Rhaea before we begin I want to say congrats on your amazing accomplishments in 2019.Can you briefly summarize your year competing?
2019 was a great year for competitions for me! It started with Canadian Nationals in March where I competed in the equipped powerlifting, equipped bench only, and classic bench only.
This wasn’t the best meet performance wise for me, but I won each division I competed in and it allowed me to qualify for events for the coming year. In May I competed at the IPF Equipped Worlds, where I won the 72kg open division and set a new World Record of 191kg.
In September, I competed at the Commonwealth Championships in equipped bench only in the 84kg division and set a new world record with a bench of 210kg.
My year finished on a high note, winning the IPF Open World Championships in November in Dubai at 84kg.
This was my first Open Powerlifting World Championships win, and I also was the third best lifter based on IPF points.
What were your best lifts this year? As well what have been your best lifts overall?
This year, my best squat was 257.5kg, bench was 212.5kg, and deadlift was 215kg for a 685kg total.
These were all from IPF Worlds in November at 84kg.
What was your training like leading up to the Open World Championships in Dubai? For example how many days a week? How many hours a session? What goes in to becoming an open World powerlifting Champion and Bench Press World Champion?
Leading in to Open Worlds, I was training 5 days a week until about 4 weeks out when we changed it to 4 days per week because I was recovering from a crazy bronchial/sinus infection. Most of my sessions are 2-3 hours.
What got you started in lifting weights? How did you start with lifting and how did this lead into powerlifting?
I grew up as an active kid, and knew that being stronger would help me with other sports. In grade 8 I had started to get more interested in lifting weights and general fitness in addition to playing other sports, and I knew getting stronger would help me excel in other areas.
Finally half way through grade 9 my dad convinced (told) my brother he should take me to the gym with him because of this interest. He had been competing in powerlifting for a few years so I knew what the sport consisted of and thought I might be good at it.
He took me to train with his coach, Jeff Butt, and I started training under Jeff’s guidance, and I’ve really been doing it ever since.
Who were some of the people in your life that influenced you into becoming the lifter you are today?
Jeff Butt, Ryan Fowler (my brother), Ryan Stinn (my husband), and Blaine Sumner have all been major influences on making me into the lifter I am today.
My parents and family have also been supportive of this venture from the day I started and I definitely couldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for them. As well, I’ve been fortunate to have countless amazing training partners over the years that have helped me get to this level.
If you were to give advice to women that are just getting into lifting weights and or PowerLifting what advice would you give them?
Stop comparing yourself to others and focus on yourself. Work to get stronger for you every day without worrying about what your neighbour is doing.
Last but not least what’s next for you? After winning Two World Championships and CommonWealth Championships in the same year what’s next for you?
I’ll be competing at the CPU National Championships in March, then hope to compete at North Americans this summer in Cayman Islands, and then the IPF Open World Championship in November in Stavanger, Norway.
Be sure to follow Rhaea on Social Media
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Rhaea for taking the time for this interview. Look for another article where I share a personal story about her from this years Worlds in Dubai when I was Team Canada Head Coach.
Rhaea is one of the hardest working and humble people in the sport today. A true ambassador for PowerLifting and Women’s Strength
Images courtesy of the IPF PowerLifting Federation Instagram.
Rob King is a Competitive PowerLifter, Coach and Writer.