Athlete Bio – Karyn Dumble

Karen Dumble

Karyn Dumble
Weight Class
60 kg
Where do you live?
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Squat PR:
82.5 kg competition
Bench PR:
52.5 kg competition
Deadlift PR:
105 kg competition
Years lifting?
How did you come to powerlifting or Olympic lifting?
My partner had started lifting and I was looking for a new athletic adventure. It was also a matter of if I wanted to spend more time with her, we were going to have to go on the same athletic adventure!
Do you have any previous athletic or lifting experience?
I started boxing at 40 and had my first fight at 42. I won! Best thing I ever did. But my back was unhappy with all of the bouncing involved in Olympic boxing. (Powerlifting fixed my back problems within months.) At 44, I had to quit boxing just before my second fight. I was so disappointed, but the pain wasn’t worth it.
Do you compete? Why or why not? If you compete, what do you like most about the competitions?
Yes, I compete. I am pretty darn competitive and need a goal to keep me moving forward, otherwise the couch + napping = me. I get terribly anxious before each meet and it doesn’t really lessen for me until that last deadlift is pulled. But then, I get the exhilaration and joy of having done “a thing” and immediately sign up for another…and then question why I cause myself the anxiety…repeat process ad infinitum.
Equipped or Raw?
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 started out with a team of three coaches and a “team” of 6 lifters. We parted ways after 1.5 years and some not great experiences. My next coaching situation was a hybrid of online and in-person. We lifted on our own 3x/wk and went for an in-person session 1x/wk. It worked well for about a year, then the pandemic hit. We now pay a great coach (who happens to also be a female Masters lifter) to write our programming. We train at her gym and in her presence a couple of times a week and in our home gym the rest of the time.
Where do you train? Gym, garage?
I lift at a powerlifting gym and in our basement gym.
What is the hardest part about beginning lifting as an older woman?
Taking the appropriate amount of recovery time. I’m a full speed/full stop person. So if I’m going to keep getting to the gym, I need to keep my momentum. My body, however, needs a bit slower pace at times.
How has lifting affected your health?
My back is the best it’s been in 20 years. I’m rarely in pain. When I was boxing, my back hurt ALL OF THE TIME. My perimenopause experience has been brutal. It definitely helps to mitigate most of the challenges related to that. It also helps with mood moderation and improving stress management. My adrenals are much happier with me when I’m active.
What would you tell women just beginning this journey?
Ignore every single person who tells you that it isn’t healthy, or advised, or any of that other garbage designed to keep women weak. Get strong. Keep moving. It will help with almost every perimenopause/post-menopause symptom. It will ward off Osteoporosis. It will help you stay young. Strengthen your body; strengthen your mind.

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