Clare Patterson – 6 competitions in 12 months

When Weights 4 Women was last launched in July 2014, Clare Patterson kindly spared us some time to do an interview with us.

You can read the interview here –

When I last spoke to Clare, her PBS were

107.5kg squat
82.5kg bench
142.5kg deadlift

Clare has kindly done us a report of her progress for the last 12 months – She has been incredibly busy!

Since then I’ve competed at –

-4 nations for Ireland in august 2014 in Essex

IDFPA bench press championships in Ireland in October

-full power (squat, bench press & deadlift) world championships in Moldova in November 2014

-Irish single lift nationals in February 2015

-Single lifts world championships in Telford

-4 nations for Ireland in Glasgow in august 2015

I set a new total comp PB of 335kg at 4 nations, the team came third and I placed 1st at the
bench championships (and got best female lifter).
I came 2nd in Moldova at the World Championships.

At nationals, I came 2nd on bench and squat qualifying for worlds. I came 4th on deadlifts so sadly didn’t qualify that for worlds!

At worlds, I came 2nd on bench and squat again, setting two comps PBs at 85kg bench and 122.5kg squat.

At 4 nations in Glasgow, I increased my total comp PB for 335kg to 360kg, it was a tough comp without my coach Dom there but my Irish team mates were amazing and cheered me on!
I struggled with 85kg on bench at worlds. After working with Dom, we widened my grip and 85kg flew up as my second lift in Glasgow, 90kg is my next goal in competition. Working on my arch and widening my grip has helped so much! We’re going to look at widening my stance in squats too. We briefly played about with a belt on deadlifts but I felt no benefit and it irritated me so im beltless on deadlifts.

I’m still ranked no 1 on bench in the IDFPA thanks to my performance in Telford. I’m not sure where my squat and deadlift are ranked at the moment but I’m confident after the single lift European Championships in September they’ll move up! Thanks to 4 nations, I’ve moved up to third in the IDFPA female full power rankings.

My next comps are euro single lifts in September (Italy) full power World Championships at the end of October in Italy and the bench championship In Ireland in December!

My gym totals are 87.5 bench, 127.5kg squat, 155kg deadlift, total 370

At comps they’re 85kg. 122.5kg squat, 155kg deadlift, 360kg total, all at under 70kg. Let’s see what they’re at this time next year!

Bikini competitior Ines Grossett gives us an insight into her journey

Welcome to WEIGHTS 4 WOMEN Ines! Introduce yourself and give us a bit of background information on how you was introduced to weight training?

Hi, my name is Ines and I am bikini competitor.
Let me share a bit of my background with you. I started dancing (Ballet & Rhythmic Gymnastics) at the age of 4. I have been in sport ever since. After knee surgery I was told by my doctor I will never do sport again. After 2 years break I refused to settle to that and started training in the gym. I fell in love with weight training instantly. After seeing the progress I was making and the changes my body and mind was going through made me very competitive with myself and I found a great interest in competitions. It was a great challenge and goal I could set for myself.

weight training for women
weight training for women

What`s your greatest achievement to date?

In past 8 years I have been doing weights training. I had 2 children with C-section and gained a lot of weight. I did two amazing transformations which motivated many other women. This is a great achievement for me as my big goal is to motivate and inspire people to take on a healthy lifestyle and get in to or improve their fitness.
My past competitions are not to be forgotten about.
I came 3rd in the European championship, 7th in Universe with IBFA and 4th on recent Musclemania Britain.

How do you think we can get more women out of the CV area and on to the gym floor? Do you think it is it a confidence issue?

I believe that many women see fitness models and feel it is impossible to achieve due to the lack of self belief. One thing I say to every women asking for my advice is that; It is all down to how bad you want it. If you just like the idea of being fit but do not want it bad enough it will be very unlikely you will persist and persevere with your training and healthy eating. The key thing to remember is that anything is possible. You just need to set your mind to it and go for it. I would say to women to look at transformations stories, there are so many out there. I am perfect example. You can be anyone you want to be and hard work always pays off.

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Who inspires you?

There are so many great athletes out there that are so inspiring. Following many gives me great motivation on low days. Nathalia Melo is my greatest inspiration and motivation for me, but it is hard to single one person out.

What`s your favourite gym lift?

Squats, squats and squats every time. I love squatting and love the results I get. It is a must for me. Every girl should squat and work on their lady curves!

