Singapore

Mum muscles her way to top of strongman lifting contest

At just 1.58m tall and weighing 58kg, personal trainer Barbara Chng stands tall in the sport of strongman lifting.

In the Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships 2019 this month, she emerged the champion in the women's under-62kg category of the Silver Dollar Deadlift, with a personal best of 260kg. The items used in strongman lifting are different from the conventional weights used in power lifting or gyms. They are usually oddly shaped and come in various sizes.

"You lift rocks, cars and oversized barbells, you squat with kegs, logs and axles attached to truck tyres. You press logs and natural stones overhead, or pull a truck that is strapped onto your back with a harness," Ms Chng, 44, said.

A mother of eight-year-old twins, she is married to Mr Andrew Johnson, 49, programme director of the Singapore Strongman Series.

Mr Johnson and technical director Ahmad Taufiq form the driving force behind the growth of strongman sports in the region, running local novice and amateur-level competitions since 2014.

Strength training and conditioning are a big part of how they bond as a family. They train with dumbbells and Olympic barbells in the backyard of their home in Katong.

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