Libby Dibaise is a HARDBODY. She’s built rock solid physique with years of gymnastics, soccer, track and crossfit. Libby not only looks the part of a hardbody but she also lives it. We caught up with the Omaha native to learn more about her background, how she became sponsored by Reebok and Gaspari Nutrition and insight into the world of crossfit. Libby also shares some advice for moms and whether or not Omaha Steaks live up to the hype.
Nutrition Consultant, Team Gaspari Athlete, Reebok Crossfit Athlete
Currently live in:
What’s the best thing about living in Omaha?
We have all four seasonâ€™s here, itâ€™s not too small of city, but not to big either. I love it.
What’s the one thing you wish you could change about the Big O?
Winter. It getâ€™s way to cold here for my liking.
Is the steak really good or a myth?
Oh yeah, no myth, Omaha Steaks is where itâ€™s at.
What’s the best cut to order?
What sports did you play growing up?
I started out in gymnastics and soccer and slowly transitioned into track and field leading up into high school.
Favorite sport to watch?
What was your favorite event in track?
4x100m Being part of team is so much fun no matter what sport, I always felt like I ran a lot faster than individuals races since I had other people depending on me. Also, the 100m and 300 hurdles. Nothing over 400m, thatâ€™s way too long.
Are you a girly girl or more of a tomboy?
A girly girl. Even though I throw around heavy weight and get sweaty and nasty when I workout, I still like to get my hair done and put my makeup on. A girlâ€™s got to look good right?
Who am I to argue with that?
When did you first start lifting weights?
My sophomore year of high school.
What would you tell other women who think weights will turn them into looking like dudes?
Genetics largely determines how we look, so it would sure take a lot to make any women look like a man without genetics and/or drugs. Lifting weights makes you strong and being strong keeps you young.
What’s the silliest comment a dude has said to you about being buff?
Did you get arrested today?
No, why? For having those guns.
Seriously, this was said to me.
How long have you been crossfitting?
Around 6 years
When someone asks what crossfit is how would you describe it to them?
It’s difficult to explain without experiencing it, but in short, it’s weightlifting mixed with track and field and gymnastics. We also use rowing, plyometrics, and strongman implements as big part of our training. It’s different everyday, it’s intense, and most importantly it actually works.
Were you skeptical at first or loved it from day one?
No, I loved it. I get bored so quick so thatâ€™s why I kept coming back, since it is different everyday, I was hooked.
What do you say to the people who claim crossfit promotes bad form and you are more prone to injuries?
I think that people watch videos on the internet of people doing crossfit workouts, and they think that’s crossfit. Crossfit does not promote bad form, but crossfit does promote results, with that being said, when people push for maximum intensity in sport and strength and conditioning technique is not going to be perfect. The best crossfit athletes and the best coaches view technique as the most critical piece to intensity and intensity is the most critical piece to results. New athletes will always move like new athletes and new coaches will always coach like new coaches so there will always be some bad technique out there. But doing functional movements with bad technique is still safer than not doing them at all. Obviously we would like to have functional movements with good technique. All sports have injuries. Is football dangerous? Is soccer? Gymnastics? Hockey?â€¦..etc.
Is the head band part of your signature workout attire?
Lol haha Yeah, Since I started Iâ€™ve always worn a bandana or headband. Usually I just cut the sleeve off a t-shirt and wrap it around my head, total jerry rig.
Do you follow the paleo diet and live and breathe the crossfit culture?
For the most part I eat paleo, but I add in oatmeal and protein powder. I’m not super strict. I found the best way to eat healthy is to just have those foods in your house. If you don’t have any sugar, starches or processed foods, you won’t eat them. It’s the best thing I’ve discovered.
Do you eat differently before a competition then your usual day – if so what changes?
Nope I eat the same. I might eat a little more than usual since we might have multiple workouts in a day.
Any experience on what to avoid on game day?
I have learned to not over analyze any workout. Grandit there is strategy involved in some of the workouts, but if I think about them too much it ends up hurting me rather than helping me.
Favorite crossfit workout?
Anything with heavy thrusters and muscle upâ€™s
Rowing and farmer’s carries.
Will we see you in the individual or team games this year?
Well, our regional was just a fre weeks ago. They took top 60 from sectionals. I went as an Individual this year and I wound up getting 9th overall. They take top 3 to the world games. I wasnâ€™t disappointed in my performances since physically I knew I did the best I could. Obviously there were little things I could of done better in some of the workouts, but it does sting not making it, it just wasnâ€™t my year. It gives me a whole year to get stronger and work on little things. Our team, Crossfit Omaha got 4 th as a team in regionals. They take top 3 also for the world games. They just missed the podium. This year will be the first year I havenâ€™tâ€™ gone to the games since 2008, either as an individual or on the team. But, I think this experience for all of us at regionals will mentally make us stronger and hungrier for next year.
Gym you train at?
Why that gym over others?
This was the first Crossfit gym affiliated in Nebraska. It started out in the strength and conditioning gym at the University where I ran track. They accumulated so many clients that Ricky Frausto and Joe Westerlin, the owners, decided to open there own crossfit box. So I have stuck with them ever since. The coaching there is phenomenal. To me, that is what setâ€™s apart this gym to others. Itâ€™s the little things they help us with (technique, efficiency, and transitions) We have had a handful of individual and teams qualify for the games also.
If I’m joining a crossfit gym for the first time – what should I look for?
Crossfit is not a franchise that is why every gym is unique. You have to find the best fit for you, to make sure it’s a welcoming environment and that technique is always taught prior to workouts.
