Winning everyday!

Recently I have noticed that whenever people talk to me about my sport and training they always talk about winning. In contrary to myself that is because I do not feel the need to do so because I feel like if you feel like you are winning everyday , there is no need to keep bringing it up.

Everyday you might ask? Yes, everyday and I am not talking medals you can buy at Ali Xpress people, I will explain why and how I mean this so some of you, probably all of you readers can feel like you doing it too.

1 Being loved
I have the privilege of having my sister as a trainingpartner. She loves me and I drive her crazy all the time. The feeling I get whenever she tells me how she cannot live with or whitout me makes me feel like a winner. Yes , she cannot stand me, mission accomplished!

2 Focus
When I started taking powerlifting serious a lot of people I spend time on vanished. Poof , just like thin air they went, because sometimes it is true; people want to see you do good but not better than them. And some people dont like you because you don’t dislike yourself. This is what brought me loads of time to spend on powerlifting and saved me some coins too ūüôā and it has brought me focus. Focus on my goals wich is essential. Win-win!

3 Sensei
Powerlifting has introduced me to Wim. My coach who I cursed the first time he ever let me do anything. He tortured me at our first introduction 2 years ago _see video _ and now he gets to do it every week. He also made sure I can rep the first ever national deadlift record I set in september ’16 for more than 15 times, got my squat on a way to greatness and works on my technical flaws daily. He let me play in the wimwamgym when he was away in Pilsen, he likes shoes like I do and he tells me to shut the hell up when I doubt myself or annoy him or myself. I like people who are honest. He is that person. He feels like a prize. And prizes are for winning . Yeah!

4 Being extra
As a theatermaker extraordinaire I am used to people being extra and I don’t judge people when they are not. In powerlifting some people are extra and some are not. I feel like I get to put my own kinda extra in my attire, my routine and how I carry myself on and of the platform. It is not an act. The Ily you see is the Ily you get and I like how this works for me : not pretending to be somebody else. Having control over that feels like hitting a home run. Yes dear I said it…. and enough homeruns mean…. yeah winning!

AND LASTLY……….. A lot of people asked me recently if I envy my sister because she gets to lift at competitions, I have not yet qualified for such as classic worlds or equipped Europeans ( i know you are waiting for it and that will be nice right me in equipped liftinggear ?). But the answer to the envy part is NO…. and that is because I know that she deserves it and that you become better and stronger when you train with people who are better and stronger. So without sounding cocky …. I am glad I deserve to train , hang out and support her at all her meets and all things in life and love the fact that in doing so I’m winning some more!

I can go on for a week telling you about these winnings but I won’t and keep it at this.

Please let me know how you guys are winning , I’d love to hear about it.


Yes Wim!

So after 9 weeks of preparation on a programme Wim designed for me I stepped on the platform last Sunday to compete at Dutch Nationals 2018.
It was my third Nationals after my first in 2016 where I got the silver and my second, only a little over 4 months ago,  (december 2017) where I competed while working myself back up from an injury and raked up the silver again. All the competitors in my class who competed at  Nationals 2017 and more were competing too at Tilburg University where TSKV Spartacus hosted the event.
The task was clear. Just as the goals and the mindset that should go with it. After  all the training, whining, tears,laughs, and longing I was going to compete for one thing only: the title of Dutch national champion.

When meetday rolled around, the weather managed to play a suprise on us because never in my short career of lifting I had competed while it was this sunny, warm and humid. So it is safe to say having trained in Surinamese heat , no airco, bathing in sweat without any knurling on the bar for two winters in a row came in  really handy Sunday.

During warmups there was one moment where I kinda¬† almost freaked out and tried to vent to coach about it. That was a great idea… NOT¬† hihihi because in pure Wim fashion he immediately silenced the hell out of me making absolutely sure and clear no energy would be wasted on that today… Satan. Wim wasn’t going to let ME, MYSELF AND I,¬† be the person to stand in the way of my own succes and so when the meet started shortly after, the only words that came out of my mouth ¬†everytime he said something were : Yes Wim.

