As the Commonwealth Games get closer I sat down with Australian representative Brenna Kean who will be competing in the 59kg class in weightlifting. Kean will be hoping to earn one of the three medals when she travels to Birmingham to compete in the Commonwealth Games.
Known for being a former CrossFit competitor Brenna Kean has made a remarkable transition into weightlifting. First competing in March of last year, she has developed her skills and ability.
At the age of 27, she is still in her prime and delivered several personal bests during qualification that got her selected for the national team.
CrossFit has become a fitness movement only being found just over 20 years ago. It incorporates a range of different elements which include weightlifting, gymnastics, callisthenics and other exercises.
Kean knows how hard it was for her to transition from CrossFit and she still continues to do it in her free time.
“CrossFit gave me a good sort of foundation into weightlifting. I still enjoy doing CrossFit, I still enjoy keeping fit, and I love gymnastics and everything like that.” Kean said.
“The weightlifting and strength side of it, I was always much better at and much more natural.”
The Geelong native is not shy about competing at such a high level. Having done swimming in her teenage years and continuing into her early twenties, she has always been competitive.
“I was a competitive swimmer growing up and always saw that as the pinnacle,” she said.
“I didn’t expect to be representing Australia in weightlifting.”
“Growing up I always was super competitive in sport so I would always try and go as high as I could.”
Kean will be looking to have a great showing in Birmingham with the Paris 2024 Olympics right around the corner. With her current personal best, she would have been ranked inside the top 10 competitors at the previous summer Olympics.
She currently has a personal best of 85kg in the snatch category and 110kg in the clean and jerk, totalling up to 195kg. This was achieved in the North Queensland Games at the end of April this year. Continually trying to beat her personal best, Kean thrives on competition day.
“It’s always hard to expect to know how you’re going to feel on that particular day, but you tend to have a good idea of what you’ve been sitting around at that time,” she said.
“I love competition day and I love the pressure and, the adrenaline.”
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Not only is Kean a professional athlete but is a paramedic in her daily job. Mainly working the night shift, she trains during the day. With both a full-time job and training daily, balancing both has been one of the main challenges for her.
“That’s been one of the hardest things when you get to this level is trying to balance,” Kean said.
“Weightlifting at this stage isn’t something I can do as a sole income. I love my job as a paramedic, so I think balancing that has always been really tricky with (the) night shift and really long hours.
“I’ve always been a morning person and always been someone that has to exercise in my day and or get some kind of physical activity in.”
Brenna Kean has plenty of advice for younger girls trying to get into weightlifting.
“Strength training is so empowering for a female. I think it’s something that really should be introduced early on,” she said.
“Any advice I would give to any girls coming up is just to give it a crack, just to give it a go and not worry about what anyone thinks about you lifting heavy or if you get muscly or any of these things. The body of a female, a muscular female should be celebrated because it’s really hard work.
“My main advice would be just to not think about what anyone else thinks and if you enjoy it and if it makes you feel good do it.”
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