I fell in love with fitness in 2010 after I won the overall in bikini at my very first NPC show. I had a background in pageants and modelling, yet never realized my love for lifting weights and living a truly "clean" lifestyle until I began competing. My brother, Aaron Orton (NPC Bodybuilder and owner of Genuine Fitness, LLC) saw potential in me and convinced me to compete after I graduated. Previous to competing, I received conjoining degrees at the University of Oregon in Economics and business administration with a focus in finance and was a first time homeowner at the age of 19. My career direction drastically changed when I realized my strong passion for the fitness and health industry and have since then made it my everyday life as a full time personal trainer, nutrition/prep coach, posing instructor, endorsed athlete and fitness model.
Honestly my motivation comes from the people around me. My clients, my followers, my "fans". I see how hard people around me work because they feed off of my personal desire to achieve and it motivates me even more. The initial motivation has to come from within though. You have to want something so bad you won't let anything stop you. You have to BELIEVE in your goals and chase them for you, nobody else. They have to be your desires, wants, and beliefs. Eventually these actions turn into habits. And you no longer need "motivation" per say, because the actions to achieve your goals are part of your daily routine. I can honestly say I am completely addicted to fitness. I LOVE working out. It’s like brushing my teeth. I don’t think about it anymore, I just do it.
I implement a lot of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with things such as sprints and plyometrics. Closer to show time I add in moderate intensity, longer duration cardio. For my longer duration sessions I typically choose incline walking or cycling.
I do! I love lean ground turkey cooked with sautéed onions and mushrooms. I then mix this up with eggplant hummus and hot sauce and place on top of either brown rice or salad. Its delicious and one of my favorite meals ;)
My diet changes everyday. I am a big fan of variety in the diet- even when prepping. I base my food choices off of macros, rather than calories. My basic sources include:
Proteins: Chicken, Cod, Egg Whites, Whey Protein
Carbs: Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Ezekiel Bread, Sweet Potato
Fats: Peanut Butter, Almonds, Avocado, and fats from occasional Red Meat/Eggs
PB2 saves my life! That and Walden Farms products like the chocolate syrup! Also, chocolate rice cakes with cottage cheese and cocoa almonds are some of my favorite snacks.
I love lifting shoulders and glutes. So that being said, Arnold presses, cable lateral raises, and free-bar squats ;)
Most definitely! I have to rock out to jams while training! I mix it up depending on my mood. I like Pandora because it’s always different. Some of my favorite Pandora stations are Calvin Harris, Skrillex, Kings of Leon, Nelly, 2Pac, and Beyonce.
My sets typically consist of 3 sets, 12-15 reps. I will increase my sets to 4-5 when trying to build specific areas however. My training schedule typically goes something like this:
60 minute lift- Back & Bis. Followed by 60 minutes of moderate intensity cardio.
45 minutes- Abs. Followed by 45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio.
60 minute lift- Legs (Primary focus- Glutes and hamstrings) followed by 20-30 minutes HIIT sprints.
Thursday: Rest Day.
60-minute lift- Shoulders & Tris. Followed by 45 minutes step-mill.
45 minute lift- Legs (Primary focus- Glutes/quads) followed by 20-30 minutes HIIT sprints.
Sunday: Rest Day.
Typically my goals are based on timeline and weeks out from a show. I compete in about 3-4 shows per year. So my goals for weight and bf% are based on my timeline and where my body composition is at versus the weeks out from show. I do believe it is very important to set goals regardless of competition though. Goals keep us accountable and let us wake up striving for something everyday. Accountability is key in reaching goals- both long term and short term.
I am honestly most proud of my personal growth through all the hardships I have experienced in life. I feel I am in the best mental space as far as finding balance and feel healthy and happy in all aspects. It took a lot of ups and downs, life experiences, and personal growth to get to where I am at today, but looking back my past has shaped me and molded me to be exactly where I am at today. I have found a career in which I am truthfully passionate about, a healthy balance between competing and loving fitness for fun, a balance for life outside of the gym- not just in it, and I can honestly say I am the happiest I have ever been. So all in all, I am most proud that I never lost hope and kept moving forward, through all the hardships to find true happiness in life.
Most definitely. Life is always going to throw "obstacles" in the way. I've experienced many hardships while trying to compete, including financial hardships, relationship problems, losing friends, and more. I would say the most memorable hardship came during my very first show prep. I was laid off from my job about 10 weeks out from my first show. My first reaction was that I would never be able to afford training, food, and supplements and the easiest thing would have been to throw in the towel. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized if I really wanted it I would find a way to make it work, plus I would have all day to workout, haha. So I decided to try and compete anyways and ended up putting some of the show expenses on a credit card. I thought to myself, I am either an idiot or someday this is all going to pay off. Fast forward three years and I now have 6 sponsors, was ranked #1 on the NPC National Bikini Rankings, and have been blessed to be very successful with my personal training business. Moral of the story- if you truthfully believe in your goals and don’t let anything stand in your way, they WILL pay off ;)
I have weekly bodyfat updates with my brother. I also use visual aesthetics rather than scale weight as check in factors for myself.
My favorite fitness models are Lori Harder and Emily Sky. Lori is someone I have admired since the first time I ever picked up a fitness magazine and saw her on the cover. She has been a great influence in my life, as I have been fortunate to get to know her and she is a great person as well. I admire the fact that she is so down to earth and real through all her success. Emily Sky is just hands down beautiful, so I have to appreciate her for just being gorgeous haha.
I use a variety of supplements. The basics I would recommend are a multi-vitamin, CLA, Green Tea extract, Vitamin C, BCAAs, Glutamine, Vitamin D3, Fish oil/Omegas, digestive enzymes/probiotics, and L-Carnitine.
Amber Dawn Orton
Year of birth: 1986
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Amber Dawn Orton- National Level Bikini Competitor/Fitness Model