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Ashley K is the best Bikini pro of all time with the MOST pro wins of ANY IFBB pro. Bottom line – she’s still going, and winning.

By Giles “Tiger” Thomas

When this feature was initially put to me, the angle was to feature IFBB Bikini pro “Ashley K” (as she is perhaps best known) as the new record holder for the amount of all-time wins by any IFBB Pro League professional. As myself and MD “Buff Bombshell Show” host Lauren Lotter provided (Bucharest, last November) the livestream commentary at the Romania Muscle Fest for Jake Wood and Alina Popa in November (2021), we witnessed 2008 Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson’s record of a whopping 29 pro wins be taken out by Ashley with the winning of her 30th pro event. But some bodybuilding fans might raise an eyebrow at that. “You can’t compare men’s open pro bodybuilding to BIKINI!” they might yell. OK, fine, I get it, but hear me out on this, and I’ll tell you why this is actually so significant, and – well – bloody impressive. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Pro Bikini hasn’t been around as long as men’s open bodybuilding. The Mr. Olympia started its first year back in 1965. When Joe and Ben Weider formed the IFBB Amateur League internationally and after Joe’s wife, Betty, suggested the name for the ultimate bodybuilding event (to decide who really was THE best in the world) by spotting the name “Olympia” on a bottle of beer, the IFBB Pro League as we now know it to this day, was – effectively – born. So, for 57 years, the guys have had a stage – and a home – to display their world-beating pro physiques. Bikini did not even form as an Olympia category until 2010 when the then 18-year-old Nicole Nagrani took home the equivalent of the Sandow and consequent right to call herself THE best Bikini Pro on the planet.

2. Dexter has had longer to scoop up his wins – 29 wins – as well as a Mr. Olympia title in 2008; not bad. But leading on from point “one” above, Dexter took 18 years to accumulate his golds as an IFBB pro. In 2002, I witnessed him win his very first pro show at the British Grand Prix in Manchester, where he beat Dennis James (second) and Chris Cormier (third) to begin what was to become a further 18 years of competing until he competed in – and then announced his retirement – on stage at the 2020 Mr. Olympia. Ashley won hers over a far shorter 12-year time span.

3. The Bikini pro look has changed a LOT over the past 12 years. Something else that indicates the impressiveness of Ashley’s run of CONTINUAL domination. Any of you that have followed the evolution of Bikini will know just how much it has changed. A simple glance of the winner timeline from the very beginning of Bikini – to the present day – will see that a LOT has changed. In 2010 with Nicole Nagrani, to the more muscular look of Brazilian Nathalia Melo when she became Olympia champion in 2012, up to the varying looks of 2020 winner Janet Layug and even the current “world” champ Jennifer Dorie, the bodies literally hop from one look to the next just about every single year. Ashley has had to continually evolve, even as she retired in 2017, to then come back in 2018 with an all-new look that indicated she was paying close attention to the category. Adapting like this, when many others faded away. That’s impressive.

4. Bikini judging is more subjective. When comparing men’s bodybuilding to Bikini, I mean. Even though the night and day look is different from (for example) 2018 Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhoden, to that of current Mr. “O” Big Ramy, the judging criteria has – for decades – been pretty clear cut. Very little has changed in that respect and it’s the evolution of all the men’s bodybuilding in that, since Lee Haney in the ‘80s (Mr. Olympia 1984-1991), then Dorian Yates (1992-1997) and then Ronnie Coleman (1998-2005), the guys got bigger and heavier, yes, but the standards to which they were held to with their physiques, remained consistent. Bikini, in just over one single decade has changed drastically – and Ashley adapted accordingly, amazingly well. 

5. Would we ever see a Bikini lady competing for as long as the men? I’ll keep this one pretty succinct. Dexter Jackson was competing – successfully – up until he was over 50 years old. Would a Bikini pro be able to do the same? Would they even be able to still be winning at 40? I’ll answer that. No, it doesn’t happen. Ever. Sorry. Bikini competition isn’t really a division for the long haul; names (ladies in their 20s mainly) rise to the top and hold it for two to three years at the Olympias. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Go to another Olympia just two years later and 90 percent of the ladies are completely different. Yet another reason just why Ashley K is the best Bikini pro of all time with the MOST pro wins of ANY IFBB pro. Bottom line – she’s still going, and winning. In her own words that she spoke every single day of her Olympia All-Star Tour (Romania, UK and Spain) in November 2021: “I’m just getting started, guys.”

