Our President and Co-Founder, Noelle Brigden, won best lifter at the 2021 USAPL Military National Championship.

She set the American masters Bench Press Record for the 47kg weight class, all the open-age military records for the 47kg weight class, and several Wisconsin-state records for both masters and open-age division.

The championship also coincided with the 23rd anniversary of the spinal cord injury that ended her time in the Army. What a way to celebrate resilience and a long road from injury!

Upon reflection about this achievement and the significance of setting masters-age lifting records, Noelle says:

“I was thinking about what it means to set a masters record in the context of “what’s your excuse” social media slogans. On the one hand, it’s important to show young people that we can keep enjoying our bodies and finding spaces for success on our own terms as we age. Masters records are hope for our futures, a way to imagine a livable aging process. They are important. On the other hand, we all age differently, and being able to set any record is mostly luck, not hard work. Don’t let them tell you otherwise. My continued good health and athleticism is an accident of birth and socio-economic privilege. The record results from being in the right place at the right time, not permanent. I can afford a great coach and health care, eat well and sleep in comfort, had access to birth control throughout my life, and had so much social support and encouragement.

So, buyer beware when you see social media videos of masters lifters or any lifters… Results vary due to socio-economic inequality and just plain luck. Aging is not an excuse, but it’s a valid reason we can’t always achieve our goals under those conditions. Celebrate what we can do after the age of 40, but recognize unequal opportunity and be kind to yourself and others. I want everyone to set their own masters records.”

It is our mission to help people of all ages and abilities to celebrate their bodies!