Karenjeet Kaur Bains is the first Sikh weightlifter to represent Britain at the World and European Championships and won gold as a junior at the Commonwealth Championships in 2019.
Now, with a Guinness World Record under her belt, the 26-year-old is trying to make a name for herself in the sport and challenging athletes of all levels to raise the bar with her online coaching. M&F caught up with the stereotype breaker to find out how she became one of powerlifting’s brightest stars and how anyone can adopt the basic principles of the squat, bench press and deadlift to strengthen their mind, body and character.
Bains was born in Warwick, England. His parents were from Punjab in northern India, but having moved to England in their youth, the two met, married and started a family. doing everything possible to ensure that Karenjeet and her brothers have the best possible opportunities. His parents were very proud then, when Bains got a scholarship and attended Durham University while already dominating the world of powerlifting. As a chartered accountant, Bains crunches numbers both in the office and in the weight room.
Karenjeet Kaur Bains breaks stereotypes
Having started powerlifting at 17, success came quickly and was well deserved. Bains is a multiple-time British and All-England champion, and those victories have been fueled in part by closed-minded people who often underestimate a woman’s potential in the weight room. It’s a narrative that Bains is working to change and has a lot of his own memories to draw from.
Even as a British champion, she remembers walking into the gym with her father, Kuldip, and being approached by an old man who immediately dismissed her, saying there probably wouldn’t be any dumbbell small enough for her to lift. Kuldip, a former bodybuilder and natural weightlifter, came back with the perfect answer, telling the unwanted negative voice that “there won’t be any weights big enough!” It was a watershed moment in his life and reinforced that no one should be allowed to put limits on your progress due to incorrect perceptions. In truth, there are few men in the gym who can match plate for plate. Eat this, man!
In school, Bains had already excelled in sports before getting serious about the gym. “I’ve always been very athletic,” she says. “First of all, I did athletics from, say, 5 years old. My dad is my coach and trains me in bodybuilding and powerlifting, but he first trained me in athletics. I have two older twin brothers, they are 10 years older than me and they were doing the 400m hurdles at the national level. When I saw them do that, I learned from an early age what it meant to win.
Winning is forging your own destiny
Bains is eager to represent her community and feels that there aren’t enough South Asian women involved in powerlifting. She makes sure to keep her full name announced in interviews and in competitions as “Kaur” is often translated as “lioness” and means to be a Sikh woman.
With her success, the proud Sikh hopes to encourage more diverse minorities to get into the sport and is keen to bring women into powerlifting, from all walks of life. Sure, powerlifting can be an expensive sport when you consider the training, gym memberships, and travel required to chase gold, but the Bains family has learned to forge their own destiny by keeping the things internally. Her father’s passion for the sport and the iron hasn’t just spread to Karenjeet and her brothers, as even mom is also enjoying success with the hammer throw, discus and shot put in the divisions. masters.
“I have a gym at the bottom of the garden,” shares the lioness. “It’s very old school, with cast iron weights. My dad is an engineer, so he made a lot of weights and everything by hand. There are all these gears and parts, nothing out of the ordinary, but I always encourage people to say that all you need to be successful is courage and determination. Without a doubt, powerlifting is one of those sports that provides instant gratification. “I think most beginner lifters get addicted to it,” Bains says. “Because once you lift something, it’s always ‘what more could I lift?’ but when i started lifting weights i had very soft hands and i remember my hands were torn because they weren’t ready. I used to use the surgical spirit to harden my hands. I think the bench press, deadlift and squat came pretty naturally to me and I’ve always had really strong legs from years of sprinting and everything.
@karenjeet_bains 175kg DEADLIFT (385lbs) from the All England Powerlifting Championships 🥵🤯 Let ME help you take your strength to the next level… Coaching Link in Bio 🔗❤️ #deadliftpr #deadliftface #powerliftingchicks #pushyourselftothelimit ♬ Legends Are Made – Sam Tinnesz
Karenjeet Kaur Bains breaks world records and glass ceilings
In June, Bains became the English bench press champion in the under 69 kg (152 lb) division by lifting 95 kg (210 lb). His personal bests (gross) are 97.5 kg (215 lbs) in the bench press, 175 kg (385 lbs) in the deadlift and 150 kg (330 lbs) in the squat. And, as her powerlifting career rides the crest of a wave, the champion hopes to use that momentum to take the sport mainstream. This inspirational woman is currently doing TV offerings and was recently accepted into the Guinness Book of World Records after squatting her own 67kg (147lb) bodyweight for an incredible 42 reps in just 60 seconds.
Powerlifting provided Bains with the opportunity to see the world. She has competed in countries including England, Canada, Sweden and Lithuania, but now hopes to use her online fitness coaching to reach global audiences from her home or gym.
Bains finds that constantly challenging herself builds confidence, and she’s well aware that strength of mind is just as important as strength of body. Through her motivational speeches and panel appearances, one-on-one coaching, and regular visits with clients on her app, Bains is able to lead by example, noting that she needs to push the
limits of his mental and physical abilities like everyone else. “So, I do the conventional deadlift,” Bains explains. “I don’t do sumo, so for me there’s a great range of motion, and I have pretty long legs in relation to my torso, and I don’t have super long arms, but as soon as I I know I’ve lifted the bar off the floor, even just ‘this’ a lot, I know I have it because I’m a hell of a grinder. I’m very stubborn and I’m like, ‘I won’t let go of that!’ “
Bains says she insists on emphasizing “strong” rather than “lean” and emphasizes that her post isn’t just for aspiring lifters. She organizes individual training programs for her growing list of clients, all of whom are at different phases of their fitness journey. Bains is also able to rate videos sent to him, to provide instruction on how to improve his technique, or chat with clients through his online platform in real time via instant messaging.
Karenjeet Kaur Bains Record Lower Body Workout
Here’s an exclusive workout for M&F readers that Karenjeet Kaur Bains shared to build leg strength to help with weightlifting. You don’t have to be a champion to try, just work with the weight that’s right for you!
And, if you want to sign up for Karenjeet’s online coaching, M&F readers get a discount. Go to Karenjeetbains.com, enter your fitness goal, then add the phrase “Muscle & Fitness” in the text box. Complete the steps and Bains will activate a 25% discount on your first month. Let’s get to work!
Squats and props training
Muscles worked: Glutes, Quadriceps, Hamstrings
Squat: Aim for the heaviest possible while making sure to do clean reps.
- Warm up with an empty barbell, then add a light weight for 8 reps.
- Perform 5 working sets of 5 repetitions,
- Take 3 minutes of rest between each set.
Bulgarian Split Squat: Focus on your stability and squat as far as your mobility allows.
- 3 sets of work of 6 to 8 repetitions.
- Take 3 minutes of rest between each set.
Leg extension: Focus on the contraction at the top of the extension and concentrate on the quadriceps.
- 3 sets of work of 6 to 8 repetitions.
- Take two minutes of rest between each set.
Straight Leg Dumbbell Deadlift: For superior technique, squeeze your glutes as you come to the top and feel the burn in your hamstrings.
- 3 sets of work of 10 to 12 repetitions.
- Take 2 minutes of rest between each set.
Walking lunge with dumbbells: Use this exercise as a finisher to complete as many reps as possible to finish strong!
- 2 sets of work of 20 repetitions (or more).