👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Barbora Labidi and I am 32 years old. I am from Prague - this is capital of Czech Republic. I live here all my life but I am currently thinking about moving abroad. I am considering United Arab Emirates, Dubai or Abú Dhabí.
I studied and graduated in High School. I have always wanted to become a professional athlete so my next step was pretty clear: I went to study on University of Sports in Prague and I also did Certificate of Personal coaching for Bodybuilding and Fitness.
Unfortunately, i didn't finish my studies in t he University because of my personal problems, marriage with an Arab guy then divorce....
Then I decided to start working at the gym - at the reception at first and then as a manager and personal trainer. It has been always my dream.
I have done many sports in the past. I played tennis, football, I did karate, swimming, athletics, gymnastics, kickbox, but I love gym and lifting weights the most.
12 years ago when I was 20, I have started with powerlifting and competitions and then I continued to strongman sport, which is my big love and passion and I am sure, I will practise this sport as long as possible.
But my reason why I went to the gym at first was I wanted to loose some weight. .I have never been fat but after my divorce with husband, I stopped doing sports and I put on a little bit of weight. I was about 70 kg (without muscles) for my height 170 cm...So no disaster, but i must admit i was little bit overweight...
I started training with my friend but he gave it up very soon so I stayed alone but I immediately fell in love with this type of training. I wanted to make some good results with my body shape so I decided to hire a fitness coach.
I trained with him few months and Ii really lost some weight and put on some muscles so my body form changed quite much. I was satisfied with my results and my coach offered me possibility to try to compete in powerlifting - he said i was quite strong for a girl. I agreed and I started with competing in powerlifting.
I changed many coaches and clubs. I have always had a feeling they don't understand me and my body 100%.
My best results in powerlifting is winning of Czech national championship in 2011, 2013.
Then I met beautiful people at the gym where I started to go for training - as i moved to another part of the city - and they introduced me to the world of strongman sport. It was three years ago. I immediately loved this type of training and decided to change my training routines and I was also about competitions in strongwoman.
I must say when I started with this sport, I have done the biggest improvement in my strength disciplines, my PR in squat - 250 kg(550lb), bench press - 130kg(286lb), deadlift - 230kg(506lb).
I competed in strongwoman on Arnold Classic Barcelona 2019. I took 2nd place, I won title in Dubai 2019- Middle East strongest woman and I was 7th on Arnold World Championship in Columbus Ohio 2020 in March.
I love this sport and training. You must be very strong, you must train many disciplines. It is not only about squat, bench press and deadlift like in powerlifting but there are also disciplines like Super Yoke, Loglift, Axel, Atlas stones, Frame carry,Farmers walk, Cicus dumbbell...
You must be strong in general, fast, explosive, you must have good endurance, be motivated...
For me, the strongest guys in the world are in this sport and I appreciate all of these people so much!
My idol is Brian Shaw- 4th time World Strongest Man. I have met him on Arnold Classic in Barcelona for the first time and I have never seen such a huge, big guy so far! Unbelievable body! And he is so kind and nice and friendly, real champion for me!
I also like Eddie Hall, Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, Jerry Pritchett, J.F. Caron, Mateusz Kieslikowski...There are so many strong guys...
Unfortunately- unlike professional guys-men- in this sport- like Brian etc- who compete for price money and many of them have some sponsors, for women in this sport is very hard to get some sponsors because it is not so popular and commercial-sport...
I also don't have any sponsor so I must cover all expenses from my own pocket and it is not so easy.
So why I am doing it? Because I love it, this is my lifestyle, I have always wanted to be stronger and fitter than another people and I love challenges and want to see which level of strength i can reach, how much pounds I can lift, where is my limit.
I love competitions because I am too competitive and I want to compare my form and power with another women and I also want to beat everybody for sure!.
My dream simply has come true, I am not a professional athlete for making money from sports but I love what I am doing and I think this is the biggest victory in the world.
I also have other hobbies like travelling to the sea, listening music, watching films, going to the nature, eating. But honestly most of my time is about gym, training and preparing food.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I have my own philosophy about training methods but I've also tried many training plans like Sheiko, Fomin, Korte, Hattfield, Ivanov-especially when I did powerlifting.