If you could give the females reading this one bit of training advice, what would it be?

Always listen to your body but push your boundaries. The primary hurdle that all weight lifters have to overcome doesn’t have anything to do with your physical limitations. In fact, it doesn’t even have to do with their current fitness level. The obstacle that prevents most weight trainers from achieving the results that they want and achieving their fitness goals is a mental boundary that they’ve set unconsciously. You are stronger than you think.

What does the future hold for you?

My favourite moto is an old Japanese word Kaizen meaning – “continuous improvement”.
I will work on improving my physique and always better myself in that area.
Definitely competing; Competitions are a great challenge for me and help me work harder especially when I have a big goal set up. I also love being on stage, in that spotlight.

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Thank you for your time Ines, is there anything you would like to add?

To all the women out there remember anything is possible just believe in yourself and Just Do It. Go for it and prove that gremlin sitting in your head telling you otherwise that you can do it and you can be who you want to be!!!

If anyone wants to find out more about what you do, what’s the best way for the readers to get hold of you?

You can find me on FaceBook:


Size 20 to Size 12 with Patricia Hurst

Welcome to WEIGHTS 4 WOMEN Patricia! Introduce yourself and give us a bit of background information on how you was introduced to weight training?

I had been a yo yo dieter all my life, I would stick to my diet and then once I had hit target weight I would go back to my old ways. I had also tried every diet known to man including the cabbage soup diet. I hated exercising and would get bored very quickly with cardio; I don’t think any of my exercise regimes ever lasted past a couple of months. Of course every time I put weight on I seem to add another stone, so at the age of 43 I found myself at 16 stone and a size 20 (fast approaching a size 22). I went to see the doctor for a routine check up and was given the message “do something or die young”.

After having to lose weight for about 6 months by doing the usual cardio and eating hardly anything I was starting to lose hope. One day at work I got talking to a guy a work about what I was trying to do after commenting how thin he had got, it later transpired that it was Damian Lees who was about to compete in the UKDFBA competition that weekend (he won his class). Damian said that he was also a PT and offered me a consultation to see if he could help. I had always wanted a personal trainer, although I had no idea what to expect. I remember telling Damian at my consultation that I didn’t want a diet, I wanted to change how I ate permanently, I also said I hated cardio and I didn’t want to lift weights as I didn’t want to look like a man.

I started my eating plan straight away (after commenting that I couldn’t possible eat all that food and lose weight) and started having training sessions with Damian. The first time I turned up to train I nearly ran off, it was the first time I had entered a “proper gym” and it was full of men lifting big weights and was very noisy. Damian had me lifting from my very first session, and as I started to get stronger and see the changes the weights made to my body shape I was hooked, I even discovered muscles that I had never even heard of! My training changes periodically as I change my goals and I also had a go at some power lifting with Tania George, which I also loved.

After getting to my goal and dropping to a size 12 I wanted to see how much further I could push myself and we decided I would have a go at bodybuilding……………..


What`s your greatest achievement to date?

Winning my class at my first bodybuilding competition in May, the UKDFBA Caledonian Classic. To be honest the winning was the icing on the cake, the real win for me was actually getting to a point where my trainer thought I was good enough to put a bikini on and walk on the stage, which is something I never thought I would achieve.

Being able to carry my shopping to the car instead of having to push the trolley over came a close second though!

I understand you made quite a transformation? Can you tell the readers a bit about this?

I went from being obese and unfit with no confidence or self esteem to someone who is proud(er) of who they are and how they look. Before I started on my transformation I was petrified of weights and gyms, being too self conscious to even attempt to train in them. I never shopped as I felt horrible in everything and I wouldn’t even wear a swimming costume. Now I feel at home in any gym and that new found confidence has transferred to all areas of my life. I really enjoy my training and have made a whole host of new friends who have been very supportive of me and my goals. Although my friends and family have supported me throughout I think even they doubted that I would actually wear a bikini on a stage in front of 300 people……………but I did!


Who inspires Patricia?

So many people inspire me, my Mum was always a big inspiration to me, she had some really hard times but she never ever gave up, she truly believed that if you wanted something badly enough and worked hard you could achieve anything. She also had so much faith in me that even though she is no longer with us, I could feel her beside me when I first walked on the stage in Scotland.

