Ever since I can remember I have always been involved in sports. I began skating on the ice when I was 7 year old and I still love it. So in the winter time I try to take time to skate. In 1999 I bought my first rollerblades and began inline skating in the summer time as well. During my primary and secondary schooling, I did light athletics such as swimming, skiing (cross-country), martial arts, and I competed in many school contests.
Read more how my life went on but meanwhile you may also see the documentary movie about my life. Click below on the picture and enjoy "The Woman behind the muscle"
After Secondary School I applied for and was accepted into the Estonian National Defence Academy, Defence College and studied there from 1993-1997. After graduation I started my military career in the Estonian Defense Forces. It was hard time but it made me as I am now.
When I was 13 years old I started to go to the gym. At that time, I only did general strength training. In February 2003 Tiiu Kimber, who is a legendary powerlifter in Estonia, and who by the way taught me skating, talked me into trying powerlifting. I started training in powerlifting, went to the Estonian Championships and got 3rd place. I began to concentrate more on being a powerlifter and successfully competed in several powerlifting and strength contests.
In November 2006, I went to see the Estonian Championships on Bodybuilding and Fitness for the first time. Even though I had had thoughts about competing in bodybuilding before, I had never taken the final step into training as a bodybuilder. But then I felt I was ready. So, I spoke with Tiiu and her son Ain Kimber, who has been and still is a competitive bodybuilder and asked if he would train me for a bodybuilding competition. He did and my first contest was in November 2007 where I placed 1st.
Before that, in summer 2005, I went on a peacekeeping operation to Bosnia and Herzegovina and went on a seven-month mission that changed my life completely.
From Jan 2008 I signed out from the army and started my sport career. I leave the army as a Captain.
Meanwhile, I began taking courses in basic fitness and the Gym Instructor basic course in EFTE (Estonian Fitness Trainers Education) in 2007. Also I attended an excellent seminar which was presented by Dorian Yates, six-times Mr. Olympia respectively.
Finally, in December 2008 I made an exams and got a Bodybuilding and Fitness trainer's qualification.
The upcoming studies planning to continue in Estonia and abroad.
In July 2009 relocated to Belgium and 17 Oct 2009 got married with a belgian Guy Poortmans.
12 Jan 2011 was born our little babygirl Lexie. Our princess :)
I used to train and participate in IFBB competitions, and that all under surveillance of Bill Richardson (1980 Mr Universe NABBA Overall Winner (amateur)).
In summer 2015 I changed the federation and compete under WFF-WBBF and my new coach is Levent Deveci
(president of WFF-WBBF Benelux Countries). Also, I continue give personal trainings and nutrition consultations.
* To continue to compete in Miss Physique contests
* To continue my studies for becoming a better personal trainer
* To be featured in some fitness magazines
* To be a positive role model for all female athletes
2004 - Best powerlifter in Pärnu Sport Club (Estonia)
2009 - Tallinn Powerlifting Champion (Estonia)
2009 - Best Woman Newcomer of the Year (Belgium)
2009 - Best Female Bodybuilder (Estonia)
2011 - Best Athlete of the Year (Belgium)
Videos and articles:
Video - Estonian Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in Tallinn, 9 Nov 2007. See www.fitness.ee.
An article, photos - weekly magazine Naisteleht, No48 (88), 30 Nov - 06 Dec 2007
An article, photos - newspaper Sõdurileht No27 (263), 14 Nov 2007.
An article, photo shoot and video - My training, 13 Feb 2008. See www.fitness.ee.
An article, photos - magazine Buduaar, Spring 2009.
Little movie piece - Kättemaksukontor (3) "Kulturistid ja kummipuu" (was on TV3 on 14 May 2009)
An article - Get to know the Estonian athlete – Gerbel Mikk. See www.fitness.ee
An article - daily newspaper Õhtuleht 5 Oct 2009 - Õhtuleht
An article - weekly magazine Kroonika 13 Oct 2009, No 42/712 - Kroonika
An article - weekly magazine Kroonika 27 Oct 2009, No 44/714 - Kroonika
An article - monthly magazine FLEX (The Netherlands) March 2010, Number 3 NL.
An article - monthly magazine NINA (Het Laatste Neuws) 19 June 2010, jaargang 5, Nr 166.
An article, photo - monthly magazine FLEX (The Netherlands) October 2010, Number 10 NL.
An article - weekly magazine Kroonika 07 March 2011, No 13 - Kroonika
An article - weekly magazine Kroonika 07 November 2011, No 45/819 - Kroonika
An article - monthly magazine FLEX (The Netherlands) March 2012, Number 3 NL
An article - monthly magazine FLEX (The Netherlands) April 2012, Number 4 NL
An article - monthly magazine FLEX (The Netherlands) January 2013, Number 1 NL
An article - monthly magazine FLEX (The Netherlands) February 2013, Number 2 NL
An article - monthly magazine FLEX (The Netherlands) March 2013, Number 3 NL
An article - monthly magazine FLEX (The Netherlands) April 2013, Number 4 NL
An article 'Gerbel Mikk (38) de bodybuildster' - De Standaard magazine (belgium) 21.09.2013,
An article - monthy magazine FLEX (the Netherlands) November 2013, Number 11 NL
Bodybuilding, powerlifting, figure and inline skating, running, walking
How you train to be fit?
My usual training program consists of strength training 3 days per week and cardio as well 3 days per week, weekends are off, but not always.
