BOSTON (CBS) – They can lift a four-door sedan off the ground. It’s no problem for them to press 160 pounds of weight over their heads. And picking up a 170 pound stone to hurl it onto a shelf is no issue.
They are strong – very strong. They compete in the Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championship.
But they are not men – they’re women.
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Brittany Diamond, a 22-year-old Medford resident, has exploded into the competitive world of weight lifting. She competes alongside her friend, 37-year-old Gina Melnik.
“In a lot of ways I’ve become her mentor,” said Melnik. “We’ve formed a bond as we’ve been competing together. Not that we don’t try to beat each other during a contest. There’s a lot of good feelings there too”
Together they are among a growing number of women who love extreme sports.
Both belong to an organization called New England Women of Strength.
Diamond recently placed seventh in her division in the World Championship while Gina came in 11th place.
How do they feel about the term “Strongman”?
Melnik told WBZ-TV she admits it’s a little bit of a sexist term, but added that the strongman community has been very supportive of women.
Diamond found out about the competition on Facebook.
“People think women have to be a certain size, look a certain way. But the truth is this sport is for everyone,” Diamond said.
They train at a gym called Titan Barbell in Medford under the watchful eye of trainer Eric Dawson.
During a recent workout, Diamond and Melnick showed WBZ their intense training routine.
When she’s not training and competing, Brittany is a sales and marketing rep for a mobile app company called loopedin.
Melnick is a mom and wife from Jamaica Plain who is raising a 2-year-old daughter.
The pair said they hope to inspire other women, and maybe even send a message to the men along the way.
Diamond said her husband is “very supportive,” though she joked that they don’t get into many arm wrestling competitions.
“But to be fair, I’d probably beat all his friends so they couldn’t say much,” Diamond said with a laugh.