QUESTION 1: What drove you to get into weightlifting?
I didn’t really get myself into the sport initially. It was something that my dad got me into to improve my explosive power and speed in karate. I was a 6x world champion in karate and I strongly believe it was the support I did for assistance that helped me achieve this. I started Olympic weight lifting at the age of 12 with a coach that solely focused on technique and explosiveness.
QUESTION 2: What other sports do you practice?
I do CrossFit and am the owner of CrossFit ECX in Port Elizabeth. I also do martial arts when time allows me.
QUESTION 3: What advice would you give women looking to get into weightlifting?
Just remember that weightlifting does not make you bulky, it leans you out and gives you a strong body. If you want to compete in the sport, you can go and check out the different weight classes. Also make sure you find a coach that focuses on the goals you want to achieve and please don’t try and teach yourself on YouTube… This sport is way too technical.
QUESTION 4: You’ve done incredibly well in your career so far, breaking 2 SA senior records in August this year. What was your proudest moment and what are your goals moving forward?
It was definitely a very proud moment for me. But I think the fact that I qualified for the World Championships that will be held in Houston in November was an even prouder moment for me.

My proudest moments were when I won a gold medal at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Australia and then breaking the Youth Commonwealth record, as well as my silver medal I won at the University Weightlifting World Champs.

QUESTION 5: How do you prepare for competitions? Is it different to your normal workout routine?
It is very different yes; I do very sport-specific exercises and make sure my eating is right due to the fact that we compete in weight classes. Mine is usually u63 and I have to make sure my nutrition and supplementation is of top notch. I have a food coach and my Biogen products also help me so much with recovery between my sessions. They are a lot more intense, thus making my rest also very crucial.
QUESTION 6: What type of diet do you follow to assist you in competitions?
My food coach and I plan an eating programme for me that is wheat and gluten free due to my allergies, and which helps me recover between my sessions, maintain my weight and get stronger of course.

It’s very well balanced and eating at specific times helps me with structure.

I must just ad; I have a bad sweet tooth,but my food coach lets me get that bit of sweet in my diet J But my favourite meal by far is my protein pancakes in the morning with Biogen Casein Protein. Without fail, I have this every single morning.

QUESTION 7: What is your favourite Biogen product to use and why?
My favourite Biogen product by far is Pre-Amped.I have an extremely demanding job, physically and mentally, with training twice a day and my Pre-Amped helps me through my sessions with lots of energy!
QUESTION 8: What is it like competing in a sport that has generally been considered a male dominated sport?
Well to be honest that’s the viewpoint in SA and I had this same stereotype when I was younger. I quickly realised that it’s a sport with which you can still keep your femininity and keep your girliness -if that’s what you want to call it. When I travelled overseas, I quickly realised that there are girls who are true role models that compete in the international circuit and look the part of ‘real girls.’
QUESTION 9: What is an ‘average day’ in the life of Mona Pretorius?
My average day? Hmm…

04:30 – wake up
05:45 – Coaching
07:30-08:30 – My one on one coaching
08:30-09:30 – Coaching

10-12:00 – 1st training
12-13:00 – Coaching
13:30-14:30 – Admin or rest
15:00-16:00 – Coaching
16:00-17:30 – 2nd training
17:30-19:00 – Coaching
19:30 – Dinner and rest J
21:00 – Sleep

QUESTION 10: Finally,what has been the funniest moment/incident that you’ve experienced at competitions?
There are so many… hmmm… the team you travel with almost always makes and does funny things, but we have story where at the Youth Olympics in Sydney, Australia, we accidentally set the alarm off and we never in our life had such a big fright because they are very strict with those types of things. But due to a glitch our whole team had the biggest fright thinking we would sit in jail in Sydney.