Let’s go rock it!’

Excerpt from Ashley’s in-studio interview with MD’s “Buff Bombshell” host Lauren Lotter in the UK (Season 3, Episode 9, out on MD’s YouTube channel) whilst on her Olympia All-Star Tour (three countries in two weeks, and the tour bookended with another win in Romania and runner-up in Alicante, Spain at the Big Man Weekend).

Lauren: How does it feel making history by winning your 30th pro show, Ashley?

Ashley: I’m shocked! Because here’s the thing. When I first turned pro, I guess my ultimate goal was to win one show and I thought that would be the pinnacle – and maybe after a few years I could scoop up one show win and “maybe” qualify for the Olympia. My expectations were not that high at all, I guess; I just wanted to win just ONE pro show, one day. And in Romania, I just did, times 30!


Lauren: So you’ve now surpassed the likes of Dorian Yates and Ronnie Coleman and Dexter Jackson!

Ashley: (Cuts in) However! I will say! Apples and oranges guys, because I realize it’s a hundred times harder for a bodybuilder to do that than a Bikini competitor, so I have to give props where props are due for the gentleman, because a Bikini competitor can maintain a lot longer, just like I did in all 2021.

Lauren: I do agree, Ashley, but the only thing with Bikini is: the look changes, right?

Ashley: There is an ever-changing look, yes, or it becomes more subjective in that it can be “anybody’s game” kind of deal, so I guess when you factor that all in, but still, it is MUCH harder to prep for a bodybuilding show.

Lauren: How do you feel your competition preps have changed from when you started, to now?

Ashley: Back, a few years ago, it wasn’t like it is now. I feel like it was much more “bro-science” bodybuilder-type preps. It was more hardcore, like going for those myths of say, “bulking” in the off-season. So, when my off-season came, I thought “time to put on some fat” so I could actually gain muscle – and I soon realized that that is NOT how it goes, as we certainly know now. I guess we’re much more wise to that nowadays. But, back then it really was more that more old-school type bodybuilder type prep for Bikini, which doesn’t make any sense reflecting on it now. I guess back then when it started, there just wasn’t much knowledge or information back in the day, you know?


Lauren: Do you feel that nowadays the whole “bulking” approach for Bikini is completely out?

Ashley: (Laughs) Let’s face it, it’s just an excuse for you to eat exactly what you want. Fat doesn’t necessarily equal muscle. Although I do get we can’t be stage lean ALL year round, I realize that. But for me, I like to set an off-season limit of just 10 pounds over my stage weight. I think that’s pretty fair for most girls, although it can vary depending how tall the girl is too.


Lauren: So, Ashley, in Romania, we got to witness history seeing your 30th pro win. How cool is that?

Ashley: You know, what I said up there to the emcee after I won, what’s cool is that you’d think, “ahh, 30 wins, it’s like ‘whatever’” now, NO! It literally feels like my first win every single time, even if it’s say a smaller show than the Olympia or Arnold. It doesn’t matter and that feeling is still the same – and I never expect that either. I also never expect to go in and win, even if it is a smaller show and I think that’s why I have been able to go at this for so long competing in pro Bikini, because I don’t set that expectation for myself, because I feel when you expect that out of yourself and you then assume you’re going to win – and you don’t? That’s a disappointment, and that’s when you get discouraged. But if you go into it and you’re like “you know what, ‘hey’ I gave it my all, I’m really proud of my physique and I feel good about this, give it my all, enjoy every second of it and we’ll see what happens at the end of the day, if I win, then that’s the icing on the cake.” Because in Bikini, it can be anybody’s game on any given day, so I keep that mindset always and remain proud of my physique and tell myself each time, “So let’s go rock it!”


Guys, She Did It Again …

As stated in the opening paragraph of this feature, the article was to focus on her record 30th pro win. But, at time of writing, yep, she’s won, again! At the Musclecontest in her hometown of Las Vegas. So, yeah, scratch that “30th Pro Win” working title and replace it with “The Unstoppable One wins 31!”


