Despite her 4’11” stature, Lauren Rutan isn’t a woman who is often overlooked.
A chiseled 123 pounds, Rutan recently won the USPA National Powerlifting Championship in early July and will be competing in the world championships in Las Vegas in November.
The 33-year-old mother of four relocated to Indian Land from Ohio about two years ago and has moved from competing in CrossFit to professional weightlifting and now powerlifting, which concentrates on three certain lifts – the squat, the bench press and deadlift. When she won the national title last month, she squatted and deadlifted 341 pounds for both categories and then benched 198 pounds.
Part of Rutan’s love of lifting is inherited from her father, professional bodybuilder Barry Burnett.
“I grew up with it,” she said. “The training helps me stay on track.”
Rutan started in gymnastics at age 3 and competed in the sport through college at Kent State University, where she was also a cheerleader. Out of college she found CrossFit and eventually morphed into a powerlifter.
She grew tired of just being a weight lifter, she said, so she wondered into Brutal Iron Gym in Rock Hill one day and started training with owner Rob Polenik.
“I was getting burned out from weightlifting,” she said. “You can really express your strength a lot better through powerlifting.”
Rutan said of the three powerlifting events, the squat is her favorite, and said her gymnastics background naturally helps her.
“With gymnastics, everything is exploding off your legs,” she said.
Rutan said she really isn’t sure what to expect when she competes at the world championships, but is looking forward to the opportunity. Right after the event, she has to turn around and prepare for the NPC National Bodybuilding Championships in Miami Nov. 17-18, where she will have to cut weight to get down to 116 pounds to compete in the women’s figure competition.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM