GREAT FALLS – Erin Palma is a 27-year-old mother, military wife, soccer coach and personal trainer who has a passion for powerlifting.
“I’ve always really liked weightlifting. I’m built to lift,” Palma said.
She moved to Montana from New York with her husband where she started to work out at the gym on Malmstrom Air Force Base.
“Everyone on base is a powerlifter,” Palma said.
At the gym, she developed a love for weights.
“When I’m there, I get to focus on me and what I want to improve,” she said.
Palma now competes and is getting ready to take it to the next level.
“I am so nervous, but I am so amped,” Palma said.
She can squat 468 pounds, bench press 230 pounds and holds the world record in her weight class for dead lifts at 501.5 pounds.
“Lifting can be for everybody, but it definitely takes something inside you to get to the gym first. Staying committed you have to fall in love with the gym. Sometimes it’s hard but I feel like everybody can find their own different kind of exercise and fall in love with it,” Palma said.
In April, Palma will compete in one of the world’s biggest powerlifting competitions.
She’ll compete against some of the top dogs, such as CC Holcomb and Stefanie Cohen, women she considers role models.
“That’s crazy to think about. Most people say that I inspire them. I’m a mom that’s powerlifting and going to this huge meet but still struggling every day to make sure I get to the gym, just like everybody else,” Palma said.
Palma competes in the 2019 USPA Kern U.S. Open on April 28 in San Diego. It’s an invite-only event, in which Palma had to qualify.
“I’m just looking to represent my community and Montana. I’m proud,” Palma said.
You can follow Palma’s journey on Instagram where she posts her daily workouts.
Palma is also a personal trainer at Anchor Fitness in downtown Great Falls.
“Anybody can get up and do something they didn’t do yesterday,” she said.
Palma is sponsored by a supplement company called Fueled Supplements and is personally trained by JET. But her journey will still cost money.
If you wish to help Palma compete in San Diego, you can contribute to her GoFund Me page.
Reporting by Elizabeth Transue for MTN News