Episode Four: Donna Moore video transcript

(Radzi in a screen on the top left in a studio talking into a red microphone. Mark Henry is on a screen on the right sat at home facing the camera)

Radzi: Hello and welcome to Making Gains with Radzi in association with the University of Derby and Finnebrogue Naked Bacon the biggest revolution to happen to British breakfast in a generation. Now I’m delighted to say that on Making Gains we have our first ever woman on the podcast. She is none other than three times the World's Strongest Woman what a way to start, Donna Moore, welcome to Making Gains.

Donna: Thank you for having me.

Radzi: Can we start off by just going through your numbers by the way because they really are off the charts. I think if you go 10 years back in Strongman very different to what it is now so can we go through those numbers?

Donna: Yeah it's um it's very it's very different to what it is now, um you know the sports really really progressed so um my numbers at the moment we haven't really tested them for a while so it's 120 overhead for a long, 130 um like push press with the bar, um my deadlifts not that awesome to be fair so it's probably 255 from the floor um, I don't know what else do you want to know.

Radzi: In terms of deadlifts so Andrea Thompson 290 was home.

Donna: Yes 290. It's amazing, amazing.

Radzi: You two are just kind of pushing each other right now. it's really awesome to see.

Donna: Yeah we and it really helps that we get on well, so yeah there's some stuff that Andre is you know really really excels at and there's other things that um you know I would have stronger events than Andrea in, so you know it really can just depend on the you know the events of the day and who messes up less to what um what outcome there will be.

Radzi: So overhead log, overhead barbell, if you like dead lift.

Donna: Yeah bench press and my bench press is like 140 but to be fair I don't really do an awful lot of like just flat bench I prefer incline or close bench press so sometimes uh Jenny lets me go and do what I want and I'll just go and bench press for a day and then I’m bored of it again so yeah.

Radzi: Jenny Todd?

Donna: Yeah she's my uh programming and she has done that for quite a while now so we also get on well and uh trusted programmer and it's worked out well for me I have to say.

Radzi: I'll have to talk about your programme in a second but just to finish off the numbers so back squat?

Donna: Oh my backside's not great only about 180 so let's not ever have that in a competition.

Radzi: See I think you keep saying it's not great a lot of people myself included go I won't tell you what mine is there but finally atlas stone your world off the charts.

Donna: Oh yeah I love them the most that's what I’ll say all the time so that's a 171.3. Yeah yeah over a 48 inch uh platform the same Tom's platform so we set the bar high for ourselves. he's like about a foot and a half or more tall than I am so I was like yeah, yeah we'll do the same but uh yeah we still it was okay.

Radzi: It was a special moment when you got that and you could see what it meant to you and to do it during lockdown when there isn't a lot to kind of target. What went through your head when you actually got the got the stone over the bar?

Donna: Uh obviously really really happy but I was kind of like itching for a little bit more really. It's um it was great to be able to train for it and um the biggest stone that I had access to that wasn't like an absolute you know monster you know giant stone uh was 160. So really it was quite a big jump on and at the stone you know that that weight so I just had to train for the reps and the height you know more more specifically just get the movement patterns you know sorted as much as possible um and then also having to uh go to
Scotland and uh go to you know somewhere that you don't know with the equipment that you don't know and also it was a brand new atlas stone so that kind of changes the way that it is because you know well no one's ever used it before and they you know the texture of the outside of them the more people use them kind of like the nicer they are. So um I was a bit uh I did have a little bit of a worry about that but um we gave it a good you know good wipe down let it sit overnight and it was perfect.

Radzi: See what when it comes to atlas stones what people may not necessarily know is that you'd think a 160 atlas stone is going to be the same no matter where you find it but they vary honestly.

Donna: They they do um you know some of them can be you know slightly different slightly different diameters, um some can be really really obviously well made that the weights are just you know in the right exact place but others can be you know a little bit off so that you know that weight if you're trying to control it you know if it's just a little bit not quite right can have a bit of a problem and also depends of you know what else they're made, they're made out of some. Obviously the one that I had was you know a great quality one you know it was nice and nice and smooth and sanded down but other ones you know people are just making them they're uh you know maybe not quite the same.