Squats , bench and deadlifts all¬† went great. ¬†I managed to keep my technique better and was able to correct myself where needed, wheras I had not been able to on previous occasions where things got hot and heavy (pun intended).¬† I stayed in my zone and in my lane – which for some reason was described as angry and extravert on the livestream commentary – but is actually more custom Zombiemode with the occasional smile,¬† if you don’t believe me ask Mirthe de Haan ?.

The result of all of this was a 27 whites & 9/9 performance -> see here<- 
(SQ 170/ B E85/ DL 213 totaling 468 kg), with meet prs across the board, a chip on the national deadlift record,because that was all it needed for now ? and a qualifying total for European Classic Championships in Lithuania later this year.  And the cherry on top : I took home the gold in the 84+, got to stand on the #1 spot and wheeled in the title of Dutch National Champion.

After the meet Iris , Wim and I went for burgers & icecream and we got to treat coach to a double burger for his double accomplishment that day because Iris -she will blog on it –¬† managed to scoop up a gold medal as well!¬† Wim could have opted to be somewhere else that day, but he chose to be by our sides (knowing the results we got were part of his mission) and for that we are forever grateful.

And after seeing first hand all Iris has been through these past two years I could not be more proud.  I was beaming so hard when I saw her break the -84 deadlift record again, and was humbled knowing that Рdespite all trials and tribulations- I have one of the strongest  females -in numerous aspects that is- around as my very own sister.

This past week new plans were made and I am excited to start another cycle towards my new goals.¬† With the continuing magic of my physiotherapist Sjors Schipaanboord #mymedicalcenter and my go to acupuncturist Dopey Calor @i_lotus_therapy by my side ofcourse. During this cycle I will continue to focus on what I need to do to lift according to my potential and also will keep putting myself first. Even when it gets uncomfortable I’ll start where I am, use what I have and do what I can. I will also listen to coach more often and tell him his new favorite sentence every once in a while. He already told me the aim for the end of this year…..

I told him Yes Wim!




They say time flies when you are having fun. Well I found out  time also  flies when you decide to do make choices for yourself  that differ from everything you have known untill then.

These past 8 weeks I put myself through the wringer. And even tho it is nothing new , I had a few very important things that helped keep me #insane and #inthegame.

FUN. It is really easy to loose the fun of things when you attach¬† competetive GOALS to certain things. So for me having fun , even tho I feel like I can not see another barbell¬† is key. Training at coach his house was mostly fun this cycle….. for him that was… ?

VALIDATION. Some will agree and other will say¬† I am crazy¬† but I believe¬† validation is a big player when it comes¬† to being¬† competetive in anything in life and achieving results of and kind. That being said, I also believe one should only look for validation¬† within their¬† own mirror.¬† You validate you… AND when you do that loads of things will fall in place.

TECHNIQUE.¬† A things that takes practice,still ,patience and drive.¬† I am not a perfect lifter and to be honest I do not know anyone who is. But I have learned that besides¬† being strong , TECHNIQUE can make or break you. Time spend in the gym dedicated to bettering flaws kept #myheadinthegame and¬† have me hungry for more… because we are never done.

Well this is all folks. Nationals  is around
the corner and a new week emerges soon.  Lets get to it !




You surfed over here to get some intel right? Well get some tea and enjoy ¬†I’d say because for everybody who did not see the¬†GWPL interview we did last year or doesn’t understand Dutch and can’t read some of the online articles¬†that were published about our powerlifting journey recently, ¬†I did a lil’ ¬†searching, some updating and mashing up and turned it in to this post right here full of things about me myself & my sister Iris. Voila!

An introduction of us !

BOTH: We are sisters who happen to have set out their goal to become the strongest sisters in the world.  We hope we are able to inform and inspire as many people as possible to keep pushing and work towards their own goals in lifting and in life!