If someone is new to crossfit how often would recommend they do it?
I would tell them to not be intimidated or scared to start. Everything is universally scalable, so everyone can do it. If they are new and starting out, I would still recommend 3 days on one day off.
Which of your athletic background has helped you the most in Crossfit?
I would say probably gymnastics. There is a lot of different gymnastics movements involved in crossfit and you use a lot of upper body strength in a lot of the workouts.
Areas you need to improve?
I always have areas I need to improve on. Mostly Olympic lifts,endurance, and grip strength. My hands are the size of a five year old boy, so Iâ€™m constantly working on ways I can improve grip for heavy lifts.
Ha. SoÂ man hands is an advantage. Gotcha.
Do you lift weights other than your crossfit workouts?
No not usually. If I donâ€™t do a crossfit workout Iâ€™ll usually just do Olympic Lifting. But, Iâ€™m up for most anything, everyone started out lifting isolation or doing the normal one body part at a time workout. So anything to keep me active and is fun. I’m down for.
You competed in Figure before, ya?
Ever think about doing another one?
No, I Iike food. Just not for me. But I am very impressed with anyone who does that, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
What female athletes do you admire – past or present?
I have 2 right now. Annie Sakamoto. She is basically the original OG of crossfit. I watched her in videos back in 2007 and thought; I wish I could be as good as her. She never competed until last year, she made it to the games, and she made it this year also. She has 2 kids, and most of all she always has a smile on her face when sheâ€™s competing. She has fun, and thatâ€™s what itâ€™s all about. The second one would be Ronda Rousey she is a fellow Team Gaspari Athlete, and a MMA Strikeforce champ. Basically she can beat up the guys, and you wouldnâ€™t want to mess with her, sheâ€™ll kick youâ€™re a**.
What advise would you give to women who are seeking sponsorships or what has helped you not only get but keep your endorsements?
Well, this is what I love to do, and If you do what you love, people will catch on and start noticing. Put yourself out there, you have nothing to lose.
How did you connect with Reebok?
Reebok actually just contacted me at work one day. They just called me up and said they were interested in meeting with me, and told me all about what they were doing with crossfit, and how it was going to move forward.
Gaspari found you at an event, right?
Ha, yeah. It was a very random way I met everyone from the company. I was competing in a team crossfit competiton at the UFC expo in Houston. The phone I had then always died. I really needed and outlet so the closest booth was Gaspari Nutrition. So I walked over and asked if I could â€œborrowâ€ their outlet for a little bit. Struck up and little conversation with them and a month later I was linked up with the company. Itâ€™s crazy how things happen and who you end up meeting!
Favorite Gaspari product?
Myofusion Probiotic Chocolate. Great to cook with, Also, detonate, should be out soon, just wait.
I read somewhere that you cross fit up until your pregnancy with your son – true?
Yes, that is true. I worked out until the day before I went into labor. Iâ€™m pretty sure that a workout I did put me into labor. It was called â€œThe Inducerâ€ Funny right, someone from the gym found it a told me to try it. I was 38 weeks when I did the workout, so the baby was completely developed. Anyway, it was 7 rounds of 7 pullups and 7 wallballs at #12. The next day I went into labor, I really didnâ€™t think it would actually work! Iâ€™d have to say working out my whole pregnancy helped me get through labor pretty easily.
What’s the most challenging part of being a mom and getting your workouts in?
The hardest thing would definitely be time management. I have to carve out time later in the day just to get to the gym. Between working full time, training and doing my other random jobs it does get a little overwhelming and frustrating. But, it is all worth it in the end. I love being a mom and my son is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
What piece of advice would you give other mothers who say they are too busy?
You are never too busy for your health. If you can find even 30 minutes to do some sort of physical activity it will help you tremendously.
How important is it for moms to lead by example in health and fitness, in your opinion?
Very important. It starts when you are little. The reason I am so active and eat healthy is because of my parents. You learn whatâ€™s around you. So, if you are surrounded by it, you live it. They way children eat when their growing is crucial. It can not only affect them physically but mentally, and also the way the act (attitude, and demeanor) Exercising and eating healthy is something you have to choose to live. Itâ€™s worth it.
Did you golf in Boise earlier this month?
I sure did. We were down there for the bodybuilding.com expo and a couple of us from Gaspari Nutrition golfed in a charity golf tournament for the Jayden DeLuca Foundation. We had ALOT of fun. Letâ€™s just say I was a little rusty, but got into the groove of things after a couple holes. But, I think all of us need to stick to what were good at, and that doesnâ€™t include golf!
What’s one thing you’ve yet to do that you’ve always want to?
One thing that scares the hell out of you?
Watching Criminal Minds by myself in my house.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
Oh yes. I would love to thank Reebok. For all of the gear and letting me travel to all these places that Iâ€™ve never seen. Gaspari Nutrtion, for all of the new friends that I have made and products they let me try, and giving me chance! Atlas Power wraps, for giving me the best wraps possible to protect my wrists. Also, my parents who help so much with my son Cruz. I am lucky enough to go to all these great events, so I need someone to watch him. They are always there to help. I am truly blesse and thankful for all of the sponsorships and people I have in my life. I couldnâ€™t do it without them.
Where can people find more info on ya?
On facebook: Libby DiBiase
and I blog on Gasparinutrition.com, you can find it here: http://www.gasparinutrition.com/teamgaspari/crossfit.aspx
You can see Libby in the newest Fitness RX for Women magazine on sale now!
Lead image courtesy of Gaspari Nutrition, Inc. by Ian Spanier.
Other images via Libby’s Facebook.