After taking up competitive powerlifting less than two years ago, the 54-year-old new learning and development manager at Gripple, not only reduced her dress size from 18 to 8 but is now set to represent Great Britain by competing in the World Masters Powerlifting Championship in South Africa.
Prior to joining Gripple, Sheffield’s renowned wire joiner manufacturer, Kelly Clark gained extensive full-time work experience in learning and development, latterly almost four years with the University of Sheffield. At Gripple Kelly will be managing learning and development activity including recognised qualifications such as NVQ courses based at the business’s dedicated training academy, GLIDE House.
Kelly, who has arthritis, was starting to feel her age at 50 and carrying too much weight. Traditional weight loss methods did not inspire her and she worked out that fitness, not weight loss, was key to reducing her aches and pains with losing weight a bonus.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) helped her mobility initially but it was painful and limited her progress. She was then introduced to lifting weights which has dramatically increased her mobility and reduced her weight by 3.5 stone.
She joined GB Powerlifting Federation in 2017, entered her first competition last year, in the sport’s three elements - squat, bench press and deadlifts – qualifying for the British Masters Championships, gaining two divisional Yorkshire North East titles and records along the way. Now at the world championships she will be ‘rubbing shoulders’ with more than 150 of the world’s best powerlifters – women and men!
Kelly commented: “The fear that lifting heavy weights makes you bulky is unfounded. Lifting weights changed my life! Without the health, fitness and mobility benefits of lifting I would still need prescribed or over-the-counter medication. And I certainly could not have competed in strongwoman and powerlifting events or considered mud runs, obstacle course races and jumping out of planes for charity!
“I have met, trained and competed with an incredible bunch of people many of whom will remain friends for life. I could not ask for more.”
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