Damian Lees is a huge inspiration to me, he is one of those people who deserves to be where he is today because of his dedication to his training and to his clients. His results in my life alone speak for themselves and I know that he has never asked me to do anything that he doesn’t do himself. So many people become arrogant when they are seen as successful in their field, there is none of that with Damian, he is very down to earth and you never feel like all he cares about is making himself look good. Damians results with his clients and in his own bodybuilding career speak for themselves. When I walked into that gym with him hugely overweight and very unfit, barely able to get through the warm up he could have written me off but never once has he made me feel a failure or not good enough. If I could become half the athlete that he is I would be happy.

A strong woman who inspires me is Tania George she is another example of someone who loves what they do and works hard to get where she wants to be. Tania taught me not only to lift correctly but also that I have as much right to be in the gym as anyone else. She gave me the confidence to walk about with my head high. There is no “fluffyness” with Tania but if you are prepared to get your head down and work hard she will support you every step of the way. I love her attitude to life and to training.

I have always loved Strongman events but I am more inspired by the athletes now that I know what they actually have to go through to achieve what they do. Laurence Shalaei is my strongman inspiration, again for his attitude to life and to his training. He is one of the most down to earth people I have ever met and just like Damian has not become arrogant with his success.

I have discovered that there are some amazing people out there who are happy to impart knowledge of the sports that they love and who will not laugh at you or put you down for having a go at something new that will push and stretch you. These are the people that I aspire to be like and if I can inspire just one person to try something new I will be happy.

pat 2

If you could give the females reading this one bit of training advice, what would it be?

You have as much right to walk in to a gym and lift weights as any man out there. If you want to have a go but don’t know how get advice from someone you trust or a PT. Listen to one person and learn from them until you are confident enough to go it alone.

I would also say remember it doesn’t matter what weight you lift as long as you lift it. Keep a log book to track your progress so that if you are having a “wobbly” moment you can look back see how much you have progressed.

What does the future hold for you?

Hopefully more competitions next year, the plan is to do the Scottish show again next year and then take the place in the Scotland team that I unfortunately had to pass on this year.

Before that though there are some exciting training sessions with Laurence Shalaei 🙂

Thank you for your time Patricia, is there anything you would like to add?

Never be afraid to try something new, you never know you might just enjoy it!


Cheryl Kelsall kindly talks to Weights 4 Women

Welcome to WEIGHTS 4 WOMEN Cheryl! introduce yourself and give us a bit of background information on how you was introduced to weight training?

I’ve always been into weights and strength & conditioning from a really early age. I studied sports science as an under grad which fuelled my passion for training, and so when I decided not to continue playing football due to persistent injury, fitness and weight training seemed the ideal pathway to go down. It wasn’t until I got talking to a few guys whilst training, including my now coach Gary Boulton I really started thinking about competitive Powerlifting. Once I’d competed in my first comp I’d definitely got the bug for it and ever since I’ve just trained hard with the desire to become better every day.

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Tell us a little bit about competing at the bodypower expo? Exciting, nervous?

Body Power is probably one of the biggest stages I have competed on apart from the World Championships and so with it comes lots of adrenaline and obviously a whole host of pre-competition nerves. I absolutely love competing at Body Power, I feel its a chance to compete with and in front of some of the greatest names in Powerlifting and the fitness industry so I always make sure my preparation is on point enabling me to relax a little more on the big day! I enjoy the buzz of BodyPower and the opportunity to experience he competition, the stage and the crowds before I actually get out there and compete, I feel it adds to the adrenaline and helps me perform that little bit extra!

What are your short and long term goals?

In the short term I just enjoy focusing on constantly pushing myself to achieve PB’s both in training and competition. I see myself as my competition and constantly strive to achieve more and more which I think helps me to achieve my long term goals such as competing and winning at the World Championships in Prague last year. I guess once I have a number in my head, I go at it and won’t relent until I’ve achieved or surpassed it, I think that’s what helped me to achieve my World Record 150kg deadlift in Prague. Now, in the long term, as I have just entered the Open category I would love to achieve more records continuing my success from Junior into Open class Power-lifting.

Who inspires you Cheryl Kelsall?

My inspiration comes from within myself as well as my fellow competitors. I constantly strive to improve myself when it comes to training and am never happy in a session unless I have achieved the sessions targets.I also feel inspired by those I compete with. power-lifting has a great community spirit and the support and encouragement experienced at competitions is second to none, I feel inspired simply being a part of that. Last but not least, I can’t forget to mention my Coach Gary Boulton who may occasionally give me a good “telling off” but I don’t think I would have gotten this far without him, he’s the kind of guy you need when you’re having a bad session and ready to give up!

