Interview with Abby Pollock a.k.a @ampollo



Age: 20

Weight: 125 lbs

Height: 5’7″

What got you started in the fitness lifestyle?

Health and fitness have always been a part of my life. I grew up playing competitive sports and living in a house where the “dirtiest” food I could get my hands on was an organic version of fruit roll-ups (let’s be real, it was rolled up fruit leather). Figure skating had been my main focus until first-year university when my school schedule started to get a little crazy. Skating was taking up too much time and left me feeling stressed out!

I stopped skating in Fall 2012 and started lifting weights and making more conscious food choices in December 2012. I was seeing changes in my body that I never thought possible…a butt?! Curves? My lifestyle changed to let me fill the void left by quitting skating, while balancing the demands of studying engineering full time.


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Where does your motivation come from?

I strive to continuously challenge myself in all aspects of life. I like juggling school, fitness, and my personal life, along with their respective goals. Now and then, I feel overwhelmed or unsure of exactly where I’m going, but I refuse settle for mediocre so keep moving forward. To me, nothing is more satisfying than achieving my goals and then going on to pursue even greater challenges. It’s the struggle that motivates me.

What are your next goals?

My main focus for the next few years is on working towards my IFBB pro card. This summer I will be competing in the Canadian IFBB International Events Qualifier and aiming to place top five so I can compete internationally at the amateur level.

Outside of competing, I’d like to continue inspiring others with my sustainable lifestyle. I have never felt happier with myself than I do now and I’d love to share this. I see competitions as single-day celebrations of this newfound way of life; the way I feel is the real reward.


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What is your training routine like?

Right now, I am in prep so my training is different from when I’m trying to gain muscle. My main focus is on improving the conditioning of my backside to match the front, particularly in my legs and glutes. We decided to do a longer prep this time with NO cardio since my metabolism is a little rocket and will do wild things when given a substantial calorie/carb deficit (AKA goodbye legs and booty). “We” is my two coaches and I. I am a part of team A Healthy Fit, where Pamela Fitzgerald and Julia Karantjas do all of my competition prep: nutrition, posing, progress pictures, training.

I train on an alternating light/heavy cycle with a rest day every three days. For example, I’ll do heavy chest and tris, light legs, heavy back and bis, and then take a rest day before I start the next cycle. I was hesitant to make the switch to this style of training but it has allowed for enough rest time and no cardio. My favorite exercises are variations of more standard ones that my coach has made up. We do a lot of work with different planes of motion, resistance profiles, and timing. I knew she was a keeper when she got nerdy on our first session together and started talking about the moment arms in my stiff-legged deadlifts!

Have you had to overcome any obstacles to get where you are today?

Definitely! Time-management has been the most substantial ongoing obstacle I’ve faced. Since starting this lifestyle I have become a much more purpose-driven person. Every action I take is with my goals in mind. Having less time has forced me to eliminate the non-valued added experiences from my life. If a situation is not benefitting me, whether its a relationship or activity, I feel free to take it or leave it. I now realize what I am capable of and that I am responsible for creating my success whether bodybuilding-related, or otherwise.


Abby Pollock 2


What’s your preferred form of cardio?

I very rarely have cardio in my plan. Instead, we get my heart rate up by reducing rest times and working supersets into my training. However, when I do have cardio, I like HIIT on the Stairmaster and circuit/obstacle course training. The Stairmaster is great because I can play around with different step timing, distance, direction, emphasis…you get the idea. I like to dance on the Stairmaster. By obstacle course training, think military or Spartan race style courses. I did a few Spartan races last summer and loved how they included tests of both endurance and strength in their courses.

What does your diet consist of?

My diet consists of whole foods to fuel my body. I eat A LOT of tilapia, veggies, and complex carbs. This isn’t to say that other foods are “off-limits”…I just prefer these. How can you say no to tilapia with mustard and basil!? I could eat a whole baking sheet of that!

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It’s no secret that I love food. I have mad food feels for ribs, nut butters, and dense chocolatey goods. While eating these things all the time would make me very happy, it doesn’t align with my goals or what my body needs. I have these treats when they work, but am perfectly content without them. It’s what you do consistently that will get you to your goals.

I don’t take any fancy supplements; basic vitamin stack, some digestive support pills, and protein. My favorite protein powder is A Healthy Fit whey. It’s the cleanest one I’ve found yet and the only whey that hasn’t bloated me. No bloat means I can keep my chocolate shakes right up until competition!

Do you bulk/cut or stay lean all year?

I don’t think of my year as cycles of bulking/cutting or on/off seasons, rather I consider myself to always be in prep. Throughout the year, my goals change and I will be preparing for different things. When competition season is over, we adjust my plans to support muscle growth. I find it important to stay relatively lean during progress season because it makes it much easier to track how your body is changing.

This is a lifestyle for me. I like the way that wholesome foods and working out make me feel. I like consistently working towards my goals and so I do this regardless of whether a show is approaching or not.

Do you listen to music while working out?

Always. I turn up the bass and zone into my weights. I like hardstyle, trap, or anything with deep bass. My current workout playlist includes RL Grime, Diplo, Martin Garrix, and Benny Benassi.

What are you most proud of?

My proudest accomplishment was the package I brought to Natural Ontarios. I did not starve myself during prep, nor did I do hours of cardio. I was eating ample carbs (even my oats!) and drinking water throughout peak week and then brought my hardest, tightest package yet. I challenged myself to be 100% committed to my goals and hold nothing back.

The package I achieved reinforced what a positive impact bodybuilding has made on my life. My mindset is much more confident, independent, and stronger than it has ever been before. I no longer shy away from the goals that scare me. I set my sights high and dedicate myself 100% to what I want to achieve.




Any tips for readers who want to get a physique like yours?

Do your research! This applies regardless of whether you’re hiring a coach or not. Before making any significant changes to your life, set goals, figure out what it will take to achieve them, and don’t settle for any bro science or facts without evidence. A lot of people will blindly follow fad diets or training plans. Stop the mindless movement and move with purpose towards your goals! If you are consistent and make adaptations based on how your body is reacting, then you will reach your goals.

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