Now I am in connection with professional strongman from Slovenia Matjaz Belsak who created plans for me before my competition in US at the Arnold World Championship and gave me many good advice and tips.
I wrote training log in the past but I did not continue it anymore.
I think, in general, there are some problems with training methods as everybody is different and no one can know your body better than you. You need some help from the beginning, for sure, but you should try to listen to your body like what is good for you, how your body reacts for different training, etc., and later you will know how to train but it will take a long time, of course.
I have tried and met many people at the gym who wanted to train me but not everybody has a Certificate of coaching can be useful and professional. It is also about experiences from your own training and not only about some "paper".
I need to train in some cycles, of course, especially before my competitions where I need to be good, prepared and the strongest - peak at right time.
After a competition, I need to relax and take it easy, lift light weights, do more cardio training, change programmes, do another sport like swimming, walking, and running.
I lift really heavy weights and I think the good time to start with training cycle before any big competition is about three to four months.
As time goes by, I change disciplines and try to train more main disciplines, which will be on competition.
I train four to five times per week, before my competition four times per week. The base of all is deadlift, squat, and pushpress.
I can not say exactly my training plan because it changes quite often as i don't want my body get used to some plan.
But I try to train split training so legs separately, then back, shoulders, chest, arms...
Difference is before my competition where I need to concentrate on my disciplines so I would reduce another exercises and replace them with disciplines on event.
Strongman training is very long and exhausting. I train usually about two to three hours and sometimes even more than three hours.
So I need to take with me some fast carbohydrates like bananas, energy drinks, grape sugar. And i need to drink protein drinks with BCAA after training for faster and better regeneration.
My fitness bag is always full of many stuffs. I have so many equipment like belts, shoes, chalk, special gas for sniffing, sleeves, straps, wax, wax removal, bands...
I compete in middleweight category MWW under 180 lbs so I need to be strict in food I eat. I keep high protein diet with some fat and carbohydrates.
If I need reduce my weight more, I'd simply reduce amount of carbohydrates. Nothing special. But it is true I try to be around this competition weight during whole year..
I don't like to keep any strict diet before my competition because I need to be strong and it is very hard to reduce weight without losing any muscles and power.
This is the difference between strongman sport and bodybuilding: We need to be strong, it is not about body shape. Many people don't know that.
I prefer to train alone or with somebody who can push me to better results. But it is not easy to find some good sparing partner especially for a woman in this sport...It is not so popular sport here in Czech republic, most of people don't know it
Also, I have a problem with finding a good gym where I can train strongman disciplines. We have one good gym but it is quite far away from my house -- more than one-hour by drive. But what to do.
I like all disciplines, I disliked training of benchpress and arms - biceps, triceps in the past. I wasn't good and strong enough in these disciplines. But I was focused on them and now it is much more better I think.
And which supplements do I use? Protein drinks, powder, BCAA, glutamin- amino acid for better and faster regeneration, some preworkouts sometimes and that´s it. But i really keep an eye on amount of proteins in my daily food. I need to build muscles and proteins are based of it.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
I think we all have sometimes bad mood, are tired, without energy and good mood and motivation to training. This is normal. People are quite lazy animals I think :) How can we overcome it? I think the most important is to have some goals where do you want to go, who do you want to become, you need to have some motivation - idols.
Then in bad times you will know why you want to go again to the gym, why you want to continue in hard training, you ave goal which you want to reach and nothing can stop you. This is very important and it doesn't matter what is it for goal - if it is winning of Arnold Classic in bodybuilding or strongman, become the best athlete of all the time, or just lose weight and feel fit.
No goal is better or worse than another on. Everybody has the right to choose what is important for him. Everybody is different and needs another type of motivation and pushing.
Some people are very strict and hard for themselves naturally, they don't need anybody to push them. Some people are more lazy and they need more motivation and maybe some control over them.
It is all ok!
All what we have to do is sit down, relax and really think deeply about our future and our journey. Where do you want to go? Who do you want to become? It should be clear goal- like i want to loose weight up to 80 kg, i want to win Arnold Classic, etc....
Then nothing can stop you, you know why you train, you know how much time you have- summer is coming and you have 2 months for weight loss. This is purpose why you do it.
