Sara-Sigmundsdottir-Heather-Pack

7 Important Lessons to Learn from Sara Sigmundsdottir

Find out what Icelandic legend and fan favourite Sara Sigmundsdottir can teach you about how to improve as an athlete and a human.

Sara Sigmundsdottir is an incredibly well rounded athlete, known for her toughness, strength, technical skill with a barbell and friendly and outgoing personality.

Here are her current 1 rep maxes for the following lifts:

  • Snatch: 95 kg
  • Clean and Jerk: 112.5 kg
  • Deadlift: 165 kg
  • Back Squat: 140 kg

Us the following lessons, tips and workouts from her to forge yourself into a fitter, happier, healthier and more competitive athlete. Sara is living proof that you don’t need any kind of specific sporting background to content at the highest levels in the Sport of Fitness.

Leg Workout from Sara Sigmundsdottir

8 rounds of :

  • 20 KB Squats
  • 30 Air squats
  • 400m run -rest 1 min

Train in style

1. TRUST YOURSELF AND WORK HARD

Sara Sigmundsdottir: “My focus was always to out work everybody, I knew the other girls had the background and had the talent which made me want it even more, I wanted to prove what I was capable of with hard work and inner desire.”

Sara does not come from any kind of specific sports background. She did not do gymnastics or Olympic Weightlifting from a young age, but has instead worked hard to cultivate and develop these skills. She believed in herself and put in the work. This goes for you too. Train hard, trust yourself and build confidence through the hard work that you put in day in, day out. Whatever your ability level, there is simply no substitute for simply doing the work. 

2. DRAW ENERGY FROM THE COMMUNITY AND YOUR TRAINING PARTNERS

Sara trains and competes against many of the best athletes in the world. This helps her to constantly push her skills and perception of her own limitations. Use the energy of those around you to help drive you forwards towards success. Make sure that you constantly compete against athletes that you know are better than you, as this will push you to become better yourself. If you are already the best athlete in the room, then its time to change rooms. 

If you look good when you train, then you will feel more confident. The Nike Heather Pack is a collection of garments designed for exceptional comfort, performance and style. The range combines muted grey tones with contrasting highlights to create a minimal and striking look. Sara wears these to train and stay comfortable and cool over longer workouts.

3. FOCUS ON YOUR GOALS

At the Reykjavik Games Olympic weightlifting competition Sara became Iceland’s first ever female to pass the 200 kg mark in total. She lifted a total of 201 kg / 443 lbs. She had focused on this goal for a long time, knew she was capable of achieving it, then worked systematically in order to make it happen. However large or small your goals my be, remember that hard work will beat talent every time if talent doesn’t work hard.

Make a plan, accept that there will always be setbacks, then keep working until you reach your goal.

4. BUILD MENTAL STRENGTH THROUGH WODS THAT TAKE YOU OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

1000 Burpees for time sound good to anyone? I thought not. But that is just one of Sara Sigmundsdottir’s workouts that she does to build an iron mind. There is absolutely no skill involved whatsoever, no equipment needed and it is just you against you. It isn’t pretty and won’t make a flashy instagram post, but IF you complete it, you will become a stronger person mentally.

These types of WODs also will shift your perspective, and make other WODs seem smaller and more manageable in comparison. Sara is now an athlete that knows it takes her 83:40 to do 1000 Burpees, and she understands what that feels like. So when they crop up in another form in her next WOD, they won’t look at daunting as before, and mentally she can readjust herself to complete them.

Ernest Hemingway once wrote that certain things in life ‘burn the fat off our souls.’ Doing 1000 Burpees for time is one of those things…

Here is another workout from Sara that you can use to improve your mental fortitude.

 Workout from Sara Sigmundsdottir called KETTLEBELL HELL!

Sara: ‘If you want to work on your mental side I recommend this workout called Kettlebell Hell.’

4 Rounds for increasing load:

  • 10 Double KB Clean
  • 10m Double KB FR Carry
  • 10 Double KB STOH
  • 10m Double KB FR Carry
  • 10 Double KB FR Lunges
  • 10m Double KB FR Carry
  • 10 Double KB FR Squat
  • REST 3 minutes b/t rounds

Recommended starting weights 16/12kg (35/26lbs) or more if you dare.. Take it with someone who pushes you! Thanks BK Gudmundsson for the competition’

5. CHOOSE EXCELLENT EQUIPMENT – THE NIKE METCON 4

Sara Sigmundsdottir trains in The Nike Metcon 4. This Cross Training and Weightlifting Shoe provides a strong, stable base, flexible support and extreme durability for a wide range of training activities, from sprints and sled pushes to lifting and rope climbing. A new textured mesh makes it stronger, lighter and more durable than any other Metcon.

Sara trains 2-3 times a day – then takes active rest days on Thursdays and Sundays. She needs a training shoe that is tough, stable and resilient, yet lightweight and breathable enough to support her in all the different aspects of her training – this is where the Nike Metcon 4 comes in.

Sara is especially proficient when it comes to longer, heavier workouts that require a combination of strength, excellent barbell technique and mental toughness. The Nike Metcon 4 is the perfect accompaniment for these WODs.  

6. TRAIN WITH A COACH THAT YOU RESPECT

According to Sara, a good coach should:

“should understand the mind of their athlete, never be controlling, and be willing to learn and hear your opinion.”

Sara feels that this two way relationship between a coach and an athlete is important to stimulate growth and keep training exciting, effective and fulfilling. For example she will often design workouts herself. For exmaple this one below was her answer when I asked her to describe her perfect workout. 

A WORKOUT PROGRAMMED BY SARA (HER PERFECT WOD)

  • 10-1
  • Strict muscle up
  • Paralette HSPU
  • Squat snatches that get heavier in each set

7. ENJOY YOURSELF

Sara Sigmundsdottir competes with her almost unrivaled determination and desire to win. She is switched on, focused and serious before each WOD begins. But watch her afterwards and you see a beaming smile light up her face, and an Icelandic girl that loves to compete and to better herself.

She strikes an excellent balance between being serious and dedicated about the process and her goals, but also does not forget to stop and savour the moment.

Improve your training now