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Olivia Reeves Interview (Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ Session)

Olivia Reeves, a talented weightlifter, recently hosted an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit, offering fans a look into her training routine, preparation for competitions, and life as an athlete.

Olivia, who has qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics with Team USA, set three American Records in Phuket this April and three Junior World Records in the 71-kg weight class at the 2023 Grand Prix. She started weightlifting through cross-training and found her coach, Steve Fauer, at a seminar hosted at her mom’s gym.

During the AMA session, Olivia discussed her structured training regimen, competition strategies, nutritional practices, recovery methods, and personal inspirations. She also shared her experiences and goals, providing valuable insights for weightlifting enthusiasts and aspiring athletes alike.

Let’s dive into the highlights of Olivia’s responses on our unique article.

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Training

Olivia’s training regimen is quite structured, focusing on lifting four times a week, specifically on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each session lasts about two hours and includes variations of snatch, clean and jerk, or squat.

She emphasizes the importance of consistency in her training routine since the beginning of her career, which she believes has contributed to the longevity of her career. Olivia’s training approach is not about rushing to train more, but rather about maintaining a consistent schedule.

Olivia Reeves setting World Record in C&J at IWF Weightlifting World Cup 2024

Asking about her favorite thing in weightlifting, Reeves answered that being strong and inspiring others to want to be strong as well is the thing, which makes her feel elevated. On the contrary, some fans asked Olivia who inspires her in weightlifting, and when did she start taking up this sport. Reeves answered:

“I started September 4th 2015, but I had been doing cross-training a while before so I knew what the snatch and clean and jerk were. After doing my first youth nationals in 2016 and going to the OTC for a training camp I committed to just lifting instead of functional fitness.”

Olivia told us that she gets inspired by different weightlifters, namely female ones who show each time their love for the sport and their dedication. They are Meredith Alwine, Sarah Robles, Jourdan Delacruz, Mary T-L, Taylor Wilkins, Emily Campbell, Koanda Solfrid, Mattie Rogers, Angie and Nesi Dajomes.

Speaking about the training details, e.g., extra exercises and workout regime, she admits that her favorite accessory movement is the shoulder press. However, she doesn’t do lots of accessories during the training. She adds that her favorite lift is Snatch during training and Clean & Jerk during the competition.

Some weightlifting devotees asked the American weightlifter why she started wearing a belt, Reeves said:

“I started using a belt because I needed to make heavier lifts. I needed a 140+ clean and jerk so to try something different we added a belt. I think it helped.”

Olivia’s favorite weightlifting memory connects to her first senior record and gold medal at her last competition in Thailand because she cleaned and jerked 150 kg.

Olivia Reeves setting World Record in C&J at IWF Weightlifting World Cup 2024

Lots of people noticed Olivia’s quick progress over the last couple of competitions. She said that the reason is consistency and love for the sport and competition. She also added:

“I don’t take time off after competitions, I’m usually right back in the gym ready to work for the next one. I enjoy what I’m doing, so it rarely feels like real work. And competing is the best part of showing how training is going (most times).”

She’s a very diligent and dedicated athlete who strives to improve her prior accomplishments in order to compete against other world-level weightlifters. That’s why she incorporates some brutal workouts into her routine, e.g. 80% of her maximum of 5 reps at 5 sets, or 85% 4×4 on back squats that feel really challenging.

Mental preparation

A psychological state is another essential aspect for weightlifters since they should feel confident and cool-headed while dealing with heavy weights and defeating their rivals. Each athlete should have specific ways to maintain their mental condition and enhance resilience.

Olivia believes that the mental aspect of lifting is just as important as the physical strength of an athlete. It is important to be able to perform in both competition and in training for any sport, not just in weightlifting. Being able to approach the bar the same way in competition as you do in training. Trusting yourself on autopilot is very important too.

Indeed, Olivia sounds and looks very confident inspiring other amateur athletes for further progress. Here’s a simple tip from Olivia:

“I just tell myself that I can make the lift and then it happens (disclaimer this does not work 100% of the time).”

A couple of others asked about her general mental management. We noticed that her mental game was amazing during the competition, so fans wanted to know what helped her most, e.g., specific rituals.

 “I’m a big believer in looking good = feeling good = doing good. I just try to treat warmpus as I do training and then it all seems to work itself out.”

Besides sports, Olivia Reeves is a full-time student who will graduate in December with a BA in sociology. She explained that having something to accomplish outside of weightlifting has always been important to her because she cannot be a weightlifter forever. 

Olivia Reeves in training hall at IWF Grand Prix II

Nutrition 

Weightlifters should control their nutrition regime to optimize their performance, support muscle recovery, and enhance overall condition. Many ask Olivia Reeves about her diet and which food she prefers to stay in a good physical form by maintaining perfect performance constantly.

On the day of the competition, she usually eats a meal before weighing in and lately, that has been whatever a hotel is serving. What about supplements, Olivia usually drinks an LMNT to maintain her electrolyte balance, or Pedialyte for fast rehydration and muscle support pre or post weigh-ins.

