Weight-lifting gran proves life begins at 50

Fit at 50! Burnley grandma Barbara Pennell.
Fit at 50! Burnley grandma Barbara Pennell.

Try telling this amazing grandma that turning 50 means you’re over the hill.

For Barbara Pennell, accounts manager at Metro Metals Ltd in Burnley and foster carer of 15 years, feels 50-years young and would give any 20-something a run for their money when it comes to fitness and lifting weights.

She is certainly proof that age is just a number!

Mike Rawson, owner of CrossFit Pendle

Barbara is a member of CrossFit Pendle, based on the Lomeshaye Industrial Estate in Nelson and her milestone birthday has spurred her on to develop her fitness levels and compete in national competitions aimed at the CrossFit industry.

“I’ve always been focused on fitness and have spent time in the past working with personal trainers developing skills such as weight lifting and marathon training” said Barbara.

Barbara can comfortably deadlift a weight of 105kg, bench press 50kg and back squat a weight of 80kg; impressive figures for a woman of 50.

And it’s a family affair for Barbara, who attends the gym alongside her daughter Libby, son Gareth, and brings her grandson and children she fosters to the gym’s children’s classes.

This shared interest in fitness gives the Pennell family the opportunity to do something together, while training and developing their CrossFit abilities.

Mike Rawson, owner of CrossFit Pendle said: “Babs is a key member of the community here at the gym; she works extremely hard on a daily basis to improve her skills and better her performances.

“She is certainly proof that age is just a number!”

Leading a healthy lifestyle is extremely important to Barbara, and her involvement in a national CrossFit competition earlier this year has proved to be instrumental to her aspirations, regardless of her age.

“I took part in the Reebok Open competition and placed in the top third in Europe for my age category. Next year’s competition is in February, and I’m training hard to improve upon last year and place in the top 20; this is the ultimate goal!” added Barbara.