So my advice? Relax, think about your journey, goals, watch some motivational videos. I have one favourite with Arnold Schwarzenegger, stick some posters with your idols on the wall in your house. Then you will have them in front of you every day, all the time.
This is motivation!
And also, you need to work hard! All is about hard work, you can not avoid it. Be positive and optimistic, visualise your goals, work your ass off!
We all have to be optimistic otherwise we will lose hope.
I have my idols like Brian Shaw and I know very well where i want to go - my goal is to win Arnold World Championship of strongwomen in MWW, become a professional strongwoman in open category and become World Strongest Woman!
I can not imagine my life without sport and training, this is my passion and nothing can stop me from reaching my goals!
I can also sort out what is important for me and make time for my training. All is about priority to you, what is really important and necessary, we all have time, we make the time!
I have had some bad time when I was also thinking about my future career in strongwoman I had very bad injury of my back and doctor told me it is quite dangerous for me to try to lift heavy weights again. It was spine injury- low back. I had to stop with training for almost one year. But i overcame it and i am back and stronger than ever!
I WILL WIN, NOT IMMEDIATELY BUT DEFINITELY!!!
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
My training sessions are very bad now due to Covid 19 pandemic, but it is everywhere in the world. Gyms are closed, so we have to stay at home and do some home workouts.
I am one month after my competition in US on Arnold World Championship where I took 7th place in MWW, so I should have lighter training sessions, I can't anyway to lift weights due to closed gyms so I do some workouts at home - pull ups, push ups, squats with bodyweight, jumping squats, sit ups, etc. I go running too.
I have already lost some weight but it is ok, I will come to the gym and be back and my body needs to recover from hard training before my competition in US.
My future goals are international competitions in US on Arnold in Columbus and also World Strongest Woman competition but nobody knows now when it will be due pandemic. So i have enough time for training and improving because I think competitions will be postponed for sure.
If I could start with my fitness training and career again i would definitely change my mind and i would try to avoid useless people who dint make anything good for me, I just wasted my precious time with them. But it is life. We all make some mistakes and this experiences were good for me.
My plans besides my strongwoman career are to be good person, work at the gym as a trainer, help and motivate people.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Recovery is very important for muscles and your body, brain. You should get enough to sleep and eat healthy and fresh food.
I sleep around eight hours but it depends on my work and my duties too. Sometimes it is less, sometimes it is more. But anyway, i love sleeping and relax!
I go swimming sometimes or to physiotherapists for massages. It helps me to recover my body and muscles. I take also BCAA and Glutamin for better regeneration from Czech Virus brand.
I think food and also positive thinking and mind is very important too! We have to relax, I like watching films or listening music- my favourite band is Linkin Park and singer Amy Winehouse. Stay focused, stay positive, optimistic, eat healthy, train smart - don't overtrain!
I have had very bad injury -spine injury- low back- it happened 1 week before my competition in powerlifting - Czech national championship. I squatted 240 kg just in sleeves and i felt big pain in my low back when i put barbel to the rack. I couldn't even walk!
Doctor told me I should stop with lifting heavy weights, otherwise I can stop forever. I was afraid of any back operation, but i knew i need to change my training for long time.
I stopped with lifting heavy weights for almost one year, I did many special exercises for low back, I had to go to massages, laser therapy, magnet therapy.
I had very bad time but i overcame it and I came back!
And I am stronger than before and i still continue in reaching my goals!
Train smart and don't be stupid as i was when you already feel some pain during your warm up, stop with lifting heavy weights!
It is better change exercise or do more reps with lighter weight or simply go home if you really don't feel good. If i did it that time, i wouldn't lose one year of training.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I need to be careful what I eat because i need to be under 180 lbs - around 81,6 kg on my competitions. I don't have so fast metabolism so I am careful of amount of carbohydrates - I reduce them. I keep high protein diet with some fat and less carbohydrates.
I am not a bodybuilder or fitness competitor so I don't have to be so lean as them. But I must weigh under 180 lb on weigh checking day.
I eat carbohydrates in the morning for breakfast and during training and also after it, but I avoid them in the evening.
I don't count calories in my food - i only try to eat much proteins. I already know how much i should eat..
I counted calories in my food when i competed in powerlifting in the past and i wanted to lose weight to some cathegory.
But then i lost power too.