Radzi: Does that actually feel like when you've got your arms around something where you can't let's say get a deep muscular contraction like you can in just hypothetically a leg press. If you go in the gym and you rep out as hard as you can you're gonna feel it deep in your glutes your quads etc., but it's so tender. What is that what goes through your actual body when you're lifting it?

Donna: I'm really just uh thinking I think mainly more about the cues that I use to lift up the stones so um especially when I’m sitting here with it on my knee it does kind of feel a little bit like weightless. It's bizarre because it just seems to for me it just seems to sit there and I'm like oh yeah this is okay because I’m hugging it as tight as I possibly can to my body so that it doesn't slip when I’m trying to lift up higher so I just squeeze that's all that's in my brain squeeze, um and that's really what I’m doing my face will probably tell you the same.

Radzi: When do you know that you've got it is it literally when you let go of it or do you know a certain point if I get it above
Hip knee whatever it's mine?

Donna: No I try to um always commit to the whole process when it's over then it's over but you know at the stones will just be a little bit. Obviously because they're circles if they just catch on anything, they just fall straight back. There's no handles to grab to stop it and when they're you know that high up and um you know that particular shape you can't really do much with them, so you really have to commit to you know going over at least.

Radzi: You know traditionally in in atlas stones you have a stone run and it's against somebody that you can't necessarily see going in Here do you think to yourself I’m gonna check to see where they are or is it just a case of blinkers on I do what I do and try and just block all that out?

Donna: Yeah um literally that's what I do, because usually it's around the last it's so usually around the last event so um you know it could be the make or break of the competition really. So um I’m not really interested in anybody else. I'm just thinking all of my cues and um for each each stone and go in between them as quickly as quickly as possible um and then maybe I would look at the end when I was when I was done and hope that I finished before the other person but I think if you're spending time checking on an event that really
requires you to have every single part of the lift especially when they get heavy um in a specific, specific way to execute a successful lifter if you break your concentration to look at somebody else I think that it'd be a game over and you know like we said at the start there it's usually the last event it could be a total place game changer so concentration it's full steam ahead really.

Radzi: Because it's funny you think about the distraction. I was watching recently I think it's 2005 World Strongest Man, in fact 2006 I think it might be and you've got um it Marius is against Phil Pfister. Marius it appears gets distracted is late on the last stone even though he's the fastest really of the two stone lifters, Phil wins it but that final stone was less than your world record on the stone.

Donna: Oh no way!

Radzi: Yeah amazing how far specifically Strong Woman has come it's almost unrecognizable, the fact that if we went back 2005 you'd be essentially competing with Marius.

Donna: Yeah, yeah well that's pretty crazy. I didn't know that i know that the women's spots really come on and you know like some of the weights that we do lift now are comparable back to some of the you know the World's Strongest uh World's Strongest Men events. Um I think uh yoke would be yoke would be one of them. You know that similar kind of event well we've got a car walk coming up at OSG in November if we can all travel and that's over 300 kilos so the guys previously IN World's Strongest Man a 300 kilo yoke or car
would have you know been at the top end of what they were doing too you know, so it's uh it's really really has come on. It's it's amazing, to me it's amazing even just the growth of it since I’ve been you know participating and I just hope that it continues I really do.

Radzi: Well I think it will especially with the likes of you and Andrea pushing each other. But one of the reasons I was so excited to chat to you personally is you mentioned the lady behind essentially your programming, is to talk about your structure and specifically how you approach strongmen and how you train, so how does your opening look?

