Miriam grinning triumphantly after a successful deadlift
A long-sought deadlift PR!

Hi, and welcome! I’m Miriam Lawrence, NSCA-PT.

I’m a 56-year-old powerlifter, former National referee, and a certified personal trainer. I’m also a wife and mom of two adult children.

And prior to the age of 48, I had never touched a barbell.

I wanted a nicer ass!

Like many other women, I started lifting weights for aesthetic purposes. I wanted to “get toned.”

I wanted a nicer ass. I never expected to end up transforming not only my derriere, but my mind, my spirit, and pretty much everything else as well.

The strength program I started with was excellent and incorporated a lot of barbell work, including the movements that powerlifters call the “big three,” as they are the lifts that are used in a competition: the back squat, the bench press and the deadlift.

The barbell and me? Love at first sight. I enjoy most modes of strength training, but there’s something about using a barbell that puts me immediately and strongly in touch with a very deep part of myself.

After training for a year and a half, I decided to try powerlifting and competed in my first meet in November of 2017. One beautiful thing about powerlifting is that there is no age limit – people compete even into their 90s.

At 55 I’m in the best shape of my life. Lifting has healed three decades of chronic back and neck problems (including a herniated disc). I can lift and move things in my daily life I couldn’t before. My body shape has changed dramatically.

Most of all, the work I’m doing now will enable me to stay healthy and active for years to come.

Transformation from the outside in

Never could I have guessed when I started this journey how much it would transform me, body and mind and soul.  It turns out that physical strength is even more empowering inside than it is outside.

I always felt like a reasonably confident woman, but lifting heavy weight has taken my confidence and self-belief to a whole new level, in every facet of my life, both professional and personal. It has enhanced my ability to deal with failure and adversity. And it teaches me profound spiritual and life lessons on a daily basis.

Many women, especially those of us over 40, find the idea of lifting weights unfamiliar at best, and quite alien or even frightening at worst.  Few of us grew up in environments where girls and women were encouraged to be strong. 

Unfortunately, many of us have also heard and absorbed negative messages about getting strong.

I passionately want to help change that. The science is clear that strength training benefits our health as we age in ways nothing else does. Plus, as I’ve discovered through my own personal journey, the other benefits are mind-blowing.

So, whether you’re already engaged in strength training, ready to get started but not sure how, or just curious, I hope you’ll find both inspiration and information here to take it as far as you want to go, including getting involved in competition in one (or or) of the many strength sports out there.

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