Now i prefer to be strict during all year and keep the same weight, i also have cheat days but i dont specify which exact day it is.
I try to be smart about it, and i know what i can afford or not...
I love meat like chicken, beef, pork, vegetables, fruit, yogurts, eggs, rice, potatoes, pasta, bread. I have also intolerancy to gluten and lactose so I need to be careful of it.
I cook every day because i want to eat fresh food.
I don't drink alcohol at all but I love coffee.
I use protein powder drink- I love Weider brand
Sometimes I also eat protein bars if i don't have enough time to cook but I know it is not so good.
My advice to you is to be smart! Don't be so strict, enjoy life and food! iIt should be your lifestyle and not diet. But depends on you and your goals. If you are a professional bodybuilder, you have to be strict and lean as your competition is coming closer.
If you are strongman and you compete in open category - + 105kg(231 lb) - you can not keep same weight and strict diet.
I have never liked fastfood like McDonalds, etc. so I never go there. When I cheat, I like gluten-free cakes, much fruit - bananas, sometimes chocolate, and fat food like salami or cheese.
Supplements Mentioned by BarboraWeider
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
My biggest idol is Brian Shaw - professional strongman from US, 4th time World Strongest Man, more than two metres height and 200 kg weight in competitions. Huge big strong guy! I watch his videos on YouTube channel, I love him! Big inspiration for me!
Arnold Schwarzenegger is the best bodybuilder of all times for me and big motivation too! I love his motivational videos and he is so true!
I also like another professional strongmen Eddie Hall- UK, holder of deadlift record 500kg!!! and Hafthor Julius Bjornsson- from Iceland. He is the world strongest guy now. He also played in famous series Game of Thrones.
My woman´s motivation names Lidia Valentin- Spanish weightlifter. I simply love her! She has many medals from World championships and Olymic games too!
When I train, I like to listen music - favourite bands are Linkin Park or Rammstein. I love Rocky soundtracks too.
I think the best advice I have ever received is from Arnold Schwarzenegger- find your goals and specify them and work your ass off!
You can have the best ship in the world but if you don't know where are you going, you will never reach anything and you will get lost.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
If you want to start with the gym training, try to find somebody who can help you - some experienced friend who can train with you and can help you with plan, or hire good coach.
It will help you from the beginning and you will not loose your time. But you should be smart and try to find someone who is really well educated or experienced and can help you with right technique especially.
Open your eyes and watch another people in the gym - maybe there is someone who is good for you. Ask your friends, check coaches online, read reviews on them.
If you want to be strong and there is somebody at your gym who can lift heavy weghts, go to him and ask for help, advice. Don´t be shy!
Watch videos of professional athletes who have already reached some level, dont listen to people who only want to demotivate you!
Follow people who are successful in their sports, listen to them.
Train hard until your idols become your rivals!
Be careful of right technique, watch videos, try to find good coach or experienced sparing partner, train hard and be patient! Sometimes it is long journey but when you keep moving forward you will reach your goal in the end! And this is worthy!
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I work in the gym as a personal coach. I offer online coaching too. My specialty is building muscles and strength. I am one of the strongest women in the world in my weight category - under 180 lbs. My PR- squat- 250 kg, benchpress- 130kg, deadlift- 230 kg- all is RAW.
I am very professional and friendly, nice person. I trust in myself and my results. I am training more than 10 years at the gym.
I am personal trainer more than four years.
If you are interested in training with me, let me know. My email contact is: [email protected]
I compete on international competitions in strongwoman and I took 2nd place on Arnold Classic in Barcelona 2019, 1st place in Dubai Middle East strongest woman 2019 and 7th place on Arnold World Championship in Columbus Ohio 2020.
Many people ask me why I do this sport. They think this is sport for men. It is their opinion and i don't care of them. Especially guys have problem with my muscles- they think it is too much for a woman.
I think they just envy because I am stronger and bigger than most of them. I do what I love, it is my passion, i have my goals and nothing can stop me and i don't listen to jealous negative people.
Trust in yourself! Let your dreams come true!
If you do what you love, people can see it. There will always be negative people. Don't listen to them!
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
💬 Barbora Labidi quotes
Barbora shares some great, motivating insights in this interview. Feel free to share these quotes on your Instagram, Pinterest and so on 😍