Rósa Birgisdóttir – Rising Icelandic Strongwoman

Rósa Birgisdóttir Icelandic Rising Strongwoman
Rosa Deadlifting with Ease..

They say that the camera never lies, so when I came across photos of  Strongwoman Rosa Birgisdóttir and what she could lift, I knew we had to interview her as a “Rising Star”. And besides she seemed like a really nice person too….

Rósa Birgisdóttir Icelandic Rising Strongwoman
Rosa Deadlifting with Ease..

Phil Burgess:  How did you get into powerlifting and how long have you now been doing it for?

Rósa Birgisdóttir: I started by signing up for Iceland’s strongest woman  in the fall of 2010.

My friend and I went to see Gemma Magnusson, where she was training the girls for the strongwoman competition that year and joined them, it was a decicion that was taken in the spur of the moment.

In December 2010 I took part in my first powerlifting competition and started by setting an Icelandic record in the deadlift, completely untrained ,so to speak, then there was no turning back 😉

Phil Burgess: What are your best competition results so far and what titles do you currently hold?

Rósa Birgisdóttir:  I do not hold any titles at this time. My best results so far are two Icelandic records in deadlift 190 kg, and in benchpress 120 kg,  in +84 kg class.

I don´t know how my squat is since I have only competed in one full meet, with all three events. In march 2011 I squatted 125 kg, but I look forward to hopefully set a new Icelandic record in squat this March.

Phil Burgess: How have you placed in the Iceland’s Strongest Woman competition?

Iceland's Strongest Woman 2011
Iceland's Strongest Woman 2011

Rósa Birgisdóttir:  I have competed in ISW twice in 2010 and 2011, coming in at fourth place both times. I would like to compete in strongwoman events alot more, but I don’t think we have any other strongwoman comps here, other than ISW.

Phil Burgess: When you are not lifting weights what is your job?

Rósa Birgisdóttir:  I am a practical nurse, working at our local hospital. My job involves assisting people who are old and/or sick at home. I help them to be able to stay at home instead of a hospital.

Phil Burgess: Where do you live?, and what 3 places would you tell me to see and what 3 things would you suggest me to do?

Rósa Birgisdóttir:  I live in a small town called Stokkseyri. It is located on the south shore of Iceland.  Here we have around 400 people.

This is a difficult question….here in Iceland you have so many beautiful places.

The Blue Lagoon - Thermal Springs

You would have to see:

  1. The Blue Lagoon,
  2. The awesome mountains in Vestfirðir,
  3. The coastline here by my little town is pretty cool too.



In regards to things to do:

  1. Snowmobiling on a glacier sounds good.
  2. Walking around in nature on a warm (17 °C is warm haha) summer day
  3. Eating wild berries and enjoying the clear fresh air.
  4. Visit our great museums that tell us our Viking stories

Phil Burgess: Who has really inspired you in strength sports?

Rósa Birgisdóttir:  I get my inspiration from a lot of strongwoman competitors I know, for example my dear friend Þóra Þorsteinsdóttir.

Gemma Magnusson has inspired me alot and I thank her for letting me take part in ISW 2010. That was the beginning for me.

Also I have a good trainer who kicks me if I am not doing my thing 😉

Phil Burgess: What are your goals for 2012?

Rósa Birgisdóttir:  My goal is setting more records, and hopefully be nominated to go outside the country to compete in powerlifting for Iceland.

Phil Burgess: Which of the 3 lifts do you need to work the hardest on to improve?

Rósa Birgisdóttir: I believe I have to work hard on every lift, because my aim is to be the best, but as far as technique, I have to improve my squats.

Deadlift seems to be my thing, it has always ( for the past year hehe) been my strong side. The bench is coming in strong, but my squats need work.

Phil Burgess: Describe the gym where you train what sort of equipment do you use?

Rósa Birgisdóttir:  I train in a garage, 4 times a week, two hours at a time.

My trainer has a world record in deadlift. My training buddies are guys, but two times a week another girl comes and train with us, that is the only time I am in company with another female in training hahaha.

We have good quality equipment, and we have strongman/woman equipment.

Phil Burgess:  I have often wondered about my final question..In winter when it is dark for 24 hours does it make it harder to train with weights? How do you cope?

Rósa Birgisdóttir:  No it is not harder.  Being brought up in Iceland makes it so, that I don´t think about it being harder lifting weights during winter. This is my reality and I really do not think about it.

Rósa Birgisdóttir Icelandic Rising Strongwoman
A smiling Rosa 🙂

The coping technique is taking your vitamins, your “Lýsi” (an oil made from cod fat) and above all be positive.

Thank-you for your time and the team at Vikingstrength wish you all the best for 2012?

For other interviews with Strongwoman competitors check out our website.



Also checkout www.strongestwomanonline.com , a site lovingly put together by Gemma Magnusson and Jill Mills.