The UCLan lecturer looking to excel once again on the powerlifting world stage

Standing there on stage in front of a packed crowd, no one can save you. All of the years of eating the perfect diet and pushing your body relentlessly in the gym has come down to this moment.

Lift the weight. It sounds simple, but when you’re stepping under 180kg to squat, the same weight as an adult male gorilla, things are more complicated.

For most people, the thought of stepping under a weight like this is inconceivable and the act of doing it would leave them being seriously hurt, but for a GB powerlifter such as Bobbie Butters, this is just another day at the office.

“I’m a very nervous and emotional lifter so I get really hyped up when I am on stage to get myself in the zone,” says Bobbie.

 “I try and actively block out the audience as no one else is going to help me lift that weight except me, so the only thing I need to focus on is what I’m doing and the weight on the bar.

“Just because there are thousands of people watching me doesn’t mean I can no longer lift the weight.”

The 28 year old has been involved in powerlifting for 11 years, but her passion for lifting weights began way before that.

She said: “I’ve been lifting weights since i was really young and always loved it. My mum tells me from three years old I was trying to do one handed push ups after watching the Rocky movies.”

“If there were things around the house, I’d like to lift them because I’d want to see if I could do it.

“I literally used to rearrange my bedroom just to see if I could lift my bed.”

After beginning weight training in her parents’ multi-gym in their garage at the age of six and then getting her own set of weights for her bedroom at age 11, Bobbie was introduced to powerlifting at the age of 16.

She said: “I was doing my gym instructor qualification and a part of it was that you have to teach people the correct technique whilst lifting weights.

“I remember I was learning how to deadlift, and we were just going through the technique and I deadlifted 100 kilograms. One of the lecturers then said to me have you thought about doing powerlifting. Three months later I did first competition.”

Aswell as competing at national level as a powerlifter, Bobbie is also a Sport Exercise and Science lecturer at the University Of Central Lancashire so has to do her best to balance the two careers.

“My students always ask me how I do it,” she said.

“The key to it is showing discipline and organising my time properly throughout the week so that I have time to get all of my work done and also do my training.

“I was a competitive athlete when I was a student, so I’m used to having different commitments.”

Credit: Bobbie Butters Instagram

Throughout her years in the sport, the athlete has noticed an increase in the number of people taking part in powerlifting.

She said: “Social media has increased the popularity of the sport massively. There is so much more exposure to it now as you always see people lifting weights on Instagram.

“There is also definitely more females in the sport than when I started. There are just as many females as there are males at every competition I go to no matter what level, whether it’s international or regional level.”

Bobbie has represented her country on a number of occasions in the past and has had success in her 57kg weight category with her most notable win being her European Championship victory in 2022.

And next up for her is the Elieko British Open Championships which begins on March 16, with a positive ranking in the competition likely to result in a call up to represent the GB team once again.

Aswell as focusing intently on the competition coming up, Bobbie has much bigger goals for her career in the future.

“My goal is to be able to maximise my potential and lift the most I physically can and then become world champion one day and that’s my ultimate aim.

“As I’ve gotten older, I have got more experienced and have become more competitive and my beliefs have changed. I now think, I can do this.

“Also if I could get the title of best female lifter at a competition, that would be insane.”

Bobbie emotional after a competition. Credit: Bobbie Butters Instagram