Donna: Um well at the moment it's a little bit different. Obviously we've got no gyms but if we're um talking you know like say competition, competition prep that kind of thing, so I would train about five times a week and it would be four or five, five to six So four or five uh gym sessions and then just one event session. We'll try and combine some of the moves into my regular gym Programming, so whereas other people can probably have you know some events in with their gym things because they've got everything in one place, I'm not that fortunate so I would have to separate mine, separate mine down really um so I would have two press days, a deadlift, and then another lower body kind of squat or variation of you know that kind of thing with all the accessories to go with that we do quite a lot of core. Core work um, carries single leg things I do quite a lot of single leg work um and just keep a note of anything that I may be finding difficult or is not working for me and we will amend that so we have a really good communication channel which I think is important so that Jenny knows how if I’m tired or if the session was too difficult or if I could have maybe pushed a bit more, that kind of thing. With my event trainings generally with uh Jack lovett at Spartan and literally he just takes care of all of that. So I turn up um you know I’m wanting to utilise my time with Jack and my time that it took me to get there so it's a good drive on the car um and I just, literally Jack decides what we're gonna do, follows his programme that he's written for it and I just literally do that so it works well for us. I'm a good this is what you will do today and off you go, but again you know if there's any niggles or I'm tired or something's not going right we and then amend the session as it's going along you know, they're very good to tailor for my specific needs because of course I have to I've got a job when I go to work, so it's not all plane sailing trying to figure it all out.

Radzi: Yeah it's quite a committed job that you've got full time.

Donna: Yeah yeah full time so just at the moment I work for the NHS, so um I’m back to shift work primarily being a shift worker in that kind of you know that kind of environment really, um so you know sometimes the sessions would have to be doubled up because I wouldn't be able to go another day if that makes sense so sometimes I’d be events with Jack in the morning and maybe go and press in the evening something like that. So yeah it's uh you know I am organised and we really tailor what I’m going to do to get the most out of my time. Obviously with having a full-time job it's can be difficult to and children so.

Radzi: I guess that is another factor is being a mother as well it's something that I guess in strong man you wouldn't necessarily consider. You wouldn't think of somebody as it's harder for him because he's a dad, you just consider it they're all men whereas I guess being a woman and having commitments as a with children that's different ballgame altogether.

Donna: Yeah and um I think has been I’ve been primarily being by myself so it's you know trying to juggle everybody's needs and wants and as they get a bit older they need to be you know taxied more places and you know things like that so it's um you know it can be quite difficult but it's all really about the best time management you've got, so I'm quite good at time management although other people would say that I wouldn't be. I feel that I am.

Radzi: You mentioned taxing people I remember when I first met you as a giants live it was you and Andrea together actually and we did it to the crowd and the first thing that struck me about you both is I thought I look like a child next to the pair of you. So what what what reaction do you get when you turn up with your kids to drop them off somewhere? Do people sort of go whoa I wasn't expecting that?

Donna: Um probably if I uh go to go to parents evening I was always trying and dress not like in my gym clothes. Um but sometimes it can't be helped so they do kind of it's the same as if you're walking around people just give you a bit of a side eye kind of thing, but um you know some of the teachers would know what I do and then they'd be used to seeing you but I generally I'm not really all that bothered about what uh you know what other what other people think um I’m doing my purpose in life so this is what comes along with it.

Radzi: Yeah in terms of that pressing session that you spoke about before what would that actually look like.

Donna: In terms of exercises sets rep ranges that kind of thing um again it depends on you know what stage we are um competing or you know we're in like a rest phase at the minute so well not rest phase, sort of like down time you know re-happy kind of thing. So at the moment the weights and maybe not particularly heavy but I do quite a lot of things with time and detention. Yeah so and I really enjoy that I find it quite challenging so if you've got um like a six second eccentric on an overhead press, you know it's tough to be Controlling you know weights all the way down and I like to keep my form as technically good as possible, so um you know I really strive strive for that to be as you know perfect as it can be so that's another thing that I work a lot on at the moment. So rep ranges I suppose on the main things that the at the minute can vary between like um, you know four to eight and I know that this week I've got sets coming up for just like one to two because we've you know coming to the end a little bit. Overhead press but still with the um slow negatives um the workouts at the moment kind of maybe a bit more of an all-body approach and I'm also rehabbing an injury. So we've got a lot of again single leg things because I've got a problem with one of my knees so we're trying to um you know keep as much muscle as you as possible but um you know protect the protect the knee. But a lot of single leg things have great carry over to other things you know core stability um which is you know everybody in strong man needs a good core, you know everything is determined by that really um so I'm hoping that when we come out of lockdown and um I'll be able to you know do things properly again and my leg will be better.

