"Lifting weights has changed my life." Why powerlifter Kelly Clark wants to inspire others

"Lifting weights has changed my life." Why powerlifter Kelly Clark wants to inspire others

By David Beddows | 25/11/2021

'Lifting weights has changed my life.' Why powerlifter Kelly Clark wants to inspire others


POWERLIFTER Kelly Clark has gone from flab to fab after transforming her life and her body since she turned 50.

Eight years ago Kelly was a size 18, unfit and on daily prescribed arthritis medication when she decided to do something about it.

After starting fitness sessions using weights and battle ropes, Kelly felt fitter in body and mind and took up powerlifting a few years ago.

Now about to turn 57, she recently returned from the drug-free IPF World Bench Press Championships in Lithuania with a bronze medal in the equipped section and a silver medal in the classic.

Kelly, a learning and development manager from Wath, wants her story to be an inspiration to others.

“Before I started exercising I had not even been able to close the boot on my car or reach into a high kitchen cupboard using my right arm,” she said.

“Within a couple of months my mobility returned. I came off prescribed arthritis medication after four months of lifting and have only taken over the counter medication a couple of times since then.”

Kelly before getting fit.

Kelly's route into competitive sport came when she volunteered as a powerlifting volunteer for the 2017 Special Olympics in Sheffield.

“I met a number of British Powerlifting referees there,” she said. “They asked me why I wasn't competing and my responses of 'being too old' and 'not lifting heavy enough' were brushed away by them.”

Kelly took the plunge and qualified for the British Championships in 2018, placing sixth. She improved to third a year later and was selected for the British team for the World Championships in South Africa, finishing a highly commendable fourth.

Her success story has gone on.

She passed her referee exams and started refereeing to put something back into the sport.

Then, last year, she became British Equipped Bench Champion and was selected to represent Great Britain at the World Bench Press Championships.

In addition, she has taken part in numerous mud and obstacle course races and even jumped out of a plane in a tandem skydive.  

As Kelly looks forward to the British Championships in January, her advice to women thinking of taking up weight training is to go for it.

She added: “The fear that you will get bulky is unfounded and I can honestly say that lifting weights has changed my life.

“I could never have imagined looking or feeling as I do. I have lost over three stone in weight and am fitter than I have ever been.

“I have met, trained and competed with an incredible bunch of people, many of whom I know will remain friends for life. I couldn't ask for anything more.”