ILRISH:¬†I am a theatremaker & professional by day, a soy-no-water-chai-tea-latte ‚Äď addict by night and a certified powerlifting fanatic all day, every day. ¬†But first things first #inmyJayzvoice: please allow me to reintroduce myself. The name is ILY, that’s short for Ilrish¬†and an anagram for I love You : ‚Äď) ¬†I‚Äôm 31, hail from Utrecht, The Netherlands and have a bloodline that goes all the way back to the borders of Senegal & Gambia, as both of my parents are of Creole ‚Äď Native American ‚Äď Surinamese descent and the Dutch and the Surinamese share a long history between one another.

Theatre is my middle name and when I am not making it, teaching theatre class or directing theatrical plays you can be sure to find me either in your nearest Starbucks, shopping mall or if you are lucky, at the gym where I’m likely bending some bars. London & Jamaica are my favorite places in the world, I love me some hiphop, gangsta rap and poetry ¬†and I have made it into an art to workout anywhere, whenever I can so do not be surprised if you see me and my sister Iris getting a workout in anywhere outside of our hometown.

IRIS:¬†My name is Iris, I’m 34 and I‚Äôm from Utrecht, the Netherlands just like Ily.¬†I am a dreamchaser by day and a vampire by night who eats kryptonite for breakfast :-). Although I consider myself as being strong there is one thing I can‚Äôt conquer or overcome and that is sleep!

Besides my love for powerlifting I’m also into dancing, especially Latin-American styles. The sounds of bachata, merengue and samba music always make me want to get up and move as listening to such tunes, and being able to dance just gives me life.  Even when I should be acting all civil and business appropriate I always feel the need to take out my 15 seconds of fame and bust a move on-the-spot, even after completing a heavy lift.
I think I got it from my momma :-

About our relationship. When did we start lifting individually and then together?

ILY : ¬†I‚Äôd love to tell you I have been a sports fanatic my whole life and have always had a lot of role models, but I would be flat out lying to you so let me be real.¬†I grew up being the fat kid. I use the word fat on purpose because that is the best way for me to describe how I felt back then. Since the age of six I had always been obese and when I turned 16 this spiraled into the morbid version of that disease. Call it genes, call it nutrition, call it a combination of both but weight, body image and depression (because of it) controlled a big part of my childhood and adolescence. ¬†When I was in my last year before graduating high school and got my class picture, a picture where I was sitting on a chair, looking more like one of my class mates mothers or aunts, I died a little inside. I looked at the picture and saw a person I didn‚Äôt want to be anymore. From that day on I made a promise to myself to change my habits and be the best possible version of me, I possibly could be. ¬†This promise to myself did come at a price, though. I had setbacks, lost tons of weight being a ‘ cardio bunny’ ¬†for ages, gained all of it back, lost it again, developed an eating disorder, went to therapy, trained with a personal trainer, lost the weight again, gained some of it back and at one point almost gave up. I say almost and I say it proudly because during these years of struggle there was one person who kept me going and never gave up on me; my big sister Iris.

During all of these years, Iris supported me. She therefore was and still is my biggest inspiration. ¬†Even when I was at my lowest point, emotionally not stable, tipping the scale at almost 120 kilo’s and barely hanging in there, she was there. When I was down she always picked me up, made sure I worked out, worked out with me, ¬†drove me to my appointments, sat on my couch, made me eat food; even when I didn‚Äôt want to and above all, she never, ever judged me.

As of December 2014, I can proudly say that I have been able to maintain a stable and healthy lifestyle that allows me to live, enjoy life and be successful in all endeavors I take on. And this only got better when both of us decided to take on powerlifting in January 2016 and put all of the strength we gained over the years to work. ¬†For the first time in my life, I enjoy being active, feeling soar, putting my body to work, eating healthy, being competitive at sports and taking responsibility for my health all by myself. I take just as much pride in my work accomplishments as I do to the one regarding my athletic accomplishments and have come to the conclusion that I feel more comfortable being ‚Äėstrong‚Äô ¬†than I have ever felt while I was trying to be ‚Äėslim & normal‚Äô. I approach powerlifting as taking care of myself and see my training sessions as appointments I‚Äôm in control over, just like a boss. And you know this thing about bosses, they never cancel on themselves.

