Grandmother, 67, Lifts Twice Her Body Weight At National Powerlifting Championships
If you think you have to be young to get fit or strong, then you're absolutely wrong.
That's something 67-year-old Sharlene Brunjes proved earlier this month when she took home the gold medal in the Canadian National Powerlifting Championships - her first ever national title.
She did so by lifting 270lbs, which is twice her body weight, off the ground from a standing deadlift. Which makes out muscles quiver just thinking about, to be honest.
But Brunjes - who only started lifting weights three years ago - had words of encouragement for anyone who thinks that kind of achievement is beyond them.
"It's never too late to get strong," she told The Northern View.
"Anybody can do it. I was not always like this."
The South Aldergrove, BC resident was diagnosed with osteopenia - a condition that occurs when the body doesn't make new bone as quickly as it reabsorbs old bone, making bones weaker than normal - eight years ago, but picked up her first barbell just three years ago, when she switched gyms.
The reason, she says, is that she realised she was 'following in my mother's painful footsteps' and wanted to avoid getting osteoporosis, a disease that's a further step on from osteopenia and which causes brittle bones, putting people at a higher risk of breaking them if they fall.
She first started resistance training by picking up a 5-pound dumbbell weight and gradually progressed from there. After seeing the results on her health - let alone the fact she won a title - Brunjes is now encouraging those people over 40 years old to follow her example.
That's because, just two years after curling her first weight from elbow-level up to her cheat, a bone density test showed a nine per cent increase and got her out of the osteoporosis 'danger zone'.
She is now able to lift dumbbells more than twice her weight in three categories - a deadlift, squat lift, and bench press.
At the nationals in Winnipeg, not only did Brunjes come out victorious against other women in their 60s in the same weight category, but she also broke three provincial records with her 209-pound squat, 270-pound standing deadlift and her total competition lifts of 568lbs, which is close to the national record.
Her next goal is to try out for the Canadian national team and compete in the world powerlifting championships. Every year, one person her age and weight class is selected for the challenge.
Featured Image Credit: Sharlene Brunjes/Instagram
Topics: US News