‘It makes me feel alive’: Meet Mandy the powerlifter, 51, with a world record
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019
A 51-year-old woman from Norfolk has proven age and gender has no bounds as she can deadlift the weight of an adult kangaroo.
Mandy Bush, who works in water management services, began powerlifting when she was 45 years old and has since become a world, European and national record holder.
She began work with her personal trainer Dom Hills, in Bodyfit Health and Wellbeing gym in Sapphire house, Norwich, after becoming overweight and unfit. In the first 12 months of training she lost three stone.
Mrs Bush, who lives in Reedham, said: "I did not plan on doing any kind of lifting. I got in touch with Dom because I was unfit and prediabetic, for a while we did a lot of circuit training and then he brought up the idea of weight lifting.
"He asked me if I fancied it and I was surprised to find out that I am very strong in this area and began to really enjoy it."
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Powerlifting is a strength sport that involves three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts, a squat, bench press, and deadlift.
Since starting lifting, Mrs Bush has competed in world championships in Scotland, as well as in other competitions across the UK.
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She said: "I would never enter the free weight area of the gym without Dom as I felt intimidated. Now I happily train there because he has taught me to use the correct form without hurting myself and to lift with confidence.
"I think weight lifting, particularly for women, it is a hard thing to do as you are brought up being told that men are the stronger sex.
Some of Mrs Bush's achievements include becoming female world champion and European champion for her age and weight class.
When asked how long she would carry on lifting, she said: "For as long as I can.
"The powerlifting has actually had so many benefits to my life, I am now stronger than I have ever been, I'm very, very fit and it helps me with my job.
"I know people in their 80s that lift weights.
"This is my passion, this is my hobby and it makes me feel alive."