IRIS: For as long as I can remember I‚Äôve been interested in various kinds of sports. I ran track, played basketball and took on kickboxing for a while.¬† Doing the exact same thing over and over again though has become something I‚Äôm allergic to. That is why in the beginning of 2016 I ¬†was in an everlasting searching for a sport or activity that could keep me entertained and challenged for a longer period of time. I found what I was looking for when I decided to join ¬†Ily when she approached me and said she wanted to take on powerlifting seriously and started to train for it specifically. We went and jumped in to the adventure together, – then coached by Floris van Melis ¬†(@nursefloor) from whom we learned a whole lot- ¬†and quickly realized ; Being a powerlifter is one thing, being a competitive athlete another. We learned it was going to be hard and we weren’t at the gym anymore to ‘play’ or to chat but ¬†that we were there to #WORK.‚Äô

What are the benefits of having a lifting partner & how do we help each other through tough training sessions?

ILY:¬†Having my sister as a lifting partner has benefited my athletic ability and has enabled me to grow into the level of fitness where I am now. ¬†Working out together stimulates me to make a bigger EFFORT every training, makes me hang in just a little longer and pushes me to put in those few extra reps. Iris’ background in martial arts and track equipped her with a sports mentality and luckily for me, it was a contagious one which has become something I now live by; winners aren‚Äôt people who never fail, winners are people who never give up. At the gym where we train; Golds Gym in Nieuwegein – ¬†@goldsgymnl- , just like in life I can be found mostly doing that, not giving up.

IRIS: Sharing is caring and this also applies to my powerlifting work ethic.
I love to work out on my own but get inspired and get serious damage done with that special someone that motivates me to be the best version of myself. For me, that’s Ily my sister, partner in crime and workout buddy.
I have mad respect for her. Knowing that what she has accomplished on her personal athletic journey didn’t come easy. Seeing how she picked herself up and made big changes, makes me proud and the fact that she allowed me to reach out to her and be a part of all of that and make some serious steps in powerlifting together, even more.

IlY: When things get really tough in training we often refer to and remind each other of our training sessions with our Рnow Р trainer & coach,  who happens to be  former IPF international powerlifter -120 Wim Wamsteeker (@wimwam1). Wim has been around in the powerlifting scene as long  the both of us are alive, has coached many great strength athletes long before we ever picked up a barbell and has been working with us on our strengths and weaknesses. The no-nonsense approach he uses to get us to work through difficult training sessions most of the time is all we need to get our minds and bodies back into the game.  Wim also advises us when it comes to making long-term plans regarding lifting and provides us with the best lifting gear from Titan (@titannetherlands), making sure we only use the best material out there.

What are your individual lifting goals?

ILY: We have come to love powerlifting very much and in these past 2 years  it has brought us a lot of good. When we started lifting our first goals besides becoming good technical and strong lifters individually, was to compete.

IRIS: In September 2016 we competed in our first meet, SBD Cup 2016 where Ily placed first in the +84 class, breaking the national deadlift classic record for her weight class with an 185kg deadlift.

ILY:  Iris placed second in her weight class -84 and we both qualified for Dutch Nationals all at the same time.

IRIS:¬†After this meet, Ily set her eyes on deadlifting 200kg or more at those Nationals ¬†and on December 10th¬†2016 she became the first woman in the Netherlands to deadlift more than 200kg in an official classic powerlifting meet. Ily took the national deadlift classic record for the entire open (and her weight class) lifting 201kg ¬†with room for more and couldn’t be happier.

In 2017 she topped that performance  with 210kg, first at the DRC Cup 2017 and later in Hamm, Luxembourg where she became Western European Champion.

In December 2017 she managed to pull 212,5kg at Dutch Nationals, taking home the silver again. Doing all of this at a bodyweight just shy over 84 kilo’s. At the moment she is preparing for Dutch Nationals 2018 were we both will be lifting and are excited for.

ILY: Iris did absolutely amazing at her first nationals, taking home the silver in the -84, putting 17,5 kilo on her total in less than 10 weeks and squatting a fabulous 147,5 kilo in contrary to her 60kg  (yes sixty) 1rm of January 2016.

