When talking about Allison Lockhart, the phrase “lift like a girl” becomes a compliment.
That’s because Lockhart, age 35, is a dual-pro athlete in powerlifting and strongman, the three-time winner of Canada’s Strongest Woman, and ranked sixth in the world for her weight class.
A life-long athlete, Lockhart started doing gymnastics at age three. She swam competitively for a decade, as well as competing in basketball and cross-country running.
It wasn’t until she was in her late 20s that Lockhart began powerlifting.
“I wanted to do something where I had to rely on myself 100 per cent for my successes and failures.”
Although she initially tried skeleton, the time commitment required for that sport led her to pursue powerlifting instead. Lockhart competes in equipped powerlifting, which allows for the use of gear such as squat suits and knee wraps. By contrast, raw powerlifting does not allow the use of equipment.
“You can mold strength sports around your schedule – I’m very career-oriented,” declares Lockhart, who is a national account manager at Xpera Risk Mitigation & Investigation.
Four years ago, Lockhart was introduced to strongman through a friend, who was putting on a competition.
“He guilted me into competing,” laughs Lockhart.
“I won that show. It was a lot of fun.”
She later received an invitation to compete in a national-level show and won that as well. Her strongman career was snowballing from then on.
As for her goals for the future, Lockhart prefers to keep them under wraps. She has a vision for the future, but it’s a process. However, she would like to continue to stay at the top of Canadian strongwoman and compete internationally.
“I want to know how strong I can possibly get.”
Despite titles and accomplishments, Lockhart actually got more out of shows that she didn’t win, such as a Western Canada’s Strongest Woman competition where she tore a bicep in the second event.
In spite of that injury, Lockhart persevered through the competition and placed second.
“That’s how you find out what you’re made of – when things aren’t going well,” Lockhart emphasizes.
In fact, Lockhart competed in World’s Strongest Woman with a torn calf muscle, and was still able to place sixth.
“There’s more of a sense of accomplishment, and it teaches you to handle adversity.”
Although she trains at Stride Athletics, Lockhart’s drive and determination don’t exist only in the gym.
“Success breeds success,” says Lockhart, describing how the discipline and hard work she puts in for training blends into other aspects of her life, especially her career. Succeeding in the athletic side of her life encourages success in both the personal and professional aspects as well.
Things like injuries, difficult times, travel, and grueling workouts have forced her to develop a high level of emotional intelligence, which she channels into her work.
“It has forced me to grow on a personal level.”
When confronted with challenges or obstacles in the workplace or her personal life, Lockhart has developed the ability to process them, put them aside, and “go ahead and get the job done.”
Lockhart’s love for her sports is evident in her enthusiasm while discussing them.
“I could talk about it forever,” she jokes.
For her, part of the attraction of strength athletics lies in the fact that there is no limit, whether for age or for strength. Unlike some other sports, which have a narrow window in which a person can compete, strength sports are something a person can start and continue at any age.
“I know women in their 60s who compete.”
Lockhart would also like to see more women enter strength sports and dispel some of the fears women have about lifting weights, such as the fear of becoming big or bulky.
“I’m big and I have a lot of muscle mass on me,” Lockhart concedes.
“That didn’t happen overnight, or by accident. I worked my ass off to get to this point.”
Regardless of age, weight, or body type, Lockhart grasps every opportunity to encourage people to overcome fears and try.
“Strength sports are for everyone looking to better themselves in life.”
Featured image: A close-up of an axel deadlift bar, often used by strongmen.