Linda Barnes, interim administrative secretary for the DVC physical sciences and engineering division, is a petite person- not the vision you have when you think of weightlifters.
But she is, right now, the national champion powerlifter in three different weight classes: 97, 105 and 114 pounds. At the 2009 United Powerlifting Association nationals in Dubuque, Iowa on April 26, Barnes competed with about 100 participants in the three-day event.
She squatted 330 pounds, benched 192 pounds, and deadlifted 325 pounds and came away with first place in her weight class.
"Michele Klimesh, a power lifter, was training a student, and I thought I'd give it a try," she said. "I was 40 years old, and that was the beginning of my career in power lifting. I lifted for about six years, took a long break, and returned to the sport in October 2005."
She trains four days a week at Diablo Barbell in Concord with competitive power lifters, baseball players, ultimate fighters, football players, and anyone who's working to get strong and toned.
"Power lifting keeps me disciplined with eating, training, being focused on my goals, and motivates me to lift more weight," she said. "It also gives me great pride to know that I can achieve these results without the use of steroids or any other drugs.
"When I first met Coach Ted in 2005, he told me I could squat over 300 pounds. I just looked at him and thought, ‘Yeah, right.'" But she did that and more. "Now, at age 59, I'm the national champion in three weight classes."