Athlete Bio – Jess Phillips

Jess Phillips

Jess Phillips
Weight Class
Where do you live?
Seattle, Washington
Squat PR:
205lbs (unofficial)
Bench PR:
110lbs (unofficial)
Deadlift PR:
275lbs (unofficial)
Clean & Jerk PR:
Snatch PR:
Years lifting?
How did you come to powerlifting or Olympic lifting?
I took a class at my gym that was focused on strength training. We worked on power lifting, and I was hooked!! One class and knew I wanted to power lift! I switched from going to classes at my gym to getting customized programming. Initially, I wanted to continue to work on weight loss and strength training, but now I am focused on powerlifting. I absolutely love it!
Do you have any previous athletic or lifting experience?
I have always been athletic, chasing endurance sports. In high school I started doing triathlons. In college I was on the downhill ski team, the cross country ski team, and the sailing team. I have dabbled in bike racing. I have participated in many fun runs including a 5k, 10k, and even a half marathon. And I played soccer for many years as an “old lady”. I still enjoy getting out for a good hike, ski, walk, run, or bike ride. But once I started lifting heavy things, it just clicked! Like – this is what I have been waiting to do!
Do you compete? Why or why not? If you compete, what do you like most about the competitions?
I have not competed yet, but I am interested in trying a Powerlifting meet in the next year.
Do you have a coach or trainer? In person or online? How did you find your trainer/program? Do you have any advice for women looking for a trainer?
I have a coach / trainer. In person. He is the owner of the gym – Sound Strength and Conditioning. When he offered customized programming a few years ago, I knew that would be a great fit! I get workouts designed to meet my goals. As for advice, I would recommend looking online for gyms in your area that have power lifting or Olympic lifting as part of what they offer. If you can’t find one in your area, look for coaches / trainers that can offer coaching and programming online.
Where do you train? Gym, garage?
I train at the gym. And I am starting to collect the pieces to build a basic home gym.
What is the hardest part about beginning lifting as an older woman?
For me, everything was new. The bar, weights, dumbbells, everything! Our gym offers an “essentials” class where you learn all of the basics before you take a group class. You learn about the bar, kettlebells, how to lift, and how to be safe. Take your time, ask questions, watch, listen. Everyone is a beginner at some point, and it does not matter what age you are. Just jump in!
How has lifting affected your health?
I am stronger than I have ever been. I have lost weight, gained strength, my blood pressure is way down, and I sleep great (most nights). Going for a hike or cross country skiing has never been easier.
What would you tell women just beginning this journey?
Do it!!! Strength training is empowering! You learn so much about yourself. You gain strength in your body and your mind. And, as an older woman, it has incredible benefits for your health. Believe in yourself. And surround yourself with people that believe in you too!

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