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What`s your favourite exercise?

My favourite exercise has to be the Deadlift, I absolutely love it! I don’t know if it’s the bruised shins, ripped up thighs or torn callous’ or a combination of all of them but I do adore the deadlift. It’s my favourite of all three competition lifts and probably the one I pride myself on the most.

If you could give the females reading this one bit of training advice, what would it be?

Get off the treadmlll!! I see too many women pounding the treadmill for hours on end with minimal results, it’s annoyingly frustrating. Weight training and conditioning is by far the best exercise you can do, regardless of your goals. Don’t be afraid to stray into the weights section of your gym, every body has to start somewhere. The benefits for your body are endless especially for those women who are brave enough to venture into the big compound exercises like squats/deadlifts etc. Build a body you will feel confident living in, a body you can love, strong is definitely the new skinny!

WPC Grand Prix

What does the future hold for you?

Plenty more competitions, hopefully defending current records and achieving new ones! I will definitely be competing at the Body Power Expo next year without a doubt and with the GPC European Championships being held in the UK next year and the WPC Euro’s In Manchester I would love to compete for the title of European Champion in my home city!

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If any of the readers would like to find out more about you and what you do, wheres the best place for them to go?

They can contact me on twitter @CherylKelsall or no doubt find my training down at Olympic Sports Gym in Ashton-under-lyne! I’m always happy to help, give advice to those who want to start training/get back into training or simply want to find out more about it! 

Mother of 2 Lorna Haywood speaks to Weights 4 Women

Welcome to WEIGHTS 4 WOMEN Lorna! Introduce yourself and give us a bit of background information on how you was introduced to weight training?

Hello WEIGHTS 4 WOMEN, I’d like to introduce myself as a regular woman who has found her place in the weight room. I’m not a bikini competitor, I’m not a power lifter. I have two children and i am a stay at home mother. Before my children came along I always had a physically demanding job, i used to be a landscaper and be a gardener. i put fences up for a few years and so i used to carry big heavy 6 foot concrete plinths and bags of cement and sand. I suppose it was that, that made me like the feeling of being strong.

What is your favourite food / recipe?

hmm I`m on a paleo type of diet at the minute so it would have to be bacon and eggs 🙂

Who inspires Lorna Haywood?

When i first started out weight lifting 18 months ago i used to look at all these regular women on youtube showing video’s of their journeys, those were the women who used to inspire me, just everyday women who had chosen a lifestyle of being fit, strong and healthy. I used to look at them and think ”wow, she did that in this amount of time” or after I’d been lifting for a while ”look at her, why don’t i look like that yet?!” I used to do this, but i found that for me it could be inspiring and also upsetting so i try not to compare myself to anyone any more. I just do my own thing and find out what works for me and what doesn’t, both mentally and physically and try not to get too caught up in a certain body image. Any fit, strong, healthy women inspire me aswell as personal qualities such as determination, dedication and will power to have a strong and fit body. A good physique is a reflection of those qualities and i admire that.

Lorna after her first child –

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Lorna 12 months into weight training –

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Want are your 3 favourite exercises?

Bench press, squat and deadlift. They are the ones that give you the best bang for your buck in my opinion.

If you could give the females reading this one bit of training advice, what would it be?

i would say consistency is key. we all have very busy lives and different moods. you’re not going to feel like working out some days. motivation comes and goes. we’re all human. Just be as consistent with it as you possibly can be.

What does the future hold for you Lorna, any future goals you would like to share?

I am currently applying for my diploma in health, fitness and exercise instruction so hopefully i will be able to turn my passion into my profession. Also, i’d love to get my dead lift up to 100kg, that would be very nice. If i could do it whilst remaining at a bodyweight of 55kg that would be awesome.

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 Thank you for your time Lorna, is there anything you would like to add?

It’s been a pleasure and thank you WEIGHTS 4 WOMEN for giving me this opportunity. Is there anything i would like to add? hmm don’t be scared to lift HEAVY! Make goals and stick with it and achieve them through thick and thin. Get after it because you are stronger than you think and you are worth more than you know. You’re worth taking care of so don’t be scared to invest in yourself.

If any of the readers would like to find out more about you, wheres the best place for them to go?

I’m considering making a weight lifting/fitness page soon, but for now people can contact me via my facebook page