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Ladies powerlifting team trying to break records and stereotypes

Posted at 3:59 PM, Dec 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-02 15:59:06-05

LAKELAND — Don’t let the earrings and lipstick fool you. There’s a team of African American women in Lakeland who are lifting their way past stereotypes, literally, competing on the national scale when it comes to powerlifting.

Founder and coach, Ayecia White, is passionate about powerlifting, but when she looked around at national competitions she noticed something was missing.

“There were only five African American women there, out of 50 states, there were five of us, and I was like, ‘I don’t really like that,’” said White.

So Ayecia decided to pump up the sport, by creating her own team, Queenz of Power.

“Adult women who have different jobs, different backgrounds, who are moms, who are wives, they are entrepreneurs, working in corporate America,” said White. “Women are strong, we can do just what men do, and we can do it a little bit better too.”

The team works out at Just Move Athletic Club in Lakeland once a week.

Alexis Lewis said she was looking for a new outlet to express her femininity and her strength and she found it.

“This is a very unique situation, not seeing many of us being represented in this sport,” said Lewis.

She said the best part is proving people wrong.

“It’s like one of those shocking factors where we come in here and we’re like squatting like 315 and they’re like, ‘wait, women can do that,’” said Lewis.

Kenisha Branch said the sweat and determination put forth in the gym has certainly carried over into everyday life.

“I know personally it makes me more energized, I feel like I can do more, I’ll be more focused, more determined to finish things than I was before,” said Branch.

These ladies said they are more than just a team, they’re a sisterhood. They have each other's backs and they hope to continue breaking records and stereotypes this weekend when they travel to Ft. Lauderdale to compete in national qualifiers.

“As women we’re supposed to be super feminine all the time and we’re not expected to move all this type of weight, so the fact that we can do this type of weight and we can look all girly and have our nails done and the hair done and things like that, it’s really given us our femininity back and it’s also given us our strength back,” said White.

For more information on the Queenz of Power go to