Hairdresser and mother of two Katherine Bartlett has been crowned Britain’s strongest woman. Weighing 9 st 11 lbs and standing 5 ft 6 in tall, she can pull tracks and cars. She has only been involved with the sport for three years but has already secured two titles.
The 31-year-old from Southampton, Hampshire, said, “I train five times a week for about twelve hours with a personal trainer that I have.”
Katherine got into the sport after watching a television program covering a competition. But it wasn’t until she went into a weightlifting gym that she got really hooked into it. There she met a woman who took her along to one of the classes she attends, and to her surprise, she managed to flip the biggest tire.
“It was then that I realised that I had a natural strength ability, and I decided to train to compete in Strong Women competitions,” she said.
Katherine never misses any competitions in the UK and has, in fact, entered the European and world championships. Each competition has five events that will either be timed or are rep events.
She added, “There are times when I have to carry 70 kg, and once I had to carry 27 st worth of weight on my shoulders, which was such an incredible thing to do.”
She finds the truck pulls the hardest as they require a lot of determination. She also finds difficulty practicing them as it is difficult to find a spare lorry around her neighborhood.
What served as an eye-opener for her was the World Championships in America, which she joined in February this year and where she realized that the UK is far behind in the sport compared to America. She hopes that Brits will be able to compete on the same level as them.
Aside from being a weightlifter, Katherine is also a loving mother to her 12-year old daughter, Eilise, and her 5-year old son, Carson. Amazingly, she has mastered the art of fitting her training around her family life, training anywhere and everywhere.
“I tend to do the bulk of my training while my children are at school, but if it has to be afterward, then my family will help me out,” she said. “The kids love watching me perform, though, and sometimes I will take them to the gym with me.”
Her daughter has also started doing some training with her and has shown interest in the sport as well. Eilise said she wants to be just as successful as her mom.
While Katherine is having the best of both world—as a hands-on mother and a weightlifter—she has not eluded the verbal abuse about her body shape. But she doesn’t let what they say put her down. The more they taunt her, the harder she trains.