I have spoken to many strongwoman competitors, and every time I have asked who
the top strongwoman to interview would be, they all say without hesitation Jill Mills.
So here it is the interview with the Strongwoman’s Strongwoman
Phil Burgess: Originally you were a Bodybuilder, why did you make the move into strength competitions, such as Powerlifting and Strongwoman?
Jill Mills: I switched because I didn’t even know about Powerlifting when I was bodybuilding.
Once I went to my first meet I was hooked. I am all about function over appearance so the sport is very appealing to me. I get rewarded for exactly what I put into it..either I lift the weight or I don’t.
Bodybuilding is not a sport. It requires no athletic components to win. It is a human version of a dog show. Yes, it takes discipline and deprivation but those are not athletic qualities.
Phil Burgess: What were your best results in womans bodybuilding?
Jill Mills: I placed top 3 in all 4 of my comps.
I was competing when the freaky look was “in” and I just didn’t have it nor did I want it.
Phil Burgess: Which sport, Bodybuilding, Powerlifting or Strongman has given you the most joy?
I always teeter between powerlifting and strongwoman so I think they are tied.
I enjoy elements of each equally. Powerlifting is steady and progressive..very controlled.
Strongwoman requires several elements:
- speed and conditioning of track
- strength of a powerlifter
- muscle endurance for distance events
- lots of event skills
Any weakness will be revealed, in Strongwoman competitions…
Phil Burgess: What strongwoman event win are you the proudest of and why?
Jill Mills: Hmm..maybe the Conan’s Wheel. The first time I tried that event I was horrible. In fact, I didn’t know how to hold the pole and I almost blacked out.
I went home and had one built and practiced it until it became one of my best strongwoman events.
Phil Burgess: You were the IFSA Worlds Strongest Woman in 2001 and 2002, but you stopped competing in strongwoman
comps after 2004, why was this?
Jill Mills: I did not return because it became very political and much like being pimped by the promoters.
My prize for 1st was $5k. My expenses were about $5k.
I know they had big contracts and were being paid alot. They also started to play games and make it a pain for me to return. I wasn’t having fun anymore.
I got into Mountain Biking as it is a huge passion of mine as well as motorcycles.
Its not something I train seriously because strength training is still is my priority, but I do love to ride off road every chance I get.
I am an athlete and will always find new ways to challenge myself until the day I die.
Phil Burgess: Do you have any competitions plans this year?
Jill Mills: I am back in Powerlifting.
I was entered in RAW Unity this winter but suffered an injury on my opener. I am
healed now and back in training and I am going for a record pull this year.
I don’t think I can do raw anymore unfortunately.
I have too many old injuries that I need some joint protection for.
Phil Burgess: I see you are the promoter for the Shamrock Strength Showdown in March 2012, is this the first event you have promoted?
Jill Mills: It’s not my first contest but it is my first sanctioned big one.
It’s been 6 months of planning and alot of work and I have learned a lot!
I have had to:
- get sponsors
- arrange advertising
- organize the event
- get a logo drawn up
- pick out the awards,
- design t-shirts,
- get staff,
- get equipment built
and much much more…
I got into promoting events because I really want to help build the sport back in Texas.
I am a trainer and that is the kind of clientele I want to work with but I have to make the sport available if I want people to take an interest.
Phil Burgess: Tell us a bit about the Shamrock Strength Showdown event. What are the highlights?
Jill Mills: Its a two day event as part of the 9th annual motorcycle and Autorama weekend.
Saturday is NAS strongman/strongwoman and Sunday is RAW powerlifting and military adaptive strongman for our wounded warriors.
Phil Burgess: You have put a website together with Gemma Magnusson, www.strongestwomanonline.com, and your own clothing line. How did these two things come about?
Jill Mills: Facebook!
Gemma and I had met at a competition years ago and somehow we connected.
We began to discuss what the strongwoman sport needs to be successful, and out of that comes the website, which we are both heavily involved with.
Phil Burgess: How can the sport of strongwoman, be improved?
Jill Mills: I would make it truly an unbiased sport not persuaded by appearance
but purely by performance.
I would offer respectable prize money and sponsorship opportunities.
Phil Burgess: What are your best lifts in Powerlifting, in the Squat, Deadlift and Bench Press?
651-391-562=1609 @ 172lb.
This is with single ply bench and deadlift gear and double ply suit Titan suit.
Phil Burgess: If you could only use three bodybuilding supplements in addition to a nutritious diet what would they be?
Jill Mills: Whey protein, multivitamin and glucosamine
Phil Burgess: You are marooned on a Deserted Island, and you can choose five other strength athletes to be with you, who would they be?
- Heini Koivuniemi
- Shannon Hartnett
- Josee Morneau
- Amy Weisberger
- Gemma Magnusson
Phil Burgess: What’s the biggest mistake you made as a Strength Athlete?
Jill Mills: I would’ve taken better care of myself and given myself some time off
I would have thought more of my life after competition and taken more advantage of some of the opportunities I had to build my business for today.
Phil Burgess: Finally, what is the funniest thing you have seen when competing?
Jill Mills: The humor was always the nights between or after competition..and
always plenty of it! Usually involving Guinness beer
Phil Burgess: You are a busy lady, so thanks for your time and all the best for the Shamrock Strength Showdown…