I have tested all kind of training routines on myself to find out what works for me and now I have sticked with one routine I like, though I do some little changes while to while.
My Usual Weekly Training Routine:
Monday - cleaning the flat :) ... And cardio
Tuesday - chest, back
Wednesday - cardio, abs
Thursday - legs, delts, trics
Friday - cardio, bics, abs
Weekend - No training days, but often happens that i still do go to gym
or do cardio or skating or crosstrainer
What was your first show like, any interesting experiences?
Well I learned that powerlifting is a lot easier then bodybuilding. The bodybuilding diet was a killer but I enjoyed it anyway, especially afterwards seeing pictures.
What do you like and dislike about competing?
Dieting is the most challenging one - not to be able to eat what I love.
How you eat to be fit?
I eat mostly protein and veggies in any form. Few days per week I eat also carbs to keep my energy going. I drink up to 4 liters water per day and it keeps my stomach feeling full though it means I need to go a lot to lades room ;) lol
I love to cheat sometimes (bread, pancakes, icecream, pizza and etc) but that during my offseason. Other then that I try to keep healthy eating pattern and enjoy it.
Could you tell more about how you got into training, perhaps a little bit history?
It seems I have done all my life some trainings from skating, light athletics, skiing, aerobics, martial arts (self defence), gym and etc. I started to go to gym quite early in my life beside all kind of other trainings mentioned above. I was then just 13 years old. Now, I have sticked going mostly to gym but also love still to skate (figureskating and rollerblading), ski and just walk.
Where do you train now?
I train in Dfitness, in Hoboken-Antwerpen, Belgium. My trainer/coach is Levent Deveci (president of WFF-WBBF Benelux Countries).
You have a child, how you combine taking care of her and going to gym?
It doesnt happen often that you can take kid to the gym and im one of the lucky ones who could. Bill allowed me to take my little babygirl, Lexie, to gym. She was born on 12 Jan 2011 and 3 weeks later we started to go to gym together. By now she is bigger and wants to try, copying exercises after me or other trainees and its kinda fun. Now she goes to school/kinderguarden and also could join with me in Dfitness if there is no school. Lucky me. Till she keeps being healthy then I keep training as much as I can.
You have done also powerlifting, why you stopped with that?
Yes, some years ago I competed also in powerlifting (2003-2009) and from 2007 I started competing in bodybuilding. So, I did both of them for almost 3 years and I can tell you the training is really different from one another. That was one of the reasons why I stopped, another reason was that I moved to Belgium and here I was easier to stick with one. Though Bill would have coached me in powerlifting also if I really wanted to continue.
It was a great thing to do both and challenge yourself with all the different type of training and so on.
How did you choose the military for a profession?
When I was young I saw young Russian solders/conscripts running on the roads and beach area in Pärnu. There was one of the units very close by where I lived. So, I really wished to be able to join to the army. When I was a teenager, I started to think of going into the police service. But when I finished secondary school and wanted to go to Paikuse Police School that was a year they didn’t take any girls into the service (during that time girls were only admitted every other year because there were too many of them wanting to join the police service). So it seemed that I would have to wait for a year, but then I heard (my dad worked for the Defence League after he retired from being a Captain on a fishing boat) that women candidates were being accepted to the Military School in the Estonian Defence Academy in Tallinn. Now the Military School has moved to Tartu and is separated from the previous Academy where all police, correction, investigation, border guard, fire rescue still are and where I used to study. The Military School years weren’t easy but I made it and I really don’t regret the choice to join the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF). My career was great. I was able to participate in many courses, visited many countries and worked in different positions in Pärnu and Tallinn. I was also able to serve abroad in international units. I was also able to go on a peacekeeping operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I had great colleagues throughout my years of service.
So I’m very happy I had the chance to work in the EDF. It was very interesting, challenging and I gained a great deal of knowledge which I am able to use now, in the future and in my civilian activities.
Why do you have such an unusual name?
It’s an interesting story. Actually, my mom and dad had another name for me. They wanted to name me Barbel, who was some famous singer in Germany I think. But my poor dad (who already had 2 sons and wanted a daughter very much) was so happy when I was born that he forgot the name he and my mother had agreed upon when he went to put the name in for me. He remembered that the name had some ‘bel’ ending but he couldn’t remember the first part ;) So he made the name up on the spot that sounded fairly nice to him and I became Gerbel :-) So I got my name with a few complications: :)
What's your fav cheat meal?
Love pizza, pancakes and icecream, but i try to cheat with these ones very seldom.
Usually my cheating day lasts half day and i eat hot oatmeal, rice or pasta, and more fruits then usually. But i dont say no for 1-2 class(es) of wine, which we can also call little cheat.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
I would like to stay a role model for women and a men, and continue working as personal trainer - nutrition consultant; and help people towards leading and active and healthy lifestyle.
Why did you changed gym and a coach?
I just needed a change, I was with Bill 6 years and I learned everything from him what I know now about training and especially posing and I never had so good coach as him. I'm very appreciated for that! Nevertheless, I needed change to find the motivation back to continue hard trainings and compete again. But it wasnt a only reason to change coach. As I changed federation then my new coach Levent is a president of WFF-WBBF Benelux Countries and it makes competing and etc a lot easier. Also, travelling to gym and back took too much time, I lost 2 hours just to go and get back from gym. Now where I go it takes me around 30min to and back. Also Dfitness is bigger, more space, machines and if needed I still can take my little daughter with me, what is and has been most important thing when I look for a gym to go. I think it covers it.