No age limit on powerlifting

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BRATTLEBORO — Rosalind Fritz, 71, of Newfane, has been amazed at how much muscle growth she has seen since starting a training regimen that has her on track to beat national and state powerlifting records.

"What sets her apart is her passion," said Carla Grant, owner of Supreme Fitness and personal trainer. "There is not an age limit on this."

Grant expects Fritz to deadlift more than 181.2 pounds, the national record in her age and weight group within the American Powerlifting Association, during a contest at her gym Saturday. It will be Fritz's first time competing in weightlifting.

The plan is to exceed the state record by putting up 175 pounds, then the national record with 185 pounds. Fritz will then attempt to deadlift 190 or 195 pounds. Her personal best is 191 pounds.

Fritz said she started exercising at Curves and "plateaued on their machines after about a year," so she decided to try Supreme. Grant told her about a lifting competition and she spent the day watching it.

"I was fascinated," Fritz said. "It was great."

Fritz said she asked Grant if she thought that was something she could do. Her husband called her crazy, but after she beat a record for bench pressing her first day training her husband told her to go out for the

competition.

Since then, Fritz has continued to increase the weights she is lifting. She has been training for a year.

"I really pushed myself into it," she said, having felt her body getting weaker before deciding to begin exercising more.

Fritz reported no longer having severe back pain or symptoms marking the beginning of osteoporosis since the start of her lifting routine.

It also helped with her posture.

During Tuesday's interview, her shoulder was hurting but she blamed that on yoga. She also is a yoga instructor and health consultant.

Fritz said she is a vegan and only eats plant-based foods.

"Lots of spinach and beans," she said.

She said she feels stronger and healthier than she ever has.

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Google the name of Stan Kolpa, 67, of Vernon, and it will be found on pages listing road running race results. But come Saturday, Grant expects him to break state records in lifting.

"I generally am a runner but I kinda decided to focus on getting ready for this meet about five months ago," Kolpa said. "I'm hoping to do somewhere over 150 for the squat, over 135 for the benchpress and somewhere on the other side of 250 for the deadlift. Nothing too awesome."

Kolpa said he feels like he is in "pretty good shape."

"My squat's a little weak," he said. "It's like, you know, I never did it before so this is kind of a new experience."

Kolpa has participated in marathons, including the one in Boston. He competed on the cross country team in high school but started road races when he turned 45.

His diet is "nothing too fancy."

"Lots of vegetables and fruits," he said. "My wife does the cooking so pretty much traditional."

Kolpa said he tries to eat as much local food as he can.

Grant anticipates another man from her gym over the age of 60 will join him in breaking state records.

Rick Morton, 71, of West Brattleboro, has been training for about 14 months at Supreme. But he started working out in the basement of Brattleboro Savings & Loan, where he retired from last year after 25 years. The bank gifted him with a year membership to Supreme. Since then, he has been going five days a week.

Morton also is on track to set records.

"From what Carla told me, there is no state record for my age group or weight category in Vermont so whatever I'm able to accomplish will be the new record," he said, calling the situation "sort of intriguing" as it is his first meet. "I've never done this before. I didn't grow up in this kind of culture or in the weight room and stuff like that. So it's like, why not. I'll do it."

Morton has no special diet.

"I have a sweet tooth so I guess you could say I work out so I can keep it up," he said. "I love pastries, I like cookies, you know, candy. Not that I'm having it all the time. I think I have a healthy diet. I think my wife is really careful. But when the opportunity arises, I don't hold back."

Altogether, 30 lifters of all ages are expected to be at Saturday's 32nd Annual Can-Am International Championships, where Americans and Canadians will compete. Age groups are split up by five years. Grant noted that the APA started in Vermont.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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