‚I’m a plus size weightlifter and I can deadlift weight of two men‘

Meet the female plus-sized weightlifter who can deadlift the weight of two men.  

Cathy Mattimoe, 28, joined the gym in September 2022 after struggling with low self-esteem and confidence issues linked to her weight.  

In October 2023, Cathy started weightlifting to see what she could get her body to do.

At first, she was able to deadlift 60kg – the weight of an orangutan – but, nine months on, she can now deadlift 165kg – the average weight of two men.  

Cathy – who is a size 26 – was worried men wouldn’t take her seriously in a gym environment but says they now congratulate her on her lifts.

Her ultimate dream is to compete in the World’s Strongest Woman competition.  Cathy, a nurse, from Chippenham, Wiltshire, said: „I am a curvy girl and going to the gym as a curvy girl has been difficult.“

„I have found the gym community through deadlifting. I will be deadlifting 160kg and I will have a big muscular man next to me nodding at me like ‚go on girl‘.“

Cathy started the gym in September 2022 – originally on a mission to lose weight and gain confidence.  She said: „I had real low self-esteem.“

„I had no confidence. I would look down on the floor, I wouldn’t talk to people or give them eye contact. When I was out and about I would keep myself to myself.“

In October 2023, Cathy became interested in weightlifting and wanted to give it a go. The 28-year-old, who struggles with anxiety, said it helped with her mental health and she used it as „a release“.

In November 2023, she discovered deadlifting and was able to lift 60kg on her first go.  She said: „I was doing deadlifting and I enjoyed pushing myself.“

„I did it to see what I could push my body to, I have depression and anxiety and it was a very good release.  It has improved my mental health and confidence.

„Obviously I am not a size six.  I am a curvy girl, and it is difficult going to the gym as a plus-sized woman.“

Cathy can now deadlift 165kg and has become more confident as as result.  One day she hopes to compete in World’s Strongest Woman competition.

She said: „I would love to compete at some point, I would like to get myself to a level where I feel comfortable to compete. The ultimate go would be to compete in the World’s Strongest Woman.

„But I will start off small.  Even if I enter one competition I would be happy that I got to that point.“

Cathy says it’s a shame there isn’t a lot of women in the weightlifting community and she doesn’t personally know any other female weightlifter in the UK.  She said: „There are two women that I know who are weightlifters that are plus size.“

„They hold the world record of the heaviest deadlift. You don’t hear much about women weightlifting or plus size girls doing it either.“

„You don’t hear much about plus-size women in the gym either as they are always judged.“

You can follow Cathy’s weightlifting journey at: @thundercat_ox 

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