Aimee Smith, Jewellery Quarter resident, competes this weekend at the GPC Powerlifting World Championships in Trutnov, Czech Republic, after beating the British record at her first ever qualifier in July. At only 5’2” and weighing 52kg 31-year-old Aimee first picked up a barbell in July 2016 when she tried out the ‘barbell club’ weightlifting class at Henrietta Street Gym and has literally gone from strength to strength.
An Orthodontic Therapist by day, Aimee moved to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in 2016 and shortly after joined Henrietta Street Gym (previously Fighting Fit City Gym) as a member. Naturally sporty at school but tapering off in her adult years Aimee had barely looked at the weights in a gym let alone tried Powerlifting. But utilising Henrietta Street Gym’s whole range of classes she fell in love with weights and the social side of the gym’s ‘barbell club’ group classes.
After impressing and progressing quickly in the gym, trainer Anthony Rogan encouraged Aimee to enter a local Powerlifting British qualifier competition for fun in July 2017, only a year after first trying her hand at the sport. Qualifying in the top three in her category, not only did Aimee secure a place in the GPC British Championships which takes place at the end of the year, but was selected to represent Great Britain in the World Championships. With Powerlifting not being an Olympic Sport the World Championships is the highest level of competition.
Competing in the Full Powerlift, which combines the totals of Bench Press, Back Squat and Deadlift, as well as the Deadlift Only competition Aimee falls into the second lightest weight category, weighing 52kg. This week it was also confirmed that she can claim the GPC British Full Powerlifting Record with a combined score of 270kg across her three lifts ahead of the GPC World Powerlifting Championships, which she achieved in her qualifying competition in Chester.
Aimee competes in the Czech Republic at the GPC World Championships which takes place 16th – 25th September 2017 in the 52kg weight category. Aimee’s current PB’s lifts are as follows –
Bench Press – 60kg (115% of her bodyweight)
Back Squat – 105kg (over 200% of her bodyweight)
Deadlift – 140kg (269% of her bodyweight)
Aimee Smith said “I’ve always been sporty, and some would probably say I’ve always been quite competitive too, but I’d never lifted weights before joining Henrietta Street. I joined the gym when I moved to Birmingham, more as a social thing really, to try something new and to meet new people, I wanted somewhere with a bit more personality and I definitely got that!
The trainers have been amazing, really encouraging, I wouldn’t be where I am now without them and their specialist knowledge. I never anticipated that I’d get this far and to find out this week that I beat the British GPC Powerlifting record just before I compete at the World’s is more than I could have dreamed of. Of course I’d love to come home with a medal but I’m just really looking forward to the experience.”
Owner of Henrietta Street Gym, Neil Perkins said “We’ve seen an influx of both women and men join our weightlifting classes over the last year, as more and more people realise it’s a great for fat loss, as a supplementary program to support development in other sports such as boxing, or simply for the satisfaction of getting stronger and tracking progress.
Despite her small stature, Aimee is a huge character in the gym and I think we were as shocked as she was when she first picked up a barbell and we realised her raw natural strength. Our Henrietta Street family are really proud to be supporting Aimee achieve her goals both here in the gym and on the world stage”