What started initially as a way to lose weight and improve bone health has led a Blackpool woman to set national records.
Charlotte Wareing, who was born and grew up in Fleetwood, started lifting weights about 18 months ago – after she was diagnosed with osteoporosis in her knees and hips – as a means to strengthen her bones. She also wanted to generally get fitter and tone up and so far, she has shed 26kg and lost body fat.
Not only that, but at the age of 51, she has just taken part in her first powerlifting competition – setting four British records.
The mental health nurse hopes her success will help inspire other women to take up the sport, which she says has a whole host of benefits.
Charlotte took part in the Welsh Open Powerlifting Competition, organised by the British Powerlifting Organisation.
The contest saw her perform squats – she lifted 100kg, bench presses – 70kg and deadlifts – 150kg.
She said: “It was a fantastic experience taking part in the competition. Everybody was so friendly and so helpful, swapping tips and so on. I couldn’t believe the results.
“I set and then broke my own record on the day, which felt amazing. I was surprised really at how strong I was.
“Lifting weight has completely changed my shape and made me tone up, the results are amazing.
“I think a lot of women are frightened of liftings weights because they don’t feel they will be strong enough, and they are worried they will bulk up and get big, but they won’t and they would surprise themselves at how much they can lift. People carry shopping bags in when they’ve been to the supermarket and lift 20 or 30kgs and think nothing of it.
“It helps keep your bones and joints and ligaments strong and can help prevent joint problems.
“I really enjoy it – you can also see the progress you’re making and set yourself new challenges.
“I started competing after a few people at the gym where I do my training – Bannatyne’s – said to me I should give it a try.
“I like to have a target or something to aim for to give me focus for my training.”
Charlotte is now looking forward to her next planned competition – the British Championships on April 12.
She hopes she will be able to replicate her current form and break a few more records. She is back in the gym training hard with her personal trainer at Bannatyne’s Blackpool, Holly Anderson.
And her dream is to set up a women’s powerlifting group in Blackpool. She added: “I’m really keen to encourage anyone to lift weights – it’s fantastic.”