This month’s Force Feed interview is featuring a weightlifter who has reached the pinnacle of her sport. Sarah Robles is an Olympic Weightlifter for the United States and represented the US at the London 2012 Olympics competing in the 75+ kg category. She was the highest American placer at the Olympics with 120 kg snatch (264 lbs) and a 145 clean and jerk (319 lbs). She can lift more than most men so don’t get on her bad side. We are happy to showcase Sarah for the month of June and as always hope there is something you can take away from this great interview.
1.Thanks for chatting with us. Can you tell me a little bit about your sport/background? What did you do first? How many sports have you participated in? How did you get to where you are now?
I originally got involved with sports through p.e. My P.E. teacher recommended that I try throwing Shot Put and I loved it. I thought I was good (turns out I wasn’t at the time) and I kept doing it in high school. I used weightlifting for strength and conditioning for my sport until my sophomore year at Arizona State University when I decided to switch sports. I went into Northern Michigan’s Olympic Education Center then I was a resident at the Olympic Training Center before deciding to come back to Arizona to train. My career took off really fast and I’ve been doing my best to train hard, get better, and place as high as possible at my competitions.
2. How important do you believe food/nutrition is to being a better athlete? Any philosophies or models you follow?
Food/nutrition is particularly important in being a successful athlete. During my worst nutritional times back in 2011 when I was on food stamps, my training and competitions were awful. I just couldn’t eat how and as much as I needed to flourish athletically. My main priority is my protein intake. I should be consuming 275-285 grams a day. I revolve my diet around my protein sources. I can’t say that the way I plan my meals is the best but, I try. Because of my budget, I try to eat as much nutritionally dense food as I can to get me through my workouts and recover afterwords.
3. What recovery techniques do you use if any? What have you found works best and what have you found useless/less effective?
I am a firm believer in prehab, stretching, and naps. Eat, sleep, ice and massage are the core recovery methods for any athlete. I don’t know what it’s called but it looks almost like an ultra sound machine but, it’s lasers. I feel like that’s the most useless. Placebo, much? In my opinion, anyway.
4. Walk us through a day in your life: what do you eat? When and how long do you train?
I train anywhere from once to three times a day. So that’s 2-8 hrs depending on what’s going on. If I am in a heavy training cycle I’ll be training at 7am, 10am and 4 pm. In between training sessions, I am eating, resting, doing homework, and taking care of any other duties that are necessary.
A typical eating day during that time will look like:
6 am- Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich with glass of milk
8 am- Protein Shake
930 am- Fruit
12 pm- Protein Shake
1 pm- Chicken breast, rice, fruit or vegetable
3 pm- Yogurt and mixed nuts
6 pm- Protein Shake
8 pm- Chicken, rice, fruit/vegetable
10 pm- Protein Shake
5. What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you in regards to training and getting stronger? Anything you would like pass on to someone trying to get where you are?
Trying to not be afraid of success. Sometimes we sabotage ourselves unknowingly. We hold ourselves back from becoming great for some reason. I would also pass that on. There are a lot of talented people out there who aren’t willing to give it their all and stop their careers short for fear of success. It sounds silly but, if you really reflect, you might see that it’s you (the reader) doing this to yourselves.
6. What is the most impressive feat of strength you have accomplished to date?
My more impressive feats tend to be when I am either not paying attention or playing around or if I have something to prove. Once, I was trying to prove to my national governing body that I was indeed USA’s best lifter and I snatched 115 and clean and jerked 150 in front of USOC big wigs. Pressure makes diamonds, baby! haha. I am a self- proclaimed world record holder in the thruster with 115 kgs.
As you can see there no room for fluff with Sarah Robles. She just sticks to the basics and it seems to work just fine for her so far. Sarah will be heading to Venezuela with the rest of Team USA to compete in the Pan American Championships on June 26-27. We are rooting for Sarah to bring home the gold as well as the rest of Team USA. If you want to check out more about Sarah as she gets ready for the 2016 Olympics, check out her blog
here and find her on Facebook or twitter. You will not find a better ambassador for the sport and a good person as well.