POWERHOUSE: Ellen Brown lifted a 32kg barbel back squat PB in her first powerlifting competition.
POWERHOUSE: Ellen Brown lifted a 32kg barbel back squat PB in her first powerlifting competition. Claudia Alp

Mighty mum hits PB in first competition

A LOCAL great-grandmother said she was "chuffed” after hitting a PB in her first powerlifting competition.

Ellen Brown, 71, was the only competitor in the 64kg women's open category at the Barrier Reef Bash 1 - Powerlifting Competition in Airlie Beach on Saturday.

Mrs Brown executed a 32kg barbel back squat PB, a 27kg bench press and a 60kg deadlift, cheered on by her coach and daughter Leanne Knox, husband Ian and their grandchildren.

She said it felt like she was having an out-of-body experience.

"All I did was look at that bar, remember what I had to do and how I had to do it,” Mrs Brown said.

"After I got over the fact that I was only competing against myself, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I loved the camaraderie with the other lifters.

"I didn't even look (at the crowd). I just went out there and focused on the bar and what I had to do.

"I thought: 'Whether there's people watching or not, I've got to do this lift and I've got to do it properly'.”

Mrs Brown was diagnosed with osteoporosis one year ago and began weightlifting to improve her health.

It was then she discovered a passion for weightlifting and slowly progressed from strength and conditioning exercises to compound powerlifting movements.

Mrs Brown attempted a 30kg bench press but was unable to complete the lift due to a previous shoulder tendon injury.

She also undertook a 63kg deadlift but the lift was dismissed on a technical fault.

During all her lifts, Mrs Brown said Ms Knox spurred her on.

"She (Ms Knox) was so happy. I could hear her from the back going 'Yes! Yes!'. It was great I think it boosted me to perform,” she said.

Mr Brown sat in the audience to support his wife of 40 years and said he was extremely proud of her.

"It is great to see because El loves meeting people and it's good for health. I'm proud of her,” he said.

"Quite frankly she's become very confident and she just enjoys it so much and that's very pleasing for me to see.”

Mrs Brown said she was happy with her performance but wouldn't be "resting on her laurels”.

"I felt that I'd achieved something and faced a challenge. I'll definitely be striving for more,” she said.

The Whitsunday Weightlifter now has her sites set on the Australian Masters Championships held in Cairns in June.

Mrs Brown said she would be training at least three times weekly in the lead up to the national masters.

She is hoping to achieve PBs in Cairns, aiming for a 35-37kg barbel back squat, a 30-32kg bench press and a 65-67kg deadlift.