Incredible Naomi Sheppard sets record as UK's best ever powerlifter
Personal trainer makes powerlifting history
Whitnash’s Naomi Sheppard has earned the accolade of being the country’s best ever powerlifter.
Competing at the British Powerlifting Union North Qualifier in Manchester last weekend, she claimed a host of incredible records.
Being only 5ft 2in and weighing 66.7kg herself, in the competition she squatted 255kg, benched 127.5kg and deadlifted 205kg for an amazing total of 587.5kg.
It makes her the best raw powerlifter in UK history based on coefficient, beating all the men and women who have previously competed.
She also claimed the biggest raw total by any female in UK powerlifting history.
“The coefficient allows comparison between every individual not just those in your weight category and gender,” explained the 29-year-old, who works at Nuffield Health in Leamington and is a personal trainer.
“My squat specifically is the biggest female raw squat in this country and the third biggest in my weight category worldwide!”
If that’s not enough, she now ranks 29th in the world overall, 20th female in the world and 6th in her weight category worldwide.
“Becoming the best in the country ever was my goal and what I wanted to achieve.
“I hadn’t been able to compete since 2019 so it was important to me to take part in Manchester and update what I can do.
“The lifts do seem unbelievable to people, but it’s like every sport you train for, it takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work. I spend 20-30 hours in the gym every week,” said Naomi, who has a degree in biochemistry and a qualification in strength and conditioning.
“My next competition is the showdown in Kansas, Missouri. It’s a pro competition that gets aired on ESPN even and is watched worldwide in the powerlifting community.”
It may help to make up for being denied permission to travel to California to compete in a top professional event earlier this year, due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
Naomi began powerlifting as a university student at St Andrews in Scotland 11 years ago, where she met husband Tom, who also competes and coaches.
She soon found she had a natural talent, excelling very quickly. By the time she started competing six years ago she held all the British records and was best junior at the European and World championships in her first year.