POWERLIFTING: British title and place in GB team for Jenni

British Masters powerlifting champion Jenni Sherwood
British Masters powerlifting champion Jenni Sherwood

Crossfit Volentia athlete breaks British record with deadlift of 180kg

Competing in Belfast last week, powerlifter Jenni Sherwood became a British Masters champion. The 43-year-old also joined the British record books with her deadlift of 180kg.

Jenni with coach Nick Smith at the competition in Belfast

Jenni with coach Nick Smith at the competition in Belfast

And she has now been asked to represent Great Britain at the 5th IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Minsk, Belarus in June.

Taking the title in her Women’s Masters 1 84kg and under class for 40-50 year-olds, Jenni, who has been training at Rugby’s CrossFit Volentia gym since it opened two and a half years ago, was also successful with a 140kg squad lift and 72.5kg bench press.

As Jenni worked on her fitness her strength improved too and it was then that her coach and the gym’s co-owner Nick Smith realised that what she was best at involved heavy lifting.

She began training and entered a novice strong woman competition two years ago and to her surprise (though not to her coach’s) won that event.

Although she would say being a busy mum and chasing after her two girls takes up most of her time, having heard about the powerlifting competition and Jenni with her coach Nick decided to train for it and so embarked on a journey that started in December 2015 at a Divisional competition for the West Midlands.

It was at this competition that Jenni first earned a place at a national competition, competing last year in the over 84 kilo category.

With good results she clearly had the powerlifting bug and over the subsequent eight months Jenni lost weight and built muscle.

Her coach worked with her on diet and nutrition and last summer she managed to qualify in a lighter weight category, setting her sights on the masters nationals in Belfast.

Jenni says that the supportive community of powerlifting is what inspires and encourages her to continue working hard and lifting heavy!

She says powerlifting is an activity where everyone is welcome, everyone is working hard to do better, improve their personal bests and no one’s efforts go without loud cheers!