By Kirstyn Brown, Editor-in-Chief

The next time a woman says she’s afraid weights will make her “bulky,” show her a picture of Midori Rutledge. The competitive powerlifter regularly tosses around more weight than some men, yet maintains a lean, toned physique worthy of the cover of our February Training Guide. And it’s no accident. Busting the myth that weightlifting will turn average women into She-Hulks was what drew Midori to powerlifting in the first place. “There are a lot of myths and lies out there about women lifting heavy, and I wanted to shed some light on the topic,” she says. And so she set out to do what no female athlete had ever done before.

PBU_8055WEB_8Something to Prove
With her goal in mind, Midori figured out a way to prove what weightlifting women have been preaching for years—that you can lift and still be lean. She decided she would compete in both Olympic Lifting and Bikini in the same athletic arena, the 2013 Arnold Sports Festival, becoming the first woman ever to do so. “I wanted to challenge myself and prove to others that you can lift heavy and still have the physique you want.”

Mission Accomplished

After placing first in the Bikini Rockstar competition and sixth in the Olympic Lifting event at the Arnold, Midori was satisfied she’d achieved her goal. “I am living proof that you can lift heavy without the bulk,” she says. “I have never been stronger or felt better. Nutrition and lifestyle are what determines overall physique, not how or what you lift in the gym.”


We asked Midori, “What is your favorite…”

Music to workout to: A bit of everything
Breakfast food: Protein pancakes!
Weekend pastime: I love having a chance to head to the market
for my weekly grocery shop and spend time with my best friends and family.
Brand of sneakers: Reebok
Bodyweight exercise: Jump squats!
Healthy fat: Coconut oil
Time of day to workout: Morning


Click below to see more of Midori in the STRONG Fitness Magazine Digital Training Guide, Februaru 2014 edition.
STRONG Digital Training Guide
STRONG Fitness Mag
STRONG Fitness Magazine is a trusted source of cutting-edge fitness and health information for the modern woman who lives to be fit. STRONG’s sophisticated editorial voice combined with raw, powerful imagery and a modern, athletic design reflect the direction fitness has taken in the last decade.