Ashley’s 31 Show Wins 

IFBB Powerhouse Classic
Toronto Pro Show (Canada)
Bikini Olympia
Sheru Classic (India)

Arnold Classic (USA)
Arnold Classic Australia
New Zealand Pro Show
Toronto Pro Show (Canada)
Bikini Olympia
IFBB Russia Pro (Russia)

Arnold Classic USA
Bikini Olympia
Korea Grand Prix (South Korea)
Nordic Pro (Finland)

No wins

Took this year off (eating Snickers bars for breakfast, Ashley told us)

Denver Mile High
Vancouver Pro (Canada)
Battle in the Desert

Denver Mile High
Northern California Championship

World Klash Pro Bikini
Battle in the Desert
Pacific USA

Wasatch Warrior
Pittsburgh Pro Show
California Night of Champions
Denver Mile High
Clash of the Titanz
Patriots Challenge
Texas Pro Show
Romania Muscle Fest

Legends Classic

Screen Shot 2022 03 28 at 1.28.17 PM

Instagram @ashleykfit

Twitter @AshleyKfit

YouTube: Ashley Kaltwasser

Facebook @BikiniProAshley

Ashley Kaltwasser, who has the most pro wins of any IFBB pro, is a Team Hi-Tech athlete sponsored by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit

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Title: Ashley Kaltwasser: The G.O.A.T. of Bikini
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Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs



Powerful and thick thighs require gut-busting exercises like squats and leg presses. However, once you have acquired adequate thigh mass and strength, you should consider adding some balance and sharpness to the muscle bellies in your thighs. Although tough to accomplish, leg extensions provide a great way to carve the separations between the muscle bellies, and to accentuate the “teardrop” shape of the four quadriceps muscles of the anterior thigh.

Active Muscles in Leg Extensions

The three vasti muscles comprise most of the anterior thigh.1 The vastus medialis covers the medial (inner) part of the femur bone (thigh bone). When it is well developed, it forms a teardrop-like shape over the medial side of the knee joint. The vastus lateralis muscle attaches to the lateral (outer) part of the femur bone. The vastus intermedius connects to the femur bone between the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis muscles. The fibers of all three vasti muscles come together at the quadriceps tendon, which crosses the patella (kneecap) to attach to the tibia bone just below the knee.1

Together, the three vasti muscles extend the leg at the knee joint, although the vastus intermedius may be more fatigue resistant than the vastus lateralis.2 The vastus medialis oblique (VMO), which is a small part of the vastus medialis muscle, attaches to the medial part of the patella. It is thought to help the patella track properly during movement of the knee. Improper tracking can increase the likelihood for knee injury.

The vastus medialis and especially the VMO part of this muscle are primarily responsible for tibial rotation (rotation of the tibia bone of the lower leg on the femur) during knee extension. This rotation or “twist” has been shown to increase the activation of the VMO portion of the vastus lateralis even more than doing knee extensions with the hip adducted (thigh rotated so that the medial portion of the knee is facing mostly upwards).3 Dorsiflexion of the foot (moving the ankles so the toes are pointing towards your head) also increases the activation of the VMO by more than 20 percent.4 Likely this is because the dorsiflexor muscles stabilize the tibia during knee flexion and resist rotation of the tibia on the femur as the knee straightens.

The fourth muscle of the quadriceps group is the rectus femoris muscle. It attaches to the anterior part of the hip bone just above the hip joint.1 The largest bulk of the muscle fibers are located on the upper three-quarters of the thigh, whereas the largest belly of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis are more inferior (i.e., closer to the knee). The distal end of the rectus femoris muscle becomes tendinous and it creates a deep valley between the lateral and medial vastus muscles as it approaches the knee.1 It assists the other quadriceps muscles by extending the leg at the knee joint, although it is less effective when the hip is flexed than if it is straight.

Leg Extensions

The three vastus muscles of the anterior thigh are strongly activated by single-leg knee extensions. The rectus femoris is not activated as strongly, but it does undergo some overload when the anterior thigh is under contractile effort, about halfway up to the top of each repetition.

1. You should always warm up your knees with some stationary cycling prior to getting into leg extensions. Furthermore, the resistance on your first set should be fairly light to allow the joint to fully warm up before you get to the heavier stuff.

