Date of Birth: 21st April, 1993
Location: St Paul’s Bay
Star Sign: Taurus
Media-related occupation: Fitness coach/ Full-time weightlifter
Yazmin Zammit Stevens has so far participated in the Small Nations in Cyprus, the Tournament in Serbia, the Commonwealth Championships in Malaysia and the Junior and U23 European Championships in Israel. Adding to this stellar portfolio, she’s also recently left Malta for the fourth Qatar Cup.
How did you get into weightlifting?
Around March 2015, my friend from university suggested I try out these really intense classes he was doing that involved endurance training, body weight exercises, gymnastics and weightlifting, and I thought why not? So I went down to The PIT, tried it, and fell in love with how absolutely exhausted I felt after! I’d struggle a bit with a long endurance based workout, but any time we had to show off our strength, I’d do really well. Eventually, my coach recognised that I was naturally better at the strength and weightlifting part of every session, and insisted that I try out a weightlifting competition.
I then did my first ever weightlifting competition. I had no weightlifting singlet, no weightlifting shoes. I had no idea what I was doing. I missed all three snatch attempts at 45Kg, but managed a 71Kg clean and jerk. I was placed dead last out of all the competitors, but I enjoyed it more than I can explain. I don’t know why, but something about being on a platform and lifting weights just made me super happy. So after that, I made a decision to start focusing only on weightlifting. I graduated with a BSc. Mathematics & Statistics and Operations Research, and now that I have my degree, I’m following my dream of being a full time athlete. I’m currently a full time weightlifter.
When did you really start taking the sport seriously?
When I started weightlifting, I immediately knew I wouldn’t just do the sport for fun. I’m a super competitive person, and whatever I do, whether it’s in sports or anything else, I’m going to try be the best at it. So even if I was the athlete who was right at the bottom of the ranking list after my first competition, I made sure to start working hard to climb all the way to the top.
There’s obviously a stereotype that lifting is solely for men. What are your comments with regards to this?
I really think this stereotype is not as strong as it used to be. I think recently more and more women have found passion in fitness and discovered a pride in their muscles. It doesn’t affect me almost at all.
If you had to meet any other weightlifter, who would it be and what would you talk about?
Definitely Mattie Rogers. She’s one of the main reasons I started weightlifting. I’d probably be too starstruck to ask her anything, but if I’m calm enough I’d ask her how she stays so consistent throughout her training, and how she manages to get through tough cycles of the regime.
Can you talk us through a typical day in your life?
I train early morning for around 2 to 3 hours depending on the programme. I’ll then go home and try to get as much rest and food as I can, before I go back to the gym in the early afternoon for another few hours. I’ll shower and go straight to work, giving fitness classes. Before I sleep, I’ll eat and do around half an hour of stretching, and that’s basically it!