I saw Rebeka for the first time on All Things Gym Instagram picture. This picture stood out among others and stuck into my head like an embodiment of an ideal movement: strength, proper technique, beauty and grace - all in one.
I watched her career successes thereafter and I thought about her right away when I had an idea to invite one of top athletes to the training CAMP to Ukraine. And she came for two weeks, we noticed lots of things with regard to training process and personal attitude and I think it would be interesting to talk about it. Let's start!!!
So why weightlifting?
- Why? It started when I accompanied my classmate and I was only looking how it was to do weightlifting and what it actually was. And then I suddenly liked it. It wasn’t like I was looking for weightlifting for many years and only then I decided to go to weightlifting.
Love from the first sight?
- Maybe, yeah. And why? Because my dad works at a fitness gym and he used to do a bench press and I always accompanied him, all my childhood was spent at the gym. I already knew what weights were and I thought that maybe I could try and look how strong I was.
If not weightlifting, what sport would you choose?
- If I choose now, that would be mix fight.
Have you had any special weights in your life? Like for boys 100 kg is a special weight.
- Yeah, the same in my case - one hundred. And the funny thing is that first time i snatched 100 wasn’t from the ground like a normal snatch, it was from the knee, I lifted it up and moved to my knees and snatched. It’s interesting that I didn’t do a normal snatch for the first time lifting 100 but from the knee.
So for you is it easier from the floor or from the knee?
- It’s easier from the knee for me.
Who is your favorite weightlifter or an athlete that you admire?
- Well, I try to be myself in the weightlifting, but there are two weightlifters I like most of all: one is Lasha Talakhadze. I don’t only find him strong but also appreciate his technique. We were commenting with the coach the other day how incredible his Snatch was. And the lady is Lidiya Valentin, because I like her style, how she competes, how she does all the lifting.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
- I think it could be teleporting. Because I really don’t like traveling. When I have to go to competitions, I hate it so much to be sitting for 10-12 hours in the plane and there’s nothing to do. With teleporting it could be in a blink of an eye.
Do you face any difficulties as a female weightlifter?
- Oh yes, of course. In Latvia I train with boys only. That’s the first difficulty because they have different opinion and different thinking and it’s very difficult sometimes to live with them, to go to the training camps. It’s really hard because I’m the only girl and sometimes I want to talk with somebody but they don’t understand me, so that’s the biggest difficulty for me for now.
Do you have any mental blocks related to weightlifting or anything that makes you leave your comfort zone? Do you fight against them or just accept them? What happens?
- Sometimes trainings are very hard and I don’t want to do anything, I go away and feel like I don’t need anyone. Then I try to think why I’m doing this, why I need this and then I just sit down, breathe, relax, sometimes I also talk to my mom, so she helps me a lot and I just focus on good things and forget about the bad things.
How do you prepare mentally to the competitions?
- I don’t know. I just don’t think much about the weightlifting at the competition, just try to relax, watch stuff on the internet.
Your advice for beginners: go and lift or what?
- No, in my opinion, many beginners lack self-confidence. It is essential that they believe in themselves. They face first difficulties going to the PR and not lifting, but sometimes you have to go through something, you have to make some mistakes in order to understand everything, to work on it and then everything will be fine. You will achieve it consequently. I think the most important thing is to believe in oneself.
But champions. Are they afraid? Do they fail?
- They do.
Your favorite exercise, training exercise.
- I like Clean & Jerk and Squat, because these are the power exercises and I like to show my power, how strong I am. So yeah.
Comment on expectations vs reality regarding the camp, please.
- Ahhh… I wasn’t thinking about the camp very much because sometimes when we are too anxious, we may get disappointed afterwards. So I was like:” I think it will be fun, it will be good, okay!” And then I came here and it was really cool. So, I’m happy.
What’s your opinion about random people who came here to have fun, to learn something but are not professional athletes, they’re just people having other jobs but they want to be trained by professional athletes like you?
- I think that’s great because they experience and learn something new and I think this knowledge Alexey shares can only help them.
It must be a very common question indeed, but what is your current training schedule like?
- Well, my day starts with morning exercises at 7.45. It’s my first small training. Then we have breakfast, after we have about an hour of rest and at 10 o’clock we usually have our first training, we do more Snatch exercises, deadlifts, snatch pull, things like that. Then we have lunch and rest, we can sleep for a couple of hours and have a second training at 4 o’clock, then we do more Clean & Jerk exercises, also Clean and Pull, Deadlifts, Squat and other musculation exercises like Bench Press, Pull ups, etc. And three times a week we have evening trainings at 8 o’clock. We go to the stadium at summer time. If it’s winter time - we go to the gym and train indoors, do running, jumping, push ups, pull ups and stuff like that. Everyday is like this. We have morning exercises and two trainings from Monday to Saturday, plus these three days we have the evening trainings and Sunday we have stretching, it’s also when we improve the technique or something like that.
When are the days off?
- There are no days off.
Again - Warm Body and Cold Mind.
What do you think about the limited edition of WARM BODY COLD MIND t-shirt with your silhouette on it, inspired by Gregor Winter picture and thanks to which we gathered here?
- Cool! Let's do it!
And we've done it!!!!