During the competition, she mixes a coffee (La Colombe hazelnut Draft Latte) with chocolate protein powder and sip on it after intros. She’s not a fan of pre-workout supples.

In between snatch and clean, she eats either rice crispy/gushers/gummies. Just a little something in between, but if she wants something specific, she brings it with her on training.

According to her favorite food, she likes Caesar salad with chicken or steak, or salmon. She also likes a good poke bowl with extra spicy mayo. And she never thinks about the calories, since she preserves the proper balance of nutrients with regular healthy food consumption.

We wondered how her diet changes during training vs the week of competition. She said that she is more aware of what she eats in preparation for competition, but because she sits 72/73 kg. She admitted that she isn’t too restricted in her eating habits, just more intentional about what she consumes.

An interesting fact: her favorite sandwich is anything with avocado and a runny egg.

Olivia Reeves at WWC 2023

Recovery

Recovery is another essential aspect for weightlifters to maintain properly. The thing is that after strength training, specifically after lifting weights, recovery is important for the muscle-building process. The body needs to repair the microtears that may occur in muscle fibers after intense training. The body always needs power renewal and energy restoration to become more effective and gain good results.

Let’s outline Olivia’s key points concerning her recovery plan that helps her to stay in proper physical and mental form.

Since weightlifting is a sport that involves dealing with heavy weights and vigorous explosive movements, it’s important to stay cautious and avoid injuries. Here’s the solution for Olivia Reeves to deal with this issue:

“I try to be proactive about my recovery because just doing the lifts alone won’t keep you healthy. I do hot yoga every week, acupuncture, and cupping every other week, and a sports massage once a month.”

Olympic Games

Olivia is rocking up onto the international arena in the 71-kg weight class by showing the best result of her career. Moreover, she defeated all three world record holders from China and Korea. Reeves improved her best Olympic ranking total by 6 kg, occurring on the first place with 268 kg in total.

She earlier said before the competition: 

“My goal is to get as close as I can to China, see what I can push there.”

Reeves found herself comfortable while leading the scoreboard by a 3-kilo margin ahead of her rivals. What’s more, this is the first time in history that an American female weightlifter succeeded in beating both China and North Korea contenders who are the world’s two most dominant weightlifting teams, by such a significant weight gap.

Concerning the qualification for the Olympics, she said it was definitely the goal in the beginning since going up against the other USA lifters in her weight class could be very intimidating. 

Being in high anticipation of the Paris Olympics, Olivia said that she’s looking forward to the Olympic experience of meeting other athletes, watching other sports, and living in the Olympic village.

Someone asked her about her maximum front squat and what she would like to hit in Paris. Reeves said that 173 kg is her best front squat result. And sure, she’d like to hit more than 118/150 in Paris.

Normal life

Let’s take mind of weightlifting itself and get to know some interesting things about Olivia’s day-to-day life.

Some avid fans wanted to know which other sport she would pursue if she wasn’t a lifter. Olivia said without any hesitation that cross-training is a perfect fit for her. This is what she was doing before she took up Olympic weightlifting. Although, she’s not very good at running, cardio, or anything to do with hand-eye coordination.

In her free time, she likes watching Olympic weightlifting meets. When she goes to international competitions, she goes to any session they have a USA lifter in or those that look really cool to watch. 

She likes when people watch her training sessions to support her, so she does the same: she tries to go to other lifters’ sessions to support them too.

What’s about social media, Reeves shares her thoughts:

“I don’t post a lot of my training because I don’t video a lot of my training. I’ll video a cool lift or something to send in for readiness, but the only other reason I would video is for my coach to look at the lift.

But he’s there in person; it just doesn’t really happen enough to post consistently. Plus my phone storage is constantly full and I have to offload apps sometimes to receive emails.”

She’s not a public, social media person, she thinks it takes too much time to arrange her social media profiles. However, she says that being able to market ourselves over social media is a great way to stay engaged with the people who support them and continue being an athlete.

By the way, besides sports-related content, Reeves does like watching ‘Interstellar’ , which is her favorite movie.

So, this time we delved deeply into the life of a promising USA team weightlifter Olivia Reeves who has great chances to bring America another win in the women’s 71-kg division.

As Olivia prepares to represent Team USA on the Olympic stage, we extend our best wishes for her success. Follow us for more updates on Olivia’s journey and other remarkable weightlifters.

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Tanya Shaiko

Author: Tanya Shaiko
News Editor, Olympic Lifting Enthusiast

Oly Lifting Experience: 6 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 61 kg,
C&J – 78 kg

I’m Tanya, and I just can’t do without fitness. About six years ago, I got into Olympic weightlifting and instantly fell in love with it. Weightlifting is like no other sport – it’s just you versus the bar. Driven by my unwavering passion for an active lifestyle, I’ve been eager to share my personal journey and sports enthusiasm with others. As a journalist and photographer, my interests come full circle, adding an extra dimension to the news column that I curate. This way, I keep my readers updated with the latest happenings in the sports world.

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