After that it went fast. In 2017 she deadlifted 210kg when she also became Western European Champion in Luxembourg and later that year she managed to squat 165 kg and pull 220kg at Dutch Nationals 2017 at a bw of 79,04.

In 2018 she started to lift equipped as well, put the equipped Dutch deadlift record in her name with 230,5 kg. Currently she is preparing for IPF Worlds 2018 in Calgary where she will be lifting and the European Equipped championships 2018 in Pilsen were she will be lifting as well.

IRIS:¬†¬†We aren’t fortune tellers but do of course have goals for the future of our lifting careers. ¬†Besides staying healthy, strong and injury- free, ¬†a few of them are exploring equipped lifting even more, a deadlift with at least ¬†four reds on each side to be the standard, a bigger bench (make that two ūüôā ¬†#prayingtothebenchgods, a 200kg classic squat for the both of us, qualifying for Europeans and Worlds as sisters and a 500 point wilks ūüôā

Why do you think it’s important for women to continue to uplift each other, especially through powerlifting.¬†

IRIS: We both love powerlifting dearly and think  a lot of people are doing amazing work  in creating platforms and brands catering to the strength community and giving women a voice to be empowering  and uplift each other. All while lifting heavy ass weights, juggling careers,  and everything else life throws at them.

We also believe that by uplifting each other, especially through powerlifting we as women show ourselves and others that we are capable of absolutely anything and everything. We get up, move and get things done. Life shows us all the time that being healthy and strong isn’t something we should take for granted and as long as we can (slightly) control that part of life we see it as an obligation to put everything in our power into it.

ILY:¬†Coming from a family where we were thought to be a strong individual mentally, must also have something to do with this, but in fact becoming it physically and spreading the ‘ word’ is just as important.

We love to see the growing community of women who go from picking up heavy stuff a.k.a. lifting weights like it’s nobody’s business, believing in themselves and following their dreams. In our eyes they are the future, they are great examples for young people growing up,  for their environments and this ever changing world altogether.

Find us on Instagram @ilyscious and @inspirised, we’d ¬†love to talk to you!






After Ricky stole my monday spot last week for his blog
I AM BACK ¬†with a vengeance to share some thangzz with you all about my powerlifting WHY. Why? you might think…. well lemme tell you.

A while back I was gifted the opportunity to talk to Maarten Gulickx about  my profession, goals and my life. One of the most important things he shared with me in this conversation was the finding and defining of my
‘WHY’, because at the time my WHY
had been turned in to a complete messy and disastrous  HOW :-(.
Maarten promised me that when I would get back in touch with my WHY, everything I wanted to do, accomplish and go for would sort itself out. It would take time he said, because he is no magician and neither am I , but it would turn out for the better if I just focussed on this essential thing.
And so I did.

Flashing forward; the focussing on my WHY ¬†eventually gave me the space and peace of mind I was looking for. ¬†As expected it took time, effort, moving on from people, places and jobs, ¬†more than several rivers of good ol’ ¬†tears but it also blessed me with the love for the sport of powerlifting and the opportunity ¬†to find space in my ‘ life WHY’ ¬† to implement ¬†and define my own ‘powerlifting WHY’.

Key ingredients ¬†of powerlifting that influence this last WHY are not only the fact that I strive to better myself everyday but also the fact that in doing so I like to give back to others #representationmatters. ¬†Going the distance, getting my hands dirty and having long term goals also play a big role and of course one ¬†should never forget, ¬†the power of competing for everything you once thought or was told you’d never have or couldn’t do, ¬†can have on a person.

