May 12

Gabriele Burgholzer is the Strongest Woman To Serve

By fitness

May 12, 2022

Imagine being on the Arnold Sports Festival and standing among the many finest on the earth in your sport getting ready for competitors. Gabriele Burgholzer is aware of that feeling effectively. At the 2022 Arnold Pro Strongwoman contest, Burgholzer stood as one of many 10 strongest girls on the planet to compete in Columbus, OH.

Burgholzer positioned eighth, however the connection for Burgholzer goes far deeper than simply being a contest participant. The native of Austria feels a connection to its host, fellow Austria native Arnold Schwarzenegger — she’s even often known as the “Austrian Oaktress.”

“I almost want to say I followed in his footsteps a little bit because he also left Austria to go overseas and to make a name of himself,” mentioned Burgholzer.

Burgholzer spent her complete childhood in Austria. In her native nation, the lads are required to affix the navy earlier than shifting on with the remainder of their lives.

“In Austria, it’s mandatory for all males to serve in the military for a couple of months to get the experience,” she mentioned. “So, my two brothers, my father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and so on, all served in Austria.”

Courtesy of Gabriele Burgholzer


After graduating highschool, Burgholzer got here to America in 2007 to be an change scholar. Because she cherished being within the United States a lot, she opted to remain right here completely. However, she needed to do greater than merely dwell right here. She needed to indicate her appreciation for the nation she now calls dwelling. That’s why she enrolled within the United States Army.

“I’ve been granted a lot of opportunities here that I think I would have not been granted in Austria. I just wanted to give back to the community. I wanted to thank the U.S. in a sense for letting me be and stay here, and for all the opportunities I’ve been given.”

Burgholzer has been serving within the United States Army for 9 years, and her present rank is as a Staff Sergeant. Her travels have taken her from Fort Jackson, SC, the place she carried out in Basic Training to Texas, North Carolina, and even Hawaii. She is at the moment stationed in Fort Knox, KY.

Among the honors she has acquired embody the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, three Army commendation medals, and extra. In February of 2019, she tried out for the US Army Warrior Fitness crew. Since August of that yr, she has been the one strongwoman competitor on the crew. Burgholzer wasn’t concerned with health as a child, however she has turn into obsessed with energy and energy.

“I did try my hand at bodybuilding, but I found that it wasn’t quite my forte. I preferred lifting heavy instead of looking good onstage.”

Gabriele Burgholzer deadlifting truck tires attached to a barbell
Courtesy of Gabriele Burgholzer


The sport of strongwoman turned out to be the proper selection for Burgholzer. She entered her first contest, a neighborhood competitors, in 2019. By 2020, she was topped America’s Strongest Woman.

“It used to be frowned upon to be a strong woman and have big muscles. So, (the cheers) got me going and kept me going in that direction, and I haven’t stopped since.”

Gabriele Burgholzer went on to put second on the 2021 America’s Strongest Woman contest the next yr. Her first worldwide contest got here when she competed on the Arnold in March of 2022. Staff Sargeant Burgholzer defined the sensation of representing her new dwelling nation in a global contest below the intense lights of Columbus.

“It felt amazing. It was an incredible honor,” she shared. “If you were to tell me I would compete with the best athletes in the world in my sport and represent both Austria and the U.S. on that stage, I’d thought you were crazy. It’s a memory that I will cherish forever.”

Burgholzer might not have received that contest, however there are specific to be extra worldwide contests to come back, and he or she shall be prepared. Aside from her dedication to coaching, her service and dealing within the Army has served as a bonus to mentally put together as effectively.

“I think as soldiers or any servicemembers, we are taught from day one to have discipline. I think that for any sport, that is one of the bases you have to have. You have to be disciplined throughout your training, your diet, your sleep, everything to be in top shape,” she defined. “I truly thank the Army for helping teach me that discipline.”

Gabriele Burgholzer winning Americas Strongest Woman competition
Courtesy of Gabriele Burgholzer


Gabriele Burgholzer made it clear that she was referring to self-discipline, and never motivation, as a result of as all athletes that compete know, the motivation is probably not there day-after-day.

“Just like in the Army, there are some things that you have to push yourself to do, there are days you have to do that in the gym as well. There are always good days and bad days.”

After the Arnold contest, Burgholzer needed to endure a number of surgical procedures which have stored her from returning to the energy stage in the intervening time, however she shall be again, and he or she already has targets in thoughts. One of these targets is definitely in one other sport – powerlifting.

“I want to set the world record in the bench press. I recently hit 325 pounds, and I have no technique right now. So, I’m working on that, and hopefully I can break the record in my weight class, which I think is 380.”

Gabriele Burgholzer credit a whole lot of her success in energy and life to the navy, and he or she feels everybody ought to perceive what it's prefer to serve this nation.

“I actually think everyone should serve in the military for a couple of years. It has really helped me learn more about myself, improve discipline, and it has given me an opportunity to look at a bigger picture of what service members do for this country,” she defined, “It has also given me appreciation for the freedom that we all get to have. So, anyone that may be considering joining, please do. Obviously, do your research to find which branch is best for you.”

Aside from being top-of-the-line in her sport, she needs to be top-of-the-line for her sport. Burgholzer needs to encourage extra girls to get entangled in energy sports activities on the whole to allow them to turn into their strongest selves.

“To all women out there, not just in the service, but all women, come join me in a strength sport. Don’t let society tell you what you should look like or what you’re supposed to lift or not lift. Come join me.”

Follow Gabriele on Instagram: @gabi_theaustrianoaktress

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