British Pathé, Girl Weight Lifters (1954)

The history of weightlifting and bodybuilding was, for far too long, a sport dominated by men. How, when and where women first entered the gym is a topic of considerable interest for academics. While the growth of female weightlifting in the United States has been well covered by Jan Todd, little to no work has been done on the British context.

We know that Ivy Russell, a female powerlifter from the 1930s, briefly captured the imagination of British weightlifters but little beyond that. The above British Pathé comes to the rescue in furthering the lineage of British women’s weightlifting. The task for researchers is to dig deeply into the archives and put some context to the above video.

As always … Happy Lifting!