Before she began competition in the 2022 Rogue Invitational, which will run in Austin, TX, from Oct. 27-30, 2022, Polish CrossFitter Gabriela Migała went to a unique place to refine and polish up her strength and conditioning. It might not have been that outside of the box for an athlete seeking every edge.
On Oct. 27, 2022, Migała posted a video to her YouTube channel that features her traveling to Hafthor Björnsson’s commercial gym, Thor’s Power Gym, in Kópavogur, Iceland. Her primary mission was to work on her deadlift and sandbag proficiency while being coached by two-time World’s Strongest Man (WSM) finalist Stefán Sölvi Pétursson.
From the moment she stepped out of her car — beaming while speculating if Björnsson is actually as big as his reputation says he is — Migała seemed eager to continue implementing some strongwoman-level training into her general routine. (Note: Björnsson was not in attendance.)
“I’m really happy to learn some new stuff from the best people,” Migała explains to the camera. “So it’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna be really helpful.”
Veering away from her usual CrossFit-centric routine apparently wasn’t easy for Migała. She describes herself as a person who appreciates consistency in her daily planning, making the initial slight transition a little challenging.
“Before I came to Iceland, that was one of my concerns,” Migała said of her reservations about trying a different training style. “I’m the type of person who likes to have everything scheduled. I like my routine. I don’t really like too many changes. Leaving my gym, and my equipment, and my everything was quite stressful. I wasn’t sure about this, especially so close to a competition [the 2022 Rogue Invitational].”
Ultimately, Migała appeared to be won over by the temporary variation after some time. She seemed to believe she acclimated well and that this sort of focus helped her become more versatile.
“It actually turned out to be a really good decision,” Migała says. “It’s really good training because I think, as an athlete, you should be able to adapt to everything and not really be used to doing the same stuff in the same safe space.”
As for her workout, Migała kept it quick, efficient, and effective when it came to the deadlift. That’s because her workout was not centered around pulling heavy weight. Pétursson had Migała refocus and rework her deadlift technique in a healthy manner for improved strength in the long run, and she seemed to appreciate the coaching.
“It’s so different; I think it’d be so much easier if you could start from zero rather than forgetting your old technique after doing it for so many years,” Migała said. “… But, yeah, practice makes perfect.”
Migała would follow the initial deadlift coaching by cruising through a field portion length of the gym while lifting and re-lifting an 80-kilogram (176.3-pound) sandbag. By the end of the workout, Migała shined with excitement about what she was able to accomplish.
“It was the best session from all of the sessions since we came to Iceland,” Migała expressed. “It’s been so beneficial to be able to train with Stefan [Sölvi Pétursson]. He showed a few more cues for [lifting] sandbags … so it’s very good.”
Migała is currently utilizing what she learned in training as a strongwoman at the 2022 Rogue Invitational. Chances are, it might help her round out an excellent performance in Austin.
Featured image: @gabimiga on Instagram