Meet Jill Mills-- A mother, wife...and the Strongest Woman in the World! She has competed successfully in Bodybuilding, Powerlifting and in the newer sport of Strong Woman Competitions. She has gone undefeated in all powerlifting and strength competitions she has entered. This is quite an accomplishment for a lady of only 30 years old, and I was fortunate enough to have her take time out of her busy schedule for this interview.
Jill's impressive list of accomplishments is a long one, and you can find out more information about Jill on her website at www.jillmills.com
Morrison): Jill, How long have you been working
out, and what got you interested in lifting weights?
(B.M.): You have made transitions from bodybuilding to powerlifting to Strong Woman contests. Which sport have you enjoyed the most, and do you compete at more than one of them?
Mills): Bodybuilding was just insanity. It wasn't as physically difficult
as mentally, with all of the deprivation. I enjoyed powerlifting but not with
the same intensity as I have enjoyed strongwoman contests. Powerlifting can be a
bit one dimensional over time and I was never able to fully focus and commit
myself. I despised the gear so I never learned to use it. I also hated not being
able to put focus on cardio fitness. I love feeling powerful but not while
sacrificing conditioning and speed. I love the variety of training with
strongwoman and all the places I've seen, wonderful opportunities and people
I've met thanks to the sport. I enjoy the combination of powerlifting,
weightlifting, and track and field with event training. This combo is imperative
to becoming a top strongwoman competitor.
Broken Vertebrae? Did it happen during competition or training?
(BM): That's quite a serious injury. Have you had to quit training, or adjusted your training to work around the injury?
(Jill): I have had to adjust my training. No squats (although light zerchers feel ok), deadlifts, powercleans, good mornings, or event training for probably 8 weeks. I go by feel on a lot of stuff and try to keep my core muscles as strong as I can with variations of my regular stuff. The doc would have to put me in a body cast and sedate me to keep me from working out.
(BM): I have noticed on your website that you have expressed interest in being instrumental in changing the stigma that women have to be frail and soft to be feminine. Can you elaborate on this?
(Jill): I have met many people over the years with
the opinion that women must be soft and dependant in a physical and emotional
sense. I have NEVER understood that! What man, except maybe one with a severe
insecurity problem, would want a woman who is helpless and dependant emotionally
and physically on him. I would imagine it to be annoying to be with someone who
couldn't even carry a 30 lb bag of dog food in the house. And what woman would
feel good about herself being that way?? It makes no sense to me!
(BM): Do people treat you differently once they find out that you are officially the Strongest Woman in the World and have you achieved much fame with all your accomplishments?
(Jill): I do get a bit of recognition but nothing
that I would call "fame". I get tons of emails from people from all of the
world. The emails that touch me the most are the young girls who say I am their
hero and they want to be world's strongest woman someday. It makes me feel like
I am doing my part in changing their attitudes towards their abilities and their
bodies in a positive way.
(BM): That's great! It sounds to me like you are a positive role model for her and other women. Who has been your role model and the biggest influence for you throughout your training and competition years?
(Jill): No question here.. my husband, Milo.
(BM): Do you
think your injury will be healed in time for you to compete in the 2003 WSW
(BM):What do you think most people that don't know you would be surprised to find out about the World's Strongest Woman?
(Jill):I had to get Milo's input on this question because I don't know what other people would say.. he said that most people would be shocked that I like to drink beer and have a good time. Most people are under the assumption that I eat really strict, like a bodybuilder. In all honestly, I eat less than 2000 calories a day (probably only about 120 gm of protein on average) and I can put away some Coors Light on a Saturday night, get up and train my butt off the next day. I went through the bodybuilding phase for several years but life is way too short to deprive myself of good food, good beer, and good fun.
thank you for the opportunity for this interview. I wish you the best of luck
with successfully rehabilitating your back injury and defending your WSW title!
All pictures by
Walls, except the picture below that was taken by Monica Brant in Malaysia.
For more information on Jill Mills visit her website at www.jillmills.com
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