More Auck­land women turn to pow­er­lift­ing


The per­cep­tion of pow­er­lift­ing is quickly chang­ing amongst Auck­land women.

New Zealand’s num­ber one fe­male pow­er­lifter Carolina Dillen says this is mainly due to the im­pact of Cross­Fit - a fit­ness regime of var­ied move­ments, per­formed at high in­ten­sity.

Cross­Fit work­outs in­cor­po­rate as­pects from a range of ex­er­cise in­clud­ing gym­nas­tics, weightlift­ing, run­ning and row­ing.

‘‘A lot of women don’t know what pow­er­lift­ing is and the nu­mer­ous health ben­e­fits it of­fers,’’ Dillen says.

‘‘Cross­Fit makes pow­er­lift­ing a lot more main­stream than it once was and makes it ac­ces­si­ble to so many dif­fer­ent pop­u­la­tions.’’

Dillen, who also owns the Cross­Fit East Auck­land Gym in How­ick and Eller­slie, says it’s had an equal num­ber of men and women do­ing Cross­Fit.

Their pow­er­lift­ing ra­tio how­ever, was al­most 70 per cent fe­male.

‘‘There are begin­ner pro­grammes that of­fer in­tro­duc­tory ses­sions for peo­ple who have never ex­er­cised be­fore and they are taken through it step by step, build­ing their fit­ness, strength and con­fi­dence.

‘‘The trans­for­ma­tions are quite in­cred­i­ble.

‘‘We have seen women lose a phe­nom­e­nal amount of weight, re­cover from eat­ing dis­or­ders, beat men­tal ill­nesses like anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion and en­joy­ing bet­ter life.’’

Dillen says women are drawn to the sport be­cause it is so­cial, with lots of sup­port and ca­ma­raderie.

‘‘As you get pro­gres­sively stronger, you lift weights you couldn’t even have imag­ined a few years or even months be­fore.

‘‘It’s a very em­pow­er­ing feel­ing and it’s a jour­ney that never ends, you can al­ways im­prove.’’

Dillen, who has rep­re­sented New Zealand in pow­er­lift­ing, says the sport’s growth is also due to more women step­ping up as train­ers.

‘‘Pow­er­lift­ing is em­pow­er­ing, men­tally phys­i­cally.

‘‘The lifts are rel­a­tively easy to learn and peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence awe­some re­sults quite quickly, which makes train­ing fun and mo­ti­vat­ing.

‘‘I never imag­ined pow­er­lift­ing would be some­thing I would en­joy so much. I would en­cour­age any­one who’s never tried it to give it a go and see for them­selves.’’ very and

From left - Jo Tal­ton, Carli Dillen and Carissa Gar­cia from Cross­Fit East Auck­land Gym.

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