Radzi: What is the injury?

Donna: Um I injured myself before the stone lift actually, um and I'm not really sure what happened. I can't even pinpoint doing anything particularly um and it's a problem with the inside my knee um and it's to do with the medial femoral condyle, which is like the end of the bone through the bone shape so there's a problem with that, so it limits the range of movement it was quite, um fluidy and swollen um but we know we've got that bit more into control and we just work around it as much as possible so therefore I’m not squatting at the moment and I’m not deadlifting from the floor either just because it the bend really is just a bit much at the minute still. So maybe in a couple more weeks.

Radzi: I guess not ideal then to try and put 171 kilograms of concrete on the inside of it when you're going for a world record.

Donna: No it wasn't, it wasn't ideal but there that particular moment I just didn't I didn't even think about it you know I’m in the place where my journey started in the highland of Scotland with my Luke especially who I started out Strong Man with, um in their gym with my favourite event, with Tom who is also you know awesome at the stones. Like what else could there be? There's no other you know the Adronis is there on this on the screen and you know what else could be better so I didn't really think about it. I just had to lift it and get it over there you know.

Radzi: So I was looking for the competition side of it because I know before I've heard you kind of say that when you turn professional when you become serious you almost don't get to enjoy the competition as much but even the way you're describing that there even though you're doing something that you don't know if you're going to be able to achieve it, you're still able to kind of be aware that this is pretty flipping cool?

Donna: Yeah I suppose so I think as well as a little bit of a you know a different circumstance with that I still had like essentially a job to do but I can still soak up the atmosphere of, you know it was a great full circle approach you know for myself um but at the competitions I suppose if I look back at them I didn't did enjoy them but at the time of doing them I wouldn't necessarily say it's loads of actual fun. It's a, it's a lot of, it's a lot of concentration and controlling of yourself you know it's it can be quite well it is you know mentally taxing as well as whether it's physically taxing like keeping all your [ __ ] together really for that specific time over maybe three days. You know it's a long time to keep the concentration and the end goal in sight at all times.

Radzi: Do you know Rob Frampton at all?

Donna: Yes yeah, yes.

Radzi: So Rob just a really, really fascinating guy and I remember when Bish was going for his 440 deadlift and out for 400 and he said to he just shouted him as he went out he went okay Bish second to last warm-up mate second to last warm-up. I think well so Bish lifted 400 relatively easily and asked who said Rob what was that about he said mate what it is when you're shooting for a number the problem is everything about that day you become obsessed with it, and all you're thinking about is you get to the venue and you're thinking right this is when I try and lift that 440. You went you go to the bar and regardless what number you're on you're going okay I've got to lift that 440 today he went so all we worry about is the next lift. He went so it's second to last warm up is 400, last warm-up is 420, then we turn it on he said I is something about the way he said I actually get that that makes if I’m going for a PB which they're not impressive numbers but they are big for me, I’m thinking about that it could be a week out I’m going I don't want to miss that
I want to get this and therefore all that adrenaline is just leaving my body and I’m losing energy for the actual flipping lift, and so like literally get what you're talking about trying to manage that as well as be present and as well as get to the highlands and arrange everything that comes with that.

