Purpose Driven Training: Julia Gylbert

Living the fitness lifestyle can mean a wide diversity in what and how to exercise. Different passions, different goals - but with the same dedication for training and living an active and healthy lifestyle!

Something that often is a common denominator in above is gym training. This serves as an important foundation to succeed in different kinds of sports.

During the upcoming months we will publish a series with several different Better Bodies ambassadors who are passionate and active in different kinds of sports but have one thing in common; the gym as the foundation. Whether the main purpose is to build strength, stability, becoming more explosive, loosing weight or gaining weight they all go to the gym to achieve it.

Here we meet Better Bodies ambassador Julia Gylbert. A 19 year old Swedish girl that has a great future ahead of her as a jockey.

Julia shares her story and dreams and why the gym training is so important for her to be able to succeed in her sport!

A Different Level

When I first started to ride thoroughbreds (racing horses) it was scary because they are very strong and powerful horses. I knew how to ride because I started to ride when I was 4 years old, but these thoroughbreds were on a whole other level. So I had to learn everything all over again because everything was different.

I Can Do It!

It is almost 4 years since I started as a work rider. I did not compete in the races because for that you need a license, and that license is not easy to get. I had to overcome my fear that everybody else was better at this sport than me, and decide that I could do anything that they could do. And that is why why I decided to go after the amateur jockey license. I wanted to show everyone that I could do it to! And I did!

Becoming Professional

Today I have an amateur jockey license, and everyone’s got my back; jockeys, trainers and my fellow amateur jockeys, they are the ones I compete against. There are 3 different kind of jockeys, for starters you become a amateur, after that you can decide if you just want to stay an amateur and ride races for fun or if you want to make a career out of it. And if you decide to do that, the first thing you have to do is to become an apprentice in a professional trainers stable. And after you have WON 70 races you then become a professional jockey, and that is when you start to make money on the races.

Put Your Mind To It

What I have learned from this sport is that you can do anything if you just put your mind to it. Never give up and believe in yourself. In the beginning I didn’t, but I surrounded myself with people that wanted me to succeed and gave me boosts when I needed them. It took a while for me to understand that if they can do it so can I. But now, I know.

Everyone Starts Somewhere

Of course there are times when I compare myself with other riders but I then remind myself that; Sure, maybe they know better and maybe they are better riders. But they started somewhere too, and that is what makes me keep going. I want to be that one, the one who makes other people want to do better. Because that is what has helped me through this.

Strength And Balance

Because of the training we are being put through every time we get on the back of these horses, we get an amazing balance. We stand in 90 degrees on a horse in full speed, and at the same time we have to have control over the horse because it shouldn’t always go at the fastest pace, which is about 65km/h.

These horses are very very strong, so you have to have amazing core strength and at the same time have the strength in your arms and back to be able to stay in that position. It takes a whole lot of time and effort to make it in this sport, but it’s all worth it.

Nothing Else Matters

Because of the time you as a rider have to put down to become a good rider and jockey, you don’t have that much time to spend with family and friends, It’s early mornings, we start the day in the stable at 6 am, and we are done around 1 pm or so. After that you'll need all the sleep you can get. But if you love the sport, and always are ready to give a 110% (and you have to if you want to get anywhere in this sport). Nothing else really matter, it really doesn’t because you are already doing what you love. The early mornings and sometimes bad weather will not bring you down, nothing will. And most of all, your love for the horses, everything you do is for them really. 

Leaving My Comfort Zone

I am now leaving my comfort zone here in Sweden, and will be traveling to England for the first time in my life, on my own to go and meet a professional trainer in Newmarket to ride with and learn from them. My goal is to get a full time job as a work rider. It’s a dream and now it can finally come true. But It hadn’t been possible if I hadn’t taken my license and started to ride for a Swedish trainer at Bro park Galoppbana to get more hours in the saddle and on the racetrack. My self confidence has grown so strong, that nothing can stop me now.

Gym Training With Caution

When I work out in the gym I have to be careful, because I cannot have to big muscles in my sport, because that will not be in my favor on the race track. The lesser the weight the better. But at the same time I have to have strength in my legs, core, arms and back. So basically my entire body has to be in amazing shape, but not to big. I also need to have a really good physics.

So many of my workouts require mostly my own body weight, so I often do something like this: Lunges 2 minutes Push-ups 10x3 Plank 2 minutes Plank (with one arm and one leg out, so I stand on my right foot and left arm and the other two are straightened out) 1 minute per side The Indian 2 minutes  Side crunches with straight legs 2 minutes  Squats 2 minutes (fast pace) 90 degrees (stand on something so you can get up from the ground, just stand on your toes and stay there ) 2 minutes Intervals with 5 push-ups in between every interval

I always warm up with a run, 3-5 km to get warmed up. I work out 4-5 times a week in the gym or at home because my workouts are done just as easily at home. When I’m not working out I’m in the stables or working since my job isn’t actually horse racing (yet).

There is not a time when I’m not working out because I’m almost always in the stables, but I guess the few times you don’t find me there you can find me with my friends or family, probably drinking coffee.

Training While Working

When I’m in the stables I ride from 4-6 horses every time so just the riding kind of covers every workout. All of my muscles are constantly put to the test, even though I am fit and used to this type of training.

Besides the riding we muck out all the stalls and other stuff so my body is really tired when I'm done for the day.

When I’m riding a race it’s even harder. In a race you have your stirrups even shorter than in training and the adrenaline makes you take out every bit of power in you, but that’s not always a good thing in this sport. 

I Will Never Stop

One month ago, I went out in my second race ever. It was 28 degrees Celsius and it was a race on 2350 meters. After the finish line I fainted and fell of the horse, and at that speed I could really have hurt myself. But luckily I was unharmed, I didn’t get any big injuries but I was bruised big time.

I went to the emergency and got morphine and had to stay home from work for a week because I was in so much pain. At the end of that week I was up in the saddle again and out in my third race and finished second. So I just had to, literally get back up in the saddle again. I was nervous but it was all worth it.

All of my friends and family thought I was crazy to even think about getting back up on the saddle that fast, but I didn’t care because this is what I live for, and will never stop doing. Ever.

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