The weight room is not just for the boys anymore. Female weightlifters are becoming more common and ever more impressive. These incredible women are the definition of powerful, crushing their goals inside and outside of the gym. Their dedication to their fitness, physique and kicking ass is truly amazing and something anyone can learn a valuable lesson from.
Here are a few of the most impressive, most talented, most hard-working women in the business.
There’s a good chance Mattie Rogers can lift more than you. The woman is a powerhouse. Rogers is a weightlifting competitor and U.S. athlete, representing her country in competitions at home and abroad. And she’s earned every ounce of admiration she receives.
Rogers cleaned house, bringing home three gold medals from the 2016 World University Weightlifting Championships. Her most impressive lift that day was an astounding 132 kilogram (291 pound) clean and jerk. That’s nearly twice her bodyweight! She PR’ed and then celebrated with some tacos, the way any 21-year-old who just crushed her goals would.
“I’m also a complete perfectionist,” she told Bleacher Report, “which is what makes me the athlete I am and what kills me at the end of every week.”
Her success in 2016 is even more impressive when you consider that she’s only been training since 2013. “I began CrossFit when I was 17, but I transitioned into lifting after about a year,” she says on the Team U.S.A. website. “After my first national meet in 2014, I was completely hooked and never looked back.”
As of last year, Rogers held eight American records, including the all-time female high for the snatch and the clean and jerk in her 63 kilogram (139 pound) weight class. She breaks records, but you might also recognize her for breaking windows in a viral video that showed her dropping her weights and chasing after them as they rolled through the glass windows of her gym.
She’s not phased, though. “Whether good or bad (#nosuchthingasbadpublicity), I’m happy to see this much publicity being brought to the sport of Olympic Weightlifting,” she wrote about her viral video on Instagram. “Be nice in your comments on that stupid video. Women are strong, contrary to what some of you believe.”
Camille Brown is a kickass CrossFitter and one of the female weightlifters to know. Her body? Incredible. Her work ethic? Unparalleled. Brown is an incredible athlete who found weightlifting as a way to gain strength and endurance for softball. She loves competing and found CrossFit after college.
“I love how I have to constantly force myself to be better as an athlete past college,” she told Muscle Prodigy. “I now coach athletes and train people to give them the same experience I had growing up; to set a goal and crush it with hard work.”
For her, it’s all about crushing those goals. That’s what makes weightlifting so appealing to her – the constant improvement, lining goals up and knocking them down and, of course, the workout itself.
“I honestly love any workout,” Brown said. “There is no bad workout. If you have the ability to challenge your body in any realm, I believe that you should. But personally, I love intensity. So I gravitate towards CrossFit since it encompasses so many components. There is always something to get better at and improve on.”
She’s a model of achievement and she’s far from done. She wants to compete internationally for Olympic Weightlifting and compete regionally for CrossFit. She wants a master’s degree in kinesiology and to write a book one day about everything she’s learned. And she’s learned a lot.
“My advice is to not be afraid of failure,” she says to beginners. “Failure is going to happen; it’s part of the process. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t pushing the envelope enough and testing to see how far you can go.”
Amber Abweh is your strong Khaleesi. The 21-year-old calls herself the Mother of Dra-Gains after the Game of Thrones heroine and she certainly looks the part, with the same long, white blonde locks. She may not have the might of dragons behind her, but she’s every bit as powerful as Daenerys Targaryen.
“It’s awesome to be compared to such an impactful character,” she told Shape Magazine, “so I decided to own it!”
She’s not bent on conquering the Seven Kingdoms, but she is all about conquering her goals. “My only goal is to get stronger,” she said. She trains four or five days a week, focusing on powerlifting moves like the squat, bench press and deadlift.
Just like her namesake, however, it took her some time to realize the power she holds. She hasn’t always felt so comfortable with her body, but she now respects it for its immense capabilities.
“Powerlifting has been the best thing that has happened to me because I used to always feel insecure about my body,” she said. “Now [I don’t care] what people think of my body because I know what it’s capable of.”
Kristin Pope is a weight lifting force to be reckoned with. The 27-year-old is an Olympic Weightlifter and powerlifter. She may be a petite 5 foot 2 inches, but every bit of her body was built for lifting weights and it’s on full display when she does her 300 pound deadlift.
The girl’s a juggernaut and she knows it. She told Refinery29 that she would describe her body in one word as “strong.” It’s not about what her body looks like, but rather it’s about what her body can do.
“I feel like every part of my body is functional for my sport,” she said, “and I love that! Nothing I do is for aesthetics – only for the love of the game.”
She has no time for haters, or people who think women are better off on the treadmill than in the weight room. But she’s excited for the attitude shift she’s seen toward lady lifters and their bodies.
“I think it has changed a lot,” she said, “and people are starting to really respect female lifters. But there is still a lot of negativity from a large quantity of people. I hope in the future more people continue to be accepting of female athletes and the body types that come with strength training. I am proud of my body, I work hard for it and I don’t let anyone else’s opinion affect how I feel about myself.”
These are just a few of the amazing, hard-working, beautiful, powerful, inspiring, incredible women who lift. Read their stories, follow their journeys and be inspired to make positive, powerful changes in your own life.