Few athletes can claim to be as dominant in their sport as Kimberly Walford.
Over her career, Kimberly has amassed five International Powerlifting Federation open world championships and some 18 world records. On more than one occasion she has established herself as the strongest deadlifter in the world, man or woman, at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio.
Known for that lift, Kimberly puts her recent IPF open raw deadlift record of 535.6 lbs and personal best equipped pull of more than 567lbs among her greatest accomplishments. As the final lift in a full powerlifting meet, her deadlift is critical in getting her to the top of the podium.
But meets are not won with one lift alone. Kimberly has put together impressive totals meet after meet, relying on the foundation of a strong squat and bench to secure five IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships, and establish herself as the strongest woman in the 72kg class with a record total of 1,190lbs.
Despite these achievements, Kimberly sees no reason to rest on her laurels. After 17 years in the sport, she still finds that her motivation to push the envelope hasn’t died. That motivation comes from many sources, she says, including God, her family and friends, as well as other lifters.
This world champion says that even novices in the sport are a source of continued inspiration to her. “To be an athlete in this sport you have to be patient, and to realise that it’s not going to happen quickly,” she explains. “It’s seeing that sheer commitment to the sport that inspires me, and knowing that we’re going through the same trials.”
As Kimberly’s next challenge approaches - the IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Minsk, Belarus - she is as eager as ever to compete. She sees each powerlifting competition “as your reward for the training cycle”, and as “your time to enjoy all the hard work you put in”.
“I get excited about every meet, and I get excited about the training cycle leading up to each meet. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thinking about powerlifting.”
Kimberly's Favorite Equipment
SBD Belt - The first lever belt that can be adjusted on the fly, "a huge game changer"