Gold Coast woman takes Australian lifting records during competition
ARIELLE Chard is one strong woman.
At only 58 kilos, she can lift close to a quarter of a tonne which is an unfathomable feat for most mere mortals.
The 27-year-old Runaway Bay local took out an Australian record in the log press for the under 62.5 kilogram ladies class on Sunday with a 72.5kg log press and an axle dead lift record of 227.5kg at the Static Monsters worldwide at Coco’s Gym at Molendinar. The international competition, which is in its fifth year, is run in 19 different countries on the same weekend and ranks the strongest men and women from all over the world.
Ms Chard took out the second highest log press and axle dead lift in her weight class in the world meaning she hit the highest lifts in Australia.
“I am a fair bit lighter than most girls in my category and it has been a long-term goal of mine to get this record, then hitting two was just a bonus,” she said.
She was introduced to the sport of strongman five years ago when at only 48 kilos, she struggled to lift anything and wanted to gain weight and “not feel so frail”.
Ms Chard was motivated to start strongman when her and partner Jean-stephen Coraboeuf aka Coco – one of Australia’s leading strength coaches and Queensland’s strongest man – opened Coco’s Gym back in 2014.
“I had never lifted weights before so dove straight in the deep end with Strongman,” she said.
Static Monsters was a goal she wanted and nothing was getting in her way.
“When I was walking up to my last dead lift I thought about anyone who had doubted me or overlooked me in the past when I was weaker and got really angry, and gave the lift my all,” she said.
“When I got the lift I instantly felt so many different emotions as soon as I put the bar down and I was proud of myself for finally accomplishing something in the sport for myself.”
Ms Chard trained for four to five days every week for eight weeks to prepare for the competition and celebrated her achievement with poolside hangs and lunch with her friends to “calm down after such a high”.
“I’m proud that I’ve achieved something for myself,” she said.
“I wanted this for me and to show that even though I begun with no weightlifting experience, I was not strong at all and it took me a few years to get here I still did it and that means any one can.
“I think for anyone wanting to try Strongman I would tell them to try it, it’s easy to think of the big guys pulling planes and lifting fridge yokes, but it also an incredibly inviting community of people with the same goal of improving strength, fitness while challenging yourself to be a better version of yourself.
“For women, this sport gives you an opportunity to show what you’re capable of with hard work.
“During that lift it doesn’t matter your size, what you look like, if you have cellulite or no make up, people only care about what you are lifting and achieving.”
Ms Chard runs strongwoman classes at Cocos Gym on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings and said lifting weights can challenge and change people for the better.
“You see how much lifting weights and being around supportive people, can change someone, you see them over the weeks of attending training grow into a new confident person and find a passion after seeing that they’re stronger than they ever thought they were,” she said.
Gold Coaster Arielle Chard.