Photo provided by Hilda Siegel

A local fitness trainer has reached a new personal best in powerlifting, placing her amongst the top in the country. Hilda Siegel fell into powerlifting accidentally 11 years ago at the age of 33. She decided she wanted to lose some weight and joined a gym with personal trainers. One of them was a strong man competitor, and his wife was a competitive powerlifter. “They did a little mock meet at their gym and they said – why don’t you try it out?” Hilda remembers. “That’s how I kind of got into it. I got what they call the iron bug.”

She started competing in Ottawa at first, but quickly transitioned to national and international meets. Hilda was supposed to compete at nationals in November this year, however, like many sporting events, it was cancelled due to COVID-19. Instead, she was invited to compete at a small, local bench-press only meet, which is where she broke her Canadian record and benched 100kg (220lbs). This personal best is only 2.5kg off the world record for her age and weight class for the WPC Powerlifting Federation.

“It was a big deal for me, because as you get more advanced in lifting, you kind of plateau for a bit. So, to break through that plateau is a huge thing,” Hilda says. Her next goal is to get to 102.5kg (225lbs). “Most women in general can’t bench 225. To bench over 200 is a big deal for a female.”

Hilda has made fitness part of her lifestyle. She has been a yoga teacher since 1999, and is now a professional personal trainer, working at Anytime Fitness in Kemptville. Not only does she compete in powerlifting, but she has also does body building, and national and international pole fitness competitions. “I’m not the type of person who can just go to the gym and train, I have to have goals. I find with lifting, even with pole fitness, with anything, it’s like you are constantly trying to better yourself. You have these goals that you set for yourself, and being able to compete makes it that much more rewarding.”

Hilda also feels empowered by powerlifting, which is still a male dominated sport. “There’s something about being a female and being able to lift almost as much as the men in the gym, if not more.”

Hilda is hoping to bring a powerlifting competition to Kemptville in the future, which will include squat, bench, and dead lift. Before COVID-19, she was working with the organizer of the local powerlifting meets to bring one to the area, but it was put on hold because of the pandemic. “We’re looking for a location for maybe this year or next year to do a powerlifting meet and bring it to Kemptville, because there are quite a few people, even at Anytime, who dabble in powerlifting.”

The pandemic has thrown that huge wrench into the competitive fitness world, with so many meets and events cancelled. Hilda was supposed to go to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous competition in Ohio to compete in pole fitness in March; but it was cancelled just a few days before it was supposed to start. “It was a huge letdown, because I’ve always wanted to go to Arnold’s, and it was my first time actually going to compete there. That was my goal,” she says.

The most recent lockdown, and the closure of gyms, has also been difficult, forcing dedicated athletes like Hilda to train at home. “I’m really creative, so I am still able to train; but it’s not the same as being able to be in a gym,” she says.

For now, Hilda is continuing to work towards her goals at home. When gyms open back up, she will be taking on new clients at Anytime Fitness. To learn more about Hilda and how you can work with her, visit




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