Athlete Interview: Aimee Anaya

  1. Name? Aimee Anaya
  2. Age? Kids? Job? I just turned the eminent age of 30. I was really excited all of my 29th year to turn 30. Like wow! 30! I’m so over my twenties, this will be great! But as the dooming deadline of January 11th approached, I wanted to take all that excitement back. Now, I’m just going to stay at 30 for the next 30 years. I no longer believe it is necessary to observe birthdays. I do have a child. My precious kiddo. Her name is Jade and she is now the grown-up age of 5. She recently has become quiet interested in lifting. She knows the basic movements of a snatch and a jerk, and can perform them with a PVC pipe and .5 kg plates on each end! She is becoming increasingly interested in watching all the lifters in our gym. She is currently in gymnastics. She likes it because of the movie Stick It, I like it because of the fundamental strength she is going to obtain for lifting. She hears us talk of the Olympics often, and just yesterday she asked me “Momma? When am I going to the Olympics for Gymnastics?”. Ha! That’s my kid!
I currently work a full time job at a casino (Monday-Friday 9 to 5). I am an assistant to a Vice President of Food & Beverage and Entertainment. I have recently determined that it is in best interest as an athlete to start training twice a day, so I have decided to leave my position and start serving again. I got a job at a really nice restaurant in Wine Country, and I am able to work part time so that I can focus on my training and have more time with Jade.
  1. Weight class? In the past 6 months I have been eating my way up to the 69 kg class from the 63’s. Gaining weight is not easy for me. I fight to waver around 66 – 67 kg. I am almost there!
  2. When did you start lifting and why? Why did you stop? I started lifting in 1996, around August. I was playing on a summer volleyball team and the volleyball coach sent me to Coach Burgener to gain strength. At the time, I was not so sure about it, because I had never strength trained in any kind of way. I thought I was going to be walking into a gym to hop on some machines. It all happened very quickly, and I can’t remember all the details. I just know that one day I was playing volleyball, and the next I was learning to snatch of the blocks. I started lifting everyday, and I quit Volleyball. About 4 months later I went to the American Open, and got to go to the OTC for the Junior training camp. So, I decided to stick with weightlifting and not pursue volleyball or track in college.

I stopped weightlifting in 2000 for absolutely no good reason. I hate to say that, but it is true. I was just selfish, and I wanted to go home. I was living at the OTC at that time - I didn’t realize then what an amazing opportunity had been given to me. I had seen all of these astonishing athletes who were devoting their lives to their sport. Some had lived there for years. I was worried that if weightlifting were taken from me, what would I have? I didn’t have a college education, and I don’t really have any family support, and it just scared me, I think. So I left the OTC, stopped training and dove into school. I didn’t step foot into a gym for 6 years. Now that I am training again (since November, ‘05), I realize the mistake that I made. I’m older and I have matured. I recognize what I lost, and what I have to gain. I am a better weightlifter now. I am stronger, I am mentally stronger, I have learned how to focus, and I have found a drive that I have never before experienced in my life. I have a passion and an extreme obsession for my sport now. I didn’t have that before. I have no regrets- I am grateful that I made that mistake so many years ago. Ultimately it has made me better.

  1. Did you play other sports? In high school I played basketball, volleyball, and I ran track. I wish I knew then what I know now in regards to strength training. We never went into a weight room!
  2. What are your goals with lifting? Where do you train currently and with whom? I have many goals for lifting. Most importantly to train healthy and strong for as long as I can. To continue to make gains and make my rise to the top. To have an exceedingly amazing come back. To stand on as many medal stands as I can. Every athlete wants to become an Olympian, my 5 year-old wants to be an Olympian. I want to be an Olympian. I just want to continue to beat my records and myself. If that is enough to make it to the top, then I am on the right track.

I train in my coach’s gym in Bonsall, California. I absolutely love it. He has four platforms in his garage, and we have a great little team. We are each other’s support everyday. My coach is Mike Burgener (www.mikesgym,org), Senior International Coach. In my opinion, he is the best coach in the United States. I have had many coaches across many disciplines in my life, and none compare to him. His knowledge and strength, along with his ability to understand me thoroughly, amazes me. We are very, very close- we have a great relationship. He is a father to me; a pure level of strength, trust and respect that I have never experienced with another person.

My boyfriend, Greg Everett ( is also very involved in my training, nutrition, and recovery. He is an inimitable to my weightlifting, and has become a huge asset to our team. Greg’s level and degree of knowledge is astounding, and he has brought so much to the table. My coach has welcomed and entrusted Greg as an assistant to my training, which has brought me both contentment and motivation. He is amazing support and encouragement for me, and I am a better lifter because of him.

  1. Ever had any major injuries from lifting? I think every injury is major if it takes you away from training. Because of this I try and do everything I can to ensure I get the best out of my recovery. I focus on my sleep, my eating, and my physical therapy. I have an athletic trainer who is simply amazing. He does a ton of soft tissue, this and that, etc. for every ache and pain I have. Greg has vigorously introduced me to stretching, cold pools, icing, and foam rolling- all which I hate, but it is still fantastic for my training. I hurt my wrist about 8 months ago and didn’t say anything to anybody. I was afraid that my Coach wouldn’t allow me to train on it, so I worked through the pain. I will never do that again. The only result from such stupidity is an increase of the injury and a longer healing process. I have learned my lesson that the best way to prevent a major injury is by recognizing pains in your body, and taking care of them.
  2. Best snatch, clean & jerk, front squat, back squat, push press? My best snatch is 88kg, my best clean & jerk is 108 kg. My clean is a lot stronger than my jerk. But this month I found my jerk, so watch out! I haven’t maxed out in quite some time in the other lifts, but my standing pr’s are: front squat- 130, back squat- 155, press- no idea, push press- around 86- 90kg (I can snatch push press 90kg).
  3. Any advice for women who are afraid to weight train or do weightlifting? First and foremost… to not believe the common misconception that you have to be gargantuan to be successful. You can still be beautiful and sexy and a lovely little lady even though you weight train. I believe that because weightlifting is such an unrecognized sport, women think of bodybuilders when they hear the word weightlifting. They see in their heads these muscled out girls in a bikini, and they automatically say heck no! Further, there are so many ridiculous exercise fads and diets out there that women are merely unguided and uneducated when it comes to weight training. Women have to see society’s version of beautiful through airbrushed, skinny, perfect looking models portrayed in the media. My advice is to not be afraid to be strong. Strength is just as beautiful. Right?
  4. What will you do after lifting? Lift. Haha! No… I am currently getting my Masters degree in Forensics. I will graduate in December of 2007, and I am going to start applying to PhD programs for Psychology this summer. I want to work for the FBI. And of course I will coach. I’d love to take over my coach’s kids, and Jade will be lifting then I’m sure. I will never walk away (completely) from lifting again. It is me.
Please check out Aimee's website:


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