Monday, November 23, 2015

Dr Fionnula McHale on women and lifting weights

Dr Fionnula McHale weights Invigorate Clinic Fitness
International Fitness champion and medic Dr Fionnula McHale via @DrFionnula
When you’ve won silver at the Powerlifting World Championships, but your body is telling you that elite level of lifting is just a bit too far, what do you do next? Turns out there is a new sport in town, and one that Dr Fionnula McHale has fallen in love with.

Twice European Powerlifting champion (yep, as well), I talked to her a few days ago because I heard ** she's won the International Fitness Championships title in England. She's training now with Englishman Mark Coles, and just a little focused on this new type of competition which mixes power-lifting with showing-off a toned physique.

Fionnula said: “I like looking the way I look, and I like being physically strong. I love weights, I fell in love with them the first time I tried it. I tried a competition that was just about physique but I missed the intensity around weight training and competition.”

The IFC championships is five one-minute rounds of lifting, and she cranked out an astonishing: 

  • 27 squats
  • 18 chin-ups
  • 37 bench-press repetitions 
  • 44 push-press repetitions 
  • 45 deadlifts 

Of course I asked her what she tells her clients about weight-lifting, and why she thinks women should do it. Once she started talking on this she couldn't stop!

Dr Fionnula McHale weights IFC Fitness champion power lift
International Fitness champion and medic Dr Fionnula McHale via @DrFionnula

Reasons women should lift weights 

  1. Weights will revolutionise your training
  2. You can change your body shape completely but “still look nice in a dress” 
  3. Lifting helps your muscles, your joints 
  4. It’s even good for women around the time of the menopause, or much older
  5. She’s seen a woman in her 60s competing in power-lifting: something must be right! 
  6. You need to eat well and eat a lot to maintain strength: any excuse will do, thanks! 
  7. With good training you can lift the same weight as man: ego points!
Fionnula did say more than a few times as we talked that a GOOD TRAINER and GOOD FORM are so important. And in case you're wondering she competed at 58.2kgs in that photo above so you can park any fears about bulking-up. (I know, we shouldn't think like that but we do sometimes, don't we?) 

More shots from that tournament and more on her Instagram DrFionnula.


Want to Powerlift? 

Fionnula describes in excruciating detail her first experience at the Irish Drug-Free Powerlifting Association tournament, read it and wince at UltimatefitCrew. 

**Thanks Aoife Murphy MMA for telling me about Fionnula!

1 comment

Anonymous said...

OMG, all of that in 5 minutes????? Amazing!!!