Recovery from knee & hip surgery

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The Static Monsters Worldwide has now been run 5 times with major changes and expansions each year. Some athletes have competed in the event since the start and others are totally new to the competition. One that joined early on is Rebecca Aichholzer. Bec is based in Brisbane. Queensland, Australia and competed in the second Static Monsters Worldwide event on the Gold Coast in October 2016.

This year Bec has decided to return to The Static Monsters as her first strongman competition back after recovering from an injury after both knee and hip surgery. Read on about Bec and I hope it helps you to plan your return to training and competition if you also have had to have some time off for an injury.

Name: Rebecca Aichholzer

Current Age: 43, but age is just a number!

First Statics event year: 2016 (only done it once, but supported the husband(Matt Aichholzer) a couple of times)

How many years competing in strength sports: 9 years. My first ever strongman comp was in late 2011 at NSW Strongest Man and Woman, after 6 weeks of training. My 2nd, 3rd, and 4th comps followed in quick succession because I fell in love with the sport. Late in 2012, I placed second in the Australian Strongman Amateur Nationals, which was my crowning strongman achievement to date. Then I discovered powerlifting and did both sports for a while, trying to figure out what to focus on. But due to a few injuries, I opted for powerlifting, where I was able to travel overseas, representing Australia in 2012 (Slovakia) and 2013 (Hungary) GPC World Championships, and won gold 2 years in a row to be a World Champion SHW powerlifter.

Bec powerlifting
A photo of Bec after a successful in a recent powerlifting competition

Do you remember why you did Statics the first time? I had been training for the 2016 GPC State Titles in powerlifting, and injured my back a week before the State titles, which devastated me. After rehab, I thought about how much I missed strongman so decided to start training and entered the comp 4 years after my last strongman competition.

What happened in between? Between 2016 and 2018, I competed in a couple of small strongman and powerlifting events, but had started to lose my motivation and love for both sports. Then in 2018, after years of mistreating my body, I had to have knee surgery to try and repair some of the damage I caused it from years of netball and lifting. Then a couple of months later, I tore the labrum in my hip, which went without a correct diagnosis (and a lot of pain) for 6 months before finding out what I had actually done. In Feb 2019, I had hip surgery and spent 3 weeks laid up not able to walk. I thought this would be the end of my lifting journey. The surgeon suggested I’d never squat to depth again, but I actually was determined to prove him wrong. I spent the remainder of 2019 and early into 2020 re-learning movement patterns, and successfully competed in the GPC State Titles in Queensland in March 2020, where I squatted to depth and had just about the most fun competing ever!

What has made you train for statics again this time around? I wanted to prove something to myself. Only a year ago, I thought I’d never lift again, never be strong again. But I found my fire while over in the USA watching Florida’s strongest man and woman in Dec 2019. I realised that I missed Strongman – so much… so I started a plan with my coach, Kelly Mann from Performotion, and everything I’ve done for the past 8 months has been purposely leading me towards competing in Static Monsters 2020.

Do you have some goals for this year’s event? My goals are – don’t walk forward and throw the log at the ref (sorry to John Wells for that!), stay uninjured, and fingers crossed for a 70kg log and 180kg+ deadlift.

What do you plan to do in the sport in the coming 12 months and beyond? Stay on top of my rehab work, train with purpose, be careful and work hard – then maybe compete in Statics 2021.

Favourite lift: Deadlift

Favourite event: Farmers walk (I love grip events)

Inspirations: Matt Aichholzer (work ethic to die for), Andrea Thomson (log press goals), Jill Mills (who I fangirled hard over when I met her in Florida in 2020)

Bec’s story is one of many we would like to feature on those involved with the event from across the planet. If you have a story that you think we might like to feature, please get in touch (you have to be competing in the 2020 Worldwide event to be considered as well).