…By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.
Catherine Wass, 66, and her husband Stuart Hamilton, 59, have established themselves as an extraordinary powerlifting couple in the UK.
They have recently made headlines by surpassing records in their respective age and weight categories, demonstrating their incredible strength.
Remarkably, they achieved these feats after “coming out of retirement” and returning to the gym during the pandemic lockdowns.
Stuart Hamilton Holds European Bench Press Record
Stuart Hamilton, known for his exceptional bench press skills, holds the European record in this category.
Last year, he benched 173kg in a competition, surpassing the previous record by 0.5kg.
His dedication and prowess in powerlifting are evident, cementing his reputation as a force to be reckoned with.
Overcoming Adversity and Inspiring Others
Catherine and Stuart’s achievements are even more remarkable considering their return to powerlifting after a period of retirement.
They are a testament to the idea that age is just a number and that maintaining an active lifestyle and positive outlook can contribute to one’s fitness and overall well-being.
The couple’s dedication to their craft has motivated others, including their grandchildren, to take an interest in fitness and strength training.
A Passion for Health and Fitness Unites the Couple
Stuart and Catherine’s journey in the world of strength training began in 1994 when they met at a gym where Stuart was involved in bodybuilding, and Catherine taught aerobics.
Sharing a common passion for health and fitness, they embarked on their powerlifting journey together.
Initially, Stuart acted as Catherine’s coach, but he later decided to compete himself, entering his first bench press competition in 2006.
From World Champion to Retirement and Beyond
Catherine quickly made a name for herself in powerlifting, earning high placements in national competitions.
Her talent caught the attention of the British Powerlifting woman’s team, leading to a peak in her career when she won the Powerlifting World Championships in Argentina in 2002.
Unfortunately, a knee injury in 2013 forced her into retirement.
However, the couple’s dedication to fitness remained unwavering.
Lockdown Training and Record-Breaking Achievements
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures, Stuart and Catherine, who co-owned a fitness center in Colchester, had the advantage of having access to their gym.
They took advantage of the situation, training diligently throughout the lockdowns, steadily rebuilding their strength and setting new personal bests.
Their perseverance paid off as they both qualified for the BPU British Single Lift Championships.
Setting New Records and Inspiring Others
In the latest championships, Stuart impressively bench pressed 170kg and deadlifted 225kg, narrowly missing breaking his own European record.
Catherine, on the other hand, set a new world record for bench press in her age and weight category by lifting 82.5kg.
Additionally, she broke the British deadlift record by lifting 125kg.
Their accomplishments serve as an inspiration to older individuals pursuing strength training and demonstrate the power of perseverance and dedication.
A Family Legacy and Future Generations
The couple’s commitment to fitness and powerlifting has extended to their daughters, who have continued the family tradition and competed in powerlifting themselves.
Their eldest daughter, Candice, has even become a national champion in the sport and is set to compete in the European Powerlifting Championships.
The couple takes pride in passing on their passion for fitness and strength to their children and grandchildren, with the hope that they too will embrace an active lifestyle in the future.