I am really happy that finding my WHY has helped me in my powerlifting journey that ¬†just only passed the two year mark and has already ¬†brought me so much more than I figured it would ¬†around the time my convo with Maarten took place. As we arrived in week 5 of this cycle, my WHY has steered me in all kinds of directions already and April is around the corner with a platform waiting to be directed towards next. ¬† And while coach has been slaughtering me softly on Saturday’s (last saturday he had me do a back-off set of 10 on squats…..) ¬†and I am still figuring out the WHY on these RDL’s that suck the life right out of me every time I look at them, ¬†I will keep at it because in the end ¬†it will be worth it. Because as coach always says; Powerlifting is a metaphor for life.¬†







After a Sunday well spent doing absolutely nothing I am geared up for what is already week 3 of zhe program. But not before I inform y’all about some of the ways week 2 had me feeling’ of course. I’d be lying if I said everything I ¬†had to do was super easy this time around because it was not . But even some of the things I suck at ¬†aka loathe aka hate with a passion as big as my pretty-sizeable-behind, are starting to grow on me ūüėČ Soooo there it goes;


Confusion. After thinking I just murdered my ¬†first – heavyish -training on Saturday, I managed to mix everything up on Monday, again misreading my program (what else is new) and going in and out of my style during squats. ¬†I told Wim and he said I couldn’t ¬†execute my plan to play catch up on the things I missed in a session later in the week, ¬†which first ¬†actually really pissed me off ¬†but turned out to be for the better once I put it in to perspective. Being confused about this has me fired up for the new week, were I aim to do not want to miss a thing #aerosmithvoice.

Hunger. And I mean that in every sense of the word. Most of you reading this will know that I am not the heaviest of super heavies around, in fact at my last meet I was just over 84 kg. Nevertheless ¬†the weight thing doesn’t stop me from being as hungry as I can possibly be stepping in to the gym everyday and putting all of the kilo’s on me to work. Some say I ‘ SHOULD’ be bigger/ heavier , not knowing I actually know how it is to weigh 120KG ¬†for example and I do not find anything amusing about it for me as a person. Taking that in mind helped me to stay hungry this week. I am hungry for kilo’s. On the bar. I am hungry for reds. Reds, on reds, on reds.

Fried-ness. Mid-week, after doing my umpteenth set of RDLs the thought of ¬†me doing a doublebodyweighted anything just couldn’t be processed by my mind (or my body). I find correcting some things in my technique challenging with a vengeance, ¬†but I know it is necessary for me to achieve my goals that consist of ¬†maintaining and gaining strength, being a more complete lifter and growing as an athlete everyday. If feeling like a piece of doublefried chicken is part of ¬†that I’ll take it , because my last session on saturday ¬†proved ¬†again that part of the ‘ i cannot….’ thoughts are made up in the mind. ¬†And as you might have guessed by now my confused & hungry-fried-up-self managed to do everythang on zhe program. I think Wim would have locked me in the WimWamgym without food and water if I didn’t.




From now until forever
(because that is how long I’m in the gym as of late)
I will write about the things I learned about myself, life, powerlifting and all that jazz here. As I am not longer invading the Wimwamgym as a spectator and visitor only, but because I can call Wim my trainer & coach now, ¬†I think there will be plenty of things I want to write (read complain) about ūüôā
The direct link to all this madness is¬†Bookmarking ¬†is free ūüôā
To keep it fresh and frisky I will serve y’all weekly with a ¬†‚Äėthings ILY did’ segment starting right away with :
Read! And if you think you understand, read it again. My sister got me a new notebook , i wrote the program down and still managed to do more reps than coach put down. Coach laughed at me when he saw my videos…. nice try honey.
Improvise! After getting pretty irritated about not having a 15 kilo dumbell for wobbly squats I managed to make my own with a 14 and my kilo plates. Doing my wobblys with a dumbell instead of a plate was kind of a thing to adjust to. I still loathe them with a passion but hey‚Ķ. it is a small sacrifice if it enables me to squat 200 classic right ūüôā
Go! On Saturday I had to do the ‚Äė heavy‚Äė sesh on my own because my sister Iris wasn‚Äôt training right before her debut at Equipped Nationals. I slept like crap but just told myself to GO GO GO and to suck it up. After 6 years, because that is how long that session took :-), I was rarely delighted to have squatted using my belt only on all of my topsets and managed with no equipment on bench and deadlift. Happy campergoals!
Looking forward to this week, I saw paused squats on there ; the joy ūüôā