Donna: Yeah that's right, it can be like a quite uh you know like arduous process and I do like you say you'll be thinking about it all week but to me if I’m thinking about it all week um I don't seem to let the energy escape. I'm like visualising so I would be visualising lifting that lift when we when we came to it so when I'm there and I'm present in the moment then it's kind of already been done, you know, that's the way that I, the way that I try to try to approach them um you know. I also think about my next training sessions as well you know as soon as that one's done, I'm thinking about the next one making sure that I'm adequately fuelled and this is what time
that would like to be there, this is what I will do in my day before um I get to the gym at that time you know or I'm going to work walk the dog, make sure everybody in the house has got food, and then uh you know go to the gym so it's all you know laid out so that when I get there then that's the only thing that I need to be really concentrating on and I've also thought about it all week. So it's uh it's the way that I like to work it but I think discussed it before it's like a skill, it's a skill that you learn the longer that you've been competing that you are able to do that with your mind. It's uh before I when I first started competing it's not like that at all, and I would be like visually shaking before I lifted anything because I was so nervous and I couldn't control that aspect of going to lift. I was just too nervous that was all literally and I couldn't even do anything else because the energy like you say was escaping from me before it even lifted it before the whistle had even gone and so you know, I've worked a lot on trying to control those kind of aspects of competing and lifting.

Radiz: I think in life we kind of focus on destinations i think we also focus on the end product so Big z, I've been fortunate enough to be very close to him when he's, when he's lifted and regardless if he's having a good competition or bad, does this thing with his mouth where he kind of exhales into his cheeks he sort of goes or he just walks around that constantly and then we'll go to lift. You could almost feel like this furnace is inside of him and then when he comes to the actual lift the heat just cranks up that little bit more but when he isn't it's there it's almost like the engine's just ticking over until it comes to action. I thought I wonder if he's always been like that he's always been able to manage it and then I watched, I think his world record attempt when I'm gonna go as about 195 log press and this is going back to about maybe 15 years ago, maybe a bit less, and he's a different guy and you think, ah so even the greatest have to learn and it is actually a skill like you say that you acquire and get better at.

Donna: Yeah definitely um I suppose you can as well if you've watched them say like the dreamers you know has obviously always been you know good but the differences you know in the way that his technique is, the way that he is, you can see it evolving over the time to like the awesomeness that it is today you know. It's been like a long process for him and like I've always got questions ready for him whenever I see him he probably thinks oh my no and actually with the genius I was I was going to the Arnold I think and um I found him like left unattended in an airport, and I was like oh my God, I was straight over there trying you know like talking to him you must have just thought please sweaty lady will you just go away but I was there with my questions. Well you know if I would be the same if people wanted to ask me something or I was left unattended in there for what they you know ask awa. So um yeah it was uh it's it's nice to learn from people and I you know talk to him in general just about like lifting whenever we've gone to competitions. He's very you know very easy to talk to and obviously very knowledgeable too, so I like to soak it all up.

Radzi: What sort of questions have you asked him by the way about that?

Donna: Well I’ve actually I've asked him things about like um nutrition, about his training, training in different environments as well because um you know coming from like a colder country in the winter and I think it was going to World's Strongest Man and it was in some place that was going to be really hot so like asking him you know, did you training change your training? did you try and go somewhere hot? You know just kind of things that I must have at the time thought that was interesting but now I just like I ask him about him and you know what's he doing things like that so he's just probably used to it just goes I've just told him she'll go away soon. He's done the phase everything that man just such a legend, such a legend.

Radzi: Yeah, yeah but with yourself mention OSG, Official Strongman Games, in November, fingers crossed. Can you tell us details about that yet in terms of what the events might be?

Donna: Yeah so there's the car drag that I mentioned earlier um there's a bag toss, um log, which is just one clean and press away so that's quite nice, um the deadlift ladder and carry medley and atlas stones. So uh yeah it's over three days and the top ten cup to the last day, out of each, um out of each like heavy weight look you know, I forgot with that so um yeah the stones are in the last Day and I think the bag tosses in the last day but the rest of them it's uh kind of leaves the field quite a lot more wide open because um they're quite heavy actually, which you expect them to be but uh yeah it's gonna really, you know split everybody up. I think, so the log is sorry?

