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Powerlifter Profiles: Sophie Smith

Updated: Oct 4, 2021


Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself

A: Hi! My name is Sophie, and I’m a 3rd year student studying Engineering at St Hilda’s College. I am also this year’s Women’s Captain, so hopefully you’ll see plenty of me around.

Q: How did you find out about powerlifting?

A: I found out about powerlifting when I was still in 6th form as my boyfriend joined his uni’s barbell club, and I kind of just copied him… But I carried on lifting because of how exciting it was/is to be lifting weights and seeing them progress over time.


Q: How/when did you get involved in OUPLC?

A: I joined OUPLC when I first joined Oxford in 1st year. My first real presence in the club was at the novice mock meet in Michaelmas term, where I met plenty of new people and had plenty of fun!

Q: What is your fondest memory of OUPLC?

A: My fondest memory of OUPLC is probably the whole of Varsity this year – everyone was cheering the lifters on, and although we lost, the vibes and team spirit were so wholesome and happy, and was just a fantastic atmosphere to compete in.

Benefits of powerlifting

Q: Do you think that powerlifting has had an effect on any aspects of your life? If so, how?

A: The most obvious benefit I’ve seen is physically – I am now the designated person to carry food shopping back from the supermarket as I’m comparatively jacked to my mum and sister. I’ve also become more confident in my body over time as I’ve gained muscle and now feel and look strong (I’m not huge by any means though, like my arms are still pretty spindly but they have some definition to them now).

Powerlifting has also had a great benefit to my mental health – Oxford can get pretty stressful during term time, and powerlifting gives me time to focus on something else that I enjoy. The lifting/exercise also makes you feel pretty proud and happy after you’ve finished!


Q: Do you have any personal goals in the sport?

A: In terms of lifts, I’d love to hit a 140kg squat, a 90kg bench and a 170kg deadlift, hopefully in the not so distant future, whether it be at a competition (if they happen this year…) or just in training. Long term, I would like to move up a weight class from 63kg to 72kg, so the aim is to get hella strong and thicc.

Q: Do you have any goals within your committee role?

A: For the next academic year, I aim to help build a strong, supportive team of lifters who could see us win Varsity (if it happens), and build a great BUCS team for the women – all while having fun together, after all, we are doing this for fun and what’s better than women lifting up other women (not literally)?

Closing Message

Q: Do you have a message to anyone considering getting involved in powerlifting?

A: If I were to tell my beginner self some things about starting powerlifting they would be…

  1. Don’t be scared by all the big scary guys in the gym – they usually are too focussed on their own workout and/or are actually nice people when you talk to them

  2. You won’t end up looking “manly” at all, you’ll gain a little bit of muscle but it’ll make you look fitter and stronger 😊

  3. Don’t go too hard all at once, slowly build up the weights

  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help/advice on your lifting form or programs – there will be people out there who will gladly give you feedback and direct you to some good programs (or coaches if you wish to take things further)

As Women’s Captain, I would be more than happy to have a chat with anyone about lifting, the club or whatever to be honest!

Q: Plug yourself; is there anything that you want readers to know about yourself or in general?

A: My lifting Instagram account is @liftingforlattes so you can slide into my DMs there, or you can email me at


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