2. Adjust the knee extension machine so that the pivot point of the lifting arm is directly adjacent to the center of the side of your knee joint.

3. Position the ankle roller/leg pad over the lower part of the leg (above the ankle joint).

4. Take about three seconds to slowly extend (straighten) both leg so that the weight is lifted upward from the stack.

5. Continue upwards until the tibia and the femur bones form a straight line and the knee angle is straight. Hold this for two seconds at the top.

6. Slowly lower the weight (about four seconds down) towards the starting position. Once the knee has reached 90 degrees, start the upwards extension phase again. Continue for 12-15 repetitions for the first set. Lower the number of repetitions but increase the resistance for subsequent sets.

7. On the next sets, lift the weight upwards until the knee joint becomes almost straight, but just slightly short of a total knee lockout. Be careful that you do not “jam” the knee joint into a fully locked out position, because this could cause knee cartilage damage5, especially with heavy weights. Hold the top position for a count of three before lowering the weight.

8. Lower the weight slowly (four to five seconds) towards the starting position where your knee is flexed to 90 degrees. Just before the weight stack contacts the remaining plates at the bottom, start lifting it upward for the next repetition.

The downward movement should be slower than the upward phase because you are resisting the pull of gravity. The slow lowering of the weight stretches the muscle under a resistance and this is a great stimulus to improve muscle shape and size.6

Make sure that you do not hold your breath during the lift upwards.7 Rather take a breath at the bottom (start) of the lift, and exhale as you extend the knees/legs. Take another breath at the top and slowly exhale as the weight is lowered. Take another breath at the bottom and repeat the sequence.

This is a mechanically simply exercise, but it really can be very challenging and blood depriving8,9, especially if you try to control the weight as it is moving up and down. However, if you are willing to work through some discomfort, you will be soon enjoying your new shape and slabs of carved thighs.

GettyImages 674163248 600


1. Moore K.L. Clinically Orientated Anatomy. Third Edition. Williams & Willkins, Baltimore, 1995; pp 373-500.

2. Watanabe K, Akima H. Neuromuscular activation of vastus intermedius muscle during fatiguing exercise. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2010;20:661-666.

3. Stoutenberg M, Pluchino AP, Ma F et al. The impact of foot position on electromyographical activity of the superficial quadriceps muscles during leg extension. J Strength Cond Res 2005;19:931-938.

4. Coburn JW, Housh TJ, Cramer JT et al. Mechanomyographic and electromyographic responses of the vastus medialis muscle during isometric and concentric muscle actions. J Strength Cond Res 2005; 19:412-420.

5. Senter C, Hame SL. Biomechanical analysis of tibial torque and knee flexion angle: implications for understanding knee injury. Sports Med 2006;36:635-641.

6. Alway SE, Winchester PK, Davis ME et al. Regionalized adaptations and muscle fiber proliferation in stretch- induced enlargement. J Appl Physiol 1989;66:771-781.

7. Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2011;43:1334-1359.

8. Denis R, Bringard A, Perrey S. Vastus lateralis oxygenation dynamics during maximal fatiguing concentric and eccentric isokinetic muscle actions. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2011;21:276-282.

9. Ueda C, Kagaya A. Muscle reoxygenation difference between superficial and deep regions of the muscles during static knee extension. Adv Exp Med Biol 2010;662:329-334.

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PRIMAL Preworkout



Training hard and intensely is the only way to train – you can’t step into the gym in low gear or
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A Better Pump

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How to Use PRIMAL
30 minutes prior to training, consume 2 rounded scoops (20.3g) with 8-12 oz of water or your
favorite beverage. Users that are sensitive to stimulants should start off with 1 rounded scoop
(10.1g) to assess tolerance.

PRIMAL Preworkout

• Enhances energy and endurance†
• Supports muscle hydration†
• Supports intense focus†
• Contains AstraGin ® to support nutrient uptake†
• Contains Senactiv ® which helps the production of citrate synthase, an important enzyme that is
responsible for producing more ATP†
• Absorption and nutrient enhancers
• Great tasting, easy to mix

PRIMAL is a pre-workout that will power your performance and enable you to crush it every time you train.

For additional information, visit
†These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This product is not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Title: PRIMAL Preworkout
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