Radzi: What do you prefer? Do you prefer a heavy comp or do you prefer something that's a bit more mobile and athletic?

Donna: Um well myself I like to be running around really so I would prefer a bit more running but I think they've got the mixture quite well down in this one so it's like two moving events really if you've got the um you know, the car walk and the carrying carry drag medley um a nice static log press which is 106 kilo, so that's quite up there as well, um deadlift ladder which is a really, I really like that as um as an event because it you know combines deadlifting with running and you know again in preparation sorry, just to go back that's something is to practice you know getting in between the bars, making sure that every single time you get your hands and your feet in the right place so you don't mess it up you know, little things like that so um and I don't know what else out the stones obviously I like the upstairs so I prefer, I don't really care anymore. I would prefer to pick my events but whatever they are it's okay we'll just train for it and do the actual very best that I can do.

Radzi: Now you spoke about almost going between um the deadlift bars, I think it's something that not everybody. I think people are increasingly I don't think everybody focuses on those bits and those are all to me free games, so yeah you watch the Adam Bishop train another SBD athlete. He is meticulous between his hands down to his breathing and every single time it's the same movement. Brian Shaw, I remember seeing him, um WUS in 20 whenever the first World Ultimate Strong Man was. He had basically all the stones in the long stone run they had he was walking between them and asking the officials to move it slightly to the left slide to the right slightly forward because he in his head gone right I'm gonna move my body in this way and I thought that's the difference clearly between that the best and the absolute cream of the crop.

Donna: Yeah definitely and I would also be the same with um, say example with a stone run I would want them all to be where I want them to be with the distances as equal as they possibly can and like you said the made-up time is the time between each lift and those kind of things so, it it's Adrenos is like a another great example of it it's just like a little side step, side step, side step, you know we're not actually crossing our legs over or anything we're just literally stepping you know over to the over to the next one and I think like you say all of the lists are exactly the same like Adam Bishop is really technically proficient at everything. I enjoy watching his YouTube videos and stuff like that and I think that can be is what a lot of people miss out on, is that the time to technically perfect them yes you may be able to get that that number, heavy number that's really great but when we're gonna need five, five of them then your technique is what is going to keep you being able to get that. So I like to be, like I said before like technically proficient so at the moment like my weights might not be that that high but we're really focusing on them being as technically perfect as possible for the, um my push press at the moment is like as I can break down my reps. I've been given into the sets that I want so I'm trying to get them into as as high a number as I can so that my body's used to doing that amount of reps when it comes to you know a competition so being technically perfect is a good thing.

Radzi: I remember Bish. Bish and I went to the same uni together Loughborough. I remember he pulled 300 off the floor when he deadlifted that in Power-Based gym that was a whoa moment and to say funnily enough his technique wasn't very good that day but from that with yeah I mean to say, I mean he got the rep but just, to now see him pulling 440 and make it look really solid. You think the metamorphosis he's gone through which actually isn't that dissimilar to yours because that was over about a ten year period he's done that I can't believe when I found out that actually a lot of your adult life you haven't been training for Strong Women.

Donna: No, most of it, so no I hadn't I hadn't been at all. I just kind of fell and fell into it. I suppose a little bit and it just kind of like sucked me in and I'm still in it right now. No I didn't really do any particular sport I've always been about outdoorsy. I've had horses and um I’ve talked before and things I used to be able to swim well, I can't not used to be and swim well but I didn't have any interest in competing in it much to like the PE teacher at schools like dismay but um you know I, it just wasn't a thing that I was interested in until I got older and found something that I actually really love to do and this is this is it really. And how much longer I keep going at it for I don't know but it brings me happiness you know training and the process of it so I think as long as I can perform as well as I want to and it still brings me happiness it's something that I will still, still like to do.

Radzi: And would you still like Arnold Show by the way because that's not that's another big one that is a bit of a question mark again?

