It is a dream for many Olympic weightlifters: to participate in the European Weightlfiting Championship! That dream came true for Crossmaxx athletes Rebecca and Belinda. They hopped on the plane to Tirana, Albania in May to throw a lot of kilos into the air. In this blog you can read about their experiences and preparations and they give advice for future European Championship candidates!
How do you look back on your EC experience and your result?
Rebecca: “This was in one word AWESOME! My dream has always been to be able to lift at a European Championship and this just happened, how cool! This was also my first real major international competition. I've lifted in France before, but Albania is still a different story. We also stayed at the athletes' hotel in Tirana and all the big names were walking around there. I was amazed and enjoyed the whole trip and not just the competition itself. The competition itself may have been the most exciting thing I've ever done in my life, but I'm all the more proud of myself for overcoming this fear. The numbers I lifted weren't quite the numbers I had in mind, but that just makes me hungrier for more. I finished with a 75kg snatch and a 95kg clean and jerk. I have also experienced the coaching and guidance from the NGB as very pleasant and I hope that there will be more international competitions in the future. In any case, this was an experience that you will never forget!”
Belinda: ”I really loved being a part of it. The atmosphere with the Dutch team was great, the atmosphere in the competition hall was also great. It felt nice to be able to perform on the podium at the European Championship.”
What is your favorite and least favorite exercise?
Rebecca: “My favorite parts to train are the main lifts and especially the snatch. This lift is so technical, many parts have to be right at the same time. You can't do it with strength alone. You have to be fast, explosive, powerful, technical and balanced in a split second. Even if you have years of weightlifting experience, there is always something to improve and that is what makes this sport so cool and beautiful. My least favorite part to work out is Bulgarian split squats and especially if it's for a lot of reps. It's a very good exercise, but I don't like it."
Belinda: “Hmmm good question. I started crossfit in 2013 and the last year I have been focussing more on lifting. Lifting is one of the nicest parts of crossfit and because there are weight classes in weightlifting, I don't have any disadvantage in this sport in being small and not that heavy.”
How did you approach your rest/nutrition and training in preparation for the European Championship?
Rebecca: “This was quite a challenge for me. In weightlifting you deal with weight classes and in February I weighed 62 kg. For this competition I was in the -64 weight class. At the European Championships, only two ladies per weight class per country can go and we were 3 ladies. Since I was also curious how I would perform and feel in a weight class higher, I "sacrificed" myself to move up a weight class. This meant that I had to bulk to -71 in 2 months. Together with Building Healthy bodies we started bulking in a healthy way for the European Championships. At the competition I weighed myself in at 68 kg. On the light side for a -71 year old, but satisfied with the bulk and it is also nice not to have to stress about my weight and whether I am not weighing too much.”
Belinda: “Food as clean as possible, so I didn't have to worry about whether 59kg worked out. I ended weighing 57., so that worked out very nicely. In terms of training, slightly less wods and more emphasis on weightlifting every workout. But mixed with some cardio haha I have to get rid of my energy!”
What advice would you give to athletes who also want to get into weightlifting competitively?
Rebecca: “Especially to enjoy the journey. And if you're a beginner, don't be afraid to enter a competition, there are plenty of accessible entry-level competitions. It is a very cool experience and you learn a lot about yourself. How you are in training after a competition, but also how you are as an athlete during the competition itself. These are often two completely different worlds, but all the more fun to get to know yourself from that side as well.”
Belinda: "I think a piece of advice to any athlete who wants to be competitive. Keep having fun, don't forget why you started in the first place. Competitions are fun, but you can't make a living out of them, so just enjoy the ride. Keep doing other fun things too. That is also important, don't give up on too much.”
What is your next goal?
Rebecca: “First we have the Dutch Weightlifting Championships final for teams planned in October. After that, I hope to do more international competitions to gain more experience on bigger podiums and to continue to grow as an athlete.”
Belinda: "Some fun crossfit competitions and also weightlifting competitions. Doing what makes me happy.”
Would you like to know more about Rebecca and Belinda? You can follow them on Instagram: