Meet Bikini Competitor and Magnum Athlete Sarah Ainsley Harrison. Sarah is a stunning beauty with a real flair for fashion. Find out what Sarah’s biggest challenge was when she first started training.
- Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
- Current Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 145lbs
- Age: 27
- Favorite Lift: Sumo Deadlifts or Hip Lifts
- Currently Reading: Think and Grow Rich
Websites and Social Media
Instagram: www.instagram.com/sarahainsleyh, Periscope: @SarahAinsleyH, SnapChat: @SarahAinsleyH
For those unfamiliar with you, can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got involved in the fitness industry?
I began fashion modeling, acting and participating in pageants in my teens. I also played varsity sports throughout school. I was a ‘girly’ girl and a tomboy! (Laughs) When I found bikini fitness competitions it was the perfect blend of my hard work and femininity!
Congratulations on your 2nd place win in the Canadian Bodybuilding Federation. What were some of the major changes if any that you prior to this competition?
I don’t believe in making major changes for competitions. I let my body fluctuate naturally through the season, but I try to avoid post-competition binges and pre-competition drastic cuts. I didn’t change a lot before Nationals; I just kept fine tuning what I had. In my first two bodybuilding competitions, I won 1st place, and my first two years at Nationals, I placed in the 1st call outs. Since my very first year, I have been told I’m almost ‘there’ and to be careful not to make too many changes. Some of the judges told me to come back ‘tighter,’ so this meant a longer prep, with more time for my skin to adjust to my thinner build. Now, it’s time to fine tune once again, and go back for the Pro Card that I am determined to achieve!
What’s the one thing you look forward to treating yourself to after a competition?
Waffles! I’m a waffle fiend. Waffles with real whipped cream and strawberries and maybe some powdered sugar. Also peanut butter anything is a winner. This year after Nationals, I made a big waffle with Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate spread; it was epic!
How did you get involved in modelling? Do you prefer fashion or fitness modelling, and why?
I prefer fitness modeling to fashion modeling in terms of the actual posing and prep. But I have to be honest, I miss the compensation of the fashion modeling industry. Professional fashion models get paid for most of their work, whereas ‘professional’ fitness models are in actuality most often the ones paying to be photographed instead of being paid. As a fashion model and network actress, I used to get paid for everything I did because it’s unionized. It’s been a strange adjustment for me to make.
Tell us about your recent move and your new job. And what does the future hold for you?
I recently moved back to Toronto and took a job at Vice President Marketing and Programming for a new All Women’s Fitness, Nutrition and Wellness Studio chain. I manage promotions and social media for the clubs, and I design programs and train all of the Activity Trainers and Nutritionists for all 360 active locations. As busy as that keeps me, I have a genuine passion for training others, and I am also an online coach. I maintain my online clients, but I no longer offer personal training in person for this chapter of my career.
How did you become involved with Magnum Nutraceuticals? And what do you love most about the company?
I started my relationship with Magnum right before Arnold International. I was going to represent Canada for the first time at a fitness competition and Magnum supported my journey. I have always loved their products and been an avid user, but now I am a part of the family! That’s what I love most about Magnum, we are truly a family; my teammates are so positive, respectful, and supportive of me and each member of the team. I recently had the pleasure of being a part of Team Magnum at the Olympia, and it was the experience of a lifetime! I am so inspired and uplifted by the wonderful people who make up this company.
What Magnum products are you currently using?
- 1 Packet Primer
- 3 Capsules CLA
- 1 Scoop Quattro (Vanilla Ice Cream)
- 1 Scoop G
- 1 Scoop Performance Greens
- 1 Scoop Hi5 (Fruit Punch with Mango Kicker)
- 1 Scoop Limitless (Black Cherry with Grape Kicker)
- 3 Capsules Volume
- 1 Scoop Opus (Orange Dreamsicle)
- 1 Scoop Hi5 (Strawberry with Cherry Kicker)
- 1 Scoop Quattro (Chocolate Peanut Butter Addiction)
- 1 Scoop G
- 4 Capsules Big C
- 4 Capsules G-Spring
- 1 Teaspoon Ascenta Skin Fish Oil (from another sponsor of mine)
Sarah’s Full Routine
Tuesday: Legs/Posterior Chain
- A1 Straight Legged Deadlifts 4 x 12
- B1 Sumo Deadlifts 4 x 10
- C1 Good Mornings 4 x 12
- D1 Leg Curls 4 x 10
- D2 Calf Extensions 4 x 15
- E1 Back Extensions (5 Second Isometric) 4 x 15
Wednesday: Back/Posterior Delts
- A1 Barbell Back Push 3 x 12
- A2 Cable Rows 3 x 12
- B1 Lat Pulldowns/Assisted Pull Ups 4 x 8
- C1 Barbell Bent-Over Rows 4 x 10
- C2 Pendlay Rows 4 x 10
- A1 Step Back Lunges 4 x 10ps
- A2 Step Ups 4 x 10ps
- B1 Heavy Barbell Back Loaded Squats 4 x 10
- B2 Moderate Dumbbell Front Loaded Squats 4 x 15
- C1 Leg Extensions 4 x 12
Friday: Chest/Anterior Delts
- A1 Incline Smith Machine Press 3 x 15
- B1 Oly Bar Bench Press 4 x 8
- C1 Incline Dumbbell Press 4 x 10
- C2 Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly’s 4 x 10
- D1 Standing Cable Chest Fly’s 4 x 10
- D2 Standing Arnold Press 4 x 10
- E1 Standing Front Raises 5 x 10
Saturday: Glutes (Isolated)
- A1 Pull-Throughs/Cable Deadlifts 4 x 12
- B1 Cable Kickbacks 4 x 12 (each side)
- C1 Oly Bar Hip Lifts 4 x 12
- D1 Smith Machine Bulgarian Split Squats (Using Stability Ball) 4 x 12 (each side)
- D2 Single Legged Deadlifts (Using Bosu Ball) 4 x 12 (each side)
- A1 Rotator Cuff Warm Ups 3 x 12
- B1 Standing Lateral Raises 4 x 10
- C1 Seated Arnold Press 4 x 12
- C1 Standing Barbell Curls 4 x 12
- D1 Seated Shoulder Press 4 x 10
- D2 Cable Extensions 4 x 10
What’s your favorite exercise for arms?