Donna: Yeah um I'm not sure it's maybe meant to be August in September but if I hope that it does go on and I think it's pretty crowd you know capacity dependent, a lot of the Arnold is you know stalls and exhibitions for the public and if you don't have that like um 2000 and well last March 2020, where we it was just the athletes and no stands and no anything it's not really the same. It was great to get to see everybody first-hand without having to battle your way through the crowd or anything but, um it's you know it's not, it's not quite the same for the Arnold I suppose but if it if it gets to go ahead then of course I would love to go, you know it's the Arnold. Yeah you get to
go do the work record breaks as well hopefully if they put something like that onto they're always quite interesting so I like the Arnold and the platform that it gives to women on the main stage. It's something that's important to me, that's the main thing of the Arnolds I want the women to be on the stage, um as well as the guys showing you know, the world that women can do strong things too and to have their platform of the Arnold and their you know social media reach as well it's um I found it, it's a need, a need to do it.

Radzi: Absolutely and I think um I like athletics track and field and I remember speaking to one of the great shot putters of all time, a lady called Valerie Ville Platte Lee Valerie and I remember saying to her out of interest what's your power clean? and she said what for reps? I said well what be one rep match. We don't really do one rep maxes and but I suppose sort of for reps um maybe 140 - 150 for six there are Great British male sprinters who do not hit 150 for six in power clean fac. Yeah but just a monster and yes awesome actually now in the world guy, girl, tall, short, fat, thin, black, white, whatever, there's kind of an acceptance that if you want to do what was weird stuff knock yourself out and people like yourself are really leading that charge.

Donna: Yeah um and I really hope that I am I know if anybody would see Strong Man or see me doing anything and think oh that's really cool I would like to have you know a go at that, that's the important thing for me about it it's great to be able to do uh what I love but I also want to other people to come and join you know the sport for mental health, physical health, general well-being I think this time we've all struggled unless you've got access to the gym. Without any actual exercise people need to move so um if somebody wants to come along and try Strong Woman, I think that they would they would find it quite liberating and empowering and hopefully they would you know improve their general well-being by just doing some kind of physical activity that maybe they had not considered so you know that's what I like to like to show people really, you know I don't I'm not beastly strong all the time and I'm not doing all the cool things all the time but um you know if you can show people what you can do then maybe they would come and join in as well.

Radzi: Yeah absolutely right. Just finally now this is a bit of a weird question. What do you think when it comes to training is harder about being a woman and what's better about being a woman?

Donna: All right, there a, you should have told me that one before.

Radzi: So when I was at uni, um I used to also work at what they called the High Pack, so the High Performance Athletic Centre and I would say generally speaking the female athletes were more diligent than the male athletes on the whole, and that doesn't mean there aren't diligent male athletes but if you just took a sample, I'd say the people that were there on time, predominantly were the girls uh the ones who got every session done to the best of their ability, the girls. Whereas the boys I'd say a lot more hit and miss. You've spoken about your attitude to preparation it's all very meticulous and so I just wonder sort of that's kind of what made me think about I thought actually being a woman, you actually have different advantages that men would never even think about.

Donna: Um I suppose like what you just said it maybe is like the diligence and also I think women are less inclined to quit when it gets hard. Well I don't know if that's maybe just a personal thing well um you know they're a bit more comfortable with being uncomfortable if that makes sense. I think you've just got that last little bit in reserve that you have, whereas the guys would be like oh I'm done and I'd be like, no let's, let's do it again or let's get a few more meters you know, that kind of, that kind of, that kind of mindset at least when I’ve been with other women that's you know what I thought of. I've trained with Jenny you know, we both the similar you know mentality um and I don't think there's any disadvantages, and of course I would say that about being female. It’s just different ways of managing anything that might be difficult to you I suppose but um no I think like you say like the diligence, being on time, organisation, less likely just to kind of wing it, um you know I think it's more important because I don't know if women feel their time is more important so they're less likely just to be so blase about it, you know I'm here cooking my food and um you know organizing my time and writing my diary and you know things what I need to accomplish things like that I don't know if or all men do that I know I certainly do but I don't know if other guys do that my partner for example, would not be the same he would just be like I'm done and I'm not cooking and I don't want to train, but I would be like right I am cooking I am training and yes that was hard but let's see if we can make it better, you know maybe that's the difference.

