and and I can’t thank Ari and Pauline enough for the respect and the trust they’ve bestowed upon me in this role.
I absolutely love my team and seeing both my colleagues and my peers do exceptionally well at what they do and love what they do. I also love seeing the amateurs coming through and having a great time.
So for me being team captain is all about making sure everyone’s experience is a great one, I want them all to feel comfortable in their travelling. I’m an experienced international traveller and athlete now, this is like my sixth year of doing this, so I give them every little bit of advice I can. I like telling them great places to go and things to do. I love having them come together, I love mingling with like-minded people and we’ve got such an amazing pro team. We have some of the best souls out there and we’re really good mates. For example I’ve been travelling with Sam Grachan for five years now even before he went pro. So you develop long standing relationships with people who get what you do, get why you’re crazy and understand those ‘hangry’ moments and they can have a conversation about it and it’s great.
You’re obviously a huge fan of the WBFF federation and your role within the federation keeps getting bigger and bigger. One of the things you also do as a sponsored athlete with us and with the WBFF is that you coach a lot of athletes. How many athletes do you have this year?
In the most recent WBFF Show on the Gold Coast in May I had 20 athletes and I’ve got 25 coming up for the July show. I also have another 20 already for the October show and I think that one will actually be quite a bit bigger.
I also have international athletes. I had one of my girls in Canada, Jessica Poulin, go pro in LA when I was there.
I’ve also got a couple of other girls at the moment, who are prepping internationally between Canada, the UK and the US for the transformation divisions. I’ve got a couple of Australians competing in the transformation division at worlds as well. And I have a team of people who will be going across for these international competitions, so it’s just so exciting and I’m loving being a part of their lives.
What’re your tips and advice those thinking of competing in WBFF?
Go and experience it, go to a show and get a feel for it. 100% you’ll never look back, especially with the way that Ari and Pauline run these shows – they’re just sensational. The attention to detail and the service and care of athletes is second to none. You’ll never be better looked after as an athlete coming through. But then also as a spectator – wow!
Everything from the way they set up the stage, the production, the line up and the organisation of time, you honestly can’t get better. You’ll also get that opportunity to mingle with the pros because they’ll all so fantastic, down to earth and completely approachable. They just live it, breathe it, sleep it and you can see it. They all ooze everything that the WBFF is about which is high end professionalism and an elite level of conduct. I’m really proud to be a part of it.
Image taken from aliciagowans_wbffpro’s Instagram account.
Which supplements do you take while your prepping versus what you would take in your off season?
It changes at different phases. So whether or not I’m in a growth phase or a cutting phase I tap into different things.
My staples are always going to be things like Green Fusion, L-Leucine, Acetyl Carnitine (Alcar) and I always use Diindolylmethane (DIM) at different stages. And then I tap into WPI and I rotate that with Protein Matrix+ – which I love.
Then there’s also the goodies. Nothing beats the Protein Oats and Protein Pancakes. My off season is full of these! I love throwing them in different things that I make at home too. So I make a lot of raw treats and some naughty refuel sessions with some of these things.
And you can’t go wrong. It’s all clean, it’s all pure, there’s no fillers, there’s no rubbish and that’s why all of my athletes are always programmed on Bulk Nutrients. It’s the only supplement company I’ve used for the last six years now.
Do you have alcohol in the off season and is there a time limit as to when you should have it?
Yes, there definitely is. As I’m an all round athlete, I don’t really have much of an off season. I have developmental stages and improvement seasons and in that there’s some flexibility.
Post show I will 100% relax with my partner and we’ll have some downtime and that’ll involve some dinners out, some cheese and red wine and we might go to a show or to the movies and just enjoy a couple of drinks, but it’s never anything crazy. I’m not a big drinker anymore, but I will let my hair down from time to time and when I do it’s totally dependent on when my next show is.
I’m not someone who drinks during prep. The minute I start my prep, that’s it, it’s game on. I’m all hands on deck, 100% focused on what I’m doing and the goal, which for me now is worlds in London in about three months. So no more alcohol for me, but I did relax post LA, so I definitely got to celebrate.
Where to from here?
Worlds! I’ll be over in London in August for the UK world championships and fingers crossed we come home with more domination on all the Aussie stages!