My favorite arm exercise is a tie between standing barbell bicep curls and cable tricep extensions. I like the constant tension of the cable for my triceps as it feels smoother on my elbows, and I like the standing curls for my biceps to increase the metabolic demand, as opposed to seated. And for a bonus, anterior delt work, I use a barbell with the elbows forward from shoulders.
Favorite shoulder exercise?
For my anterior and posterior delts, my favourite shoulder exercise is a tie between cable fly’s and reverse cable fly’s or lateral raises for my medial delts. I could do lateral raises all day long because, love that pump! Take some Magnum Volume and ‘boom!’
Sarah’s Typical Diet
- Meal 1: 1 Whole Egg, ½ Cup Egg Whites, ½ Cup Oats, and Magnum Stacked Protein Shake (1 Scoop Quattro, 1 Scoop G, 1 Scoop Performance Greens, 1 Scoop Hi5, 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk and ¼ Cup Frozen Fruit)
- Meal 2: (Fuel Foods) 5 Ounces Protein, ½ Cup Carbs, ½ Cup Vegetables
- Post Workout (Usually right before Meal 2 or 3) 1 Scoop Quattro and 1 Scoop G
- Meal 3: (Fuel Foods) 5 Ounces Protein, ½ Cup Carbs, ½ Cup Vegetables
- Meal 4: (Fuel Foods) 5 Ounces Protein, ½ Cup Carbs, ½ Cup Vegetables
- Meal 5: ½ Cup Greek Yogurt, ¼ Cup Crushed Almonds, 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon and ½ Scoop Quattro
For my Fuel Foods meals, I like to eat a variety of chicken, steak, fish, tofu, quinoa, sweet potatoes, green beans, kale, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.
What’s your favorite flavor of protein powder?
Vanilla Ice Cream! I am such a ‘vanilla’ person. I do love other flavours; I like variety, exotic, spicy and just about everything, but I ‘love’ vanilla and white chocolate ‘anything!’ Vanilla Ice Cream Quattro with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and ice is honestly like a vanilla milkshake!
What’s the one food you couldn’t live without?
I couldn’t live without eggs; they are such a staple in my diet! Eggs are easy, fast, tasty and healthy. In the height of contest prep they are my go-to filler. In my off season, I use them in my ‘treat’ meals to make eggy-waffles or crepes and home-made egg fried rice.
What was the biggest challenge when you first started training?
Diet is ‘the’ hardest part of training for a lean fit body. I love exercise, I love sleep, I try to keep my stress as reasonably low as possible, but I ‘love’ food and have a hard time confining myself to a strict diet. Flexible dieting is the best way I’ve found to keep my ‘sanity’ while dieting. And feeling more in control makes me cheat less. Now that Fuel Foods does my meal prep, I’m having a much easier time!
What’s your most memorable photo shoot or the funniest thing that’s happened on a photo shoot?
I recently shot with Ron Perron in a Ghost Town in the Nevada desert outside of Vegas, and throughout the shoot we had a drone flying back and forth overhead. Every time I went to the privacy of my changing area the drone flew closer to try to ‘sneak’ a peek. Ron and I both agreed, we’d wished we could have at least gotten the unreal behind the scenes footage from the overhead shots! (Laughs)
What are your hobbies and interests outside of the fitness industry?
My hobbies are playing recreational sports like volleyball and rugby, volunteering in my community in particular for women’s and children’s charities and acting on television and in films is a paying hobby of mine. My dog is also a very central part of my life; I love taking her to play and for walks, hikes and adventures.
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