Radzi: I wonder if it's an ego thing because I think when you’re saying about staying in it when it's hard I wonder if there's a sense of that as a guy I don't like doing things I'm bad at. I definitely don't want to stay doing things that I'm bad at. I want to I want to show hey look at you know ooger booger look at me, I'm amazing whereas I feel as though as you were saying I thought actually I think women are much basically humbler than men on the whole. I mean you don't see, it’s called bro science for a reason, it's not called sis science you see, you know, on the whole training properly, whereas men as soon as another man turns up right put five killers on the bar lads we're going to go heavier. It's just yeah not measuring competition.

Donna: Yeah definitely um I definitely have seen the bro, the grow parts in there in the gym um and that can also be when I'm when I'm there and you know maybe it may be my benefit but um I would much rather see somebody lift something nicely, then look like Their face might explode whilst trying to you know say oh look I can lift 10 more kilos than you, awesome, great.

Radzi: The thing is you're trying to die you're right but you're gonna humble people when you turn up to a gym if people say who's the strongest bloke in the gym, they're not expecting a lady called Donna to turn up and be the strongest person in the gym.

Donna: No well I think I’m quite lucky in my gym, I just get left alone. You know that's the nicest bit about the gym that I choose. I did go to a commercial gym before but I just didn't, I didn't like the environment I have to say. Mainly so um yeah I think it's uh it that was where mainly the more of the bro science the bro science would be. Although on a couple of occasions especially when I'm completing my biceps for some reason are absolutely ginormous so I do enjoy um going to go and use some biceps beside some boys um and then generally they go away but like literally it sounds really terrible but that's actually the only, the only time that I would do it, I would probably I’ll probably laugh while I’m doing it as well because I know that they're really big.

Radzi: So I'm not trying, I'm not doing biceps next to you then Donna.

Donna: Yeah so uh that's the only kind of like uh bro bit that I would, I would go and do just mainly because it raises my happiness level, have a little chuckle to myself so uh yeah.

Radzi: And just really finally, is you mentioned you're not sure how long you'll keep doing it but as long as you keep enjoying, as long as you keep competing, as you are you'll continue what would you, what would give you enough to say my work now is done? Would it be another world record? What any particular titles?

Donna: Not really sure I've been thinking about this because people have asked me that before I've like turned 40 now so a lot of people saying are you going to go into the masters now and I was like well, no not yet. But um I think that uh with either I’m lucky, I suppose in that respect that I’ve got to achieve what I wanted, what was to, which was to win World's Strongest Women and anything else other than that has been a bonus for me. I've been fortunate to go around the world doing what I love, showing you know women other women you know what women can do, showing the world what women can do, so anything else that I achieve from now is like a bonus and it's I do it because it's fun and I and I want to so who knows how long I will keep going. Obviously, I would like to win the World's Strongest Woman again but that's more of like the personal challenge of it rather than you know, collecting collective titles um I felt comfortable and happy the first time that I won, so it was it was nice. To keep being able to be in that is great it's harder to retain a title than it is to win it in the first place, so winning the second time was also was also great and I've lost and won it back again. So it's been a bit of a you know backwards and forwards kind of thing so this year yes obviously I would like to win the Arnold and would like to win the World's Strongest Woman. We'll see what happens.

Radzi: What a perfect place to end and Donna I said you're the very first woman we've had on Making Gains and what a way to begin with three times World Strongest Woman and who knows could be four times this year and Arnold's chuck that for 2021. It's been a really really insightful chat so thank you so much for your time Donna.

Donna: No problem thank you for having me.

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Episode Four: Donna Moore video

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