Recently when I spoke with Gemma Magnusson, she spoke of the determination of the Icelandic Women, so when I heard of an up and coming Icelandic lightweight strongwoman Lilja Jonsdottir, I had to interview her.

Lilja Jonsdottir

Lilja Jonsdottir Icelandic Strongwoman - Photo by Sigurd Mar

Phil Burgess: How did you get involved in the sport of strongman, and what weight division do you compete in?

Lilja Jonsdottir: I compete in the under 75kg weight class.

I’ve been lifting and exercising for many years but did not start competing until 2011 when my friend signed me up for the strongest woman of Iceland.  It was a mixed weight group and I ended with fifth place.

From that experience I gained the enthusiasm to compete again in the strongest woman of Iceland. In 2012,  I competed again, this time in the under 75kg class and finished in second place and then came the real interest of competing in bigger tournaments.

Phil Burgess: What is your best contest result so far?

Lilja Jonsdottir:  My best result was in the British International Most Powerful Woman in the under 75kg class where I finished third. It was very tough, an even and exciting competition

Phil Burgess:  What do you love about the sport of strongman?

Lilja Jonsdottir:  This is a fun sport and it is exciting to see what I can do and how far I can go in it, like towing cars and lifting heavy objects.

Phil Burgess: Gemma Magnusson has said that Icelandic women make very successful strongwoman as they are very determined, what makes icelandic ladies more determined than those in other countries?

Lilja Jonsdottir:  hahaha I do not know how to explain it, I guess it’s in our blood to be determined and stubborn viking girls

Phil Burgess: What are your goals in the sport?

Lilja Jonsdottir: My goal is to become the strongest woman in the world 2013 in the under 75kg class and the strongest woman in Iceland in 2013 under 75kg class and continue to compete as long as I can.

Phil Burgess:  How often do you train, and can you give us an idea of a weeks training, what it would look like?

Lilja Jonsdottir:   I train 5-6 days a week, one and a half hour at a time usually once, sometimes twice a day.

I use kettle bells lots in my training as it gives me increased strength and power.

  • Mondays: I do bi/triceps exercises.
  • Tuesdays: chest and stomach exercises .
  • Wednesdays: I do leg exercises and lower back and body exercises.
  • Thursdays: I do exercises for the shoulders and upper back.
  • Fridays: are used for heavy lifting like deadlift or bench pressing. I do however rotate and adjust my training on a regular basis, so its not always the same each week.

Phil Burgess: What is the best advice you have been given as a strongwoman competitor?

Lilja Jonsdottir:  Be determined and focused

Phil Burgess:  What is Iceland like to live in?

Lilja Jonsdottir:  is very nice to live here it’s all so fresh here. There is so much energy and power in nature, it gives me great energy when I’m preparing myself for a competition.