Thirteen-year-old Abbey Watson just returned from the Powerlifting Federation national competition in Oklahoma City where she set 28 records, including eight world records. She set the world record for squats in her weight class by lifting 143.3 pounds.
Abbey started weight lifting three years ago. Her Dad brought her along one morning to Defy Crossfit Gym in Broomfield.
"I came just to watch. I was wearing my school clothes and they asked me if I wanted to do it too. So, I did one of the workouts and I loved it, so I started coming," Abbey said.
Now she wakes up at 5:30 a.m., three days a week and works out for an hour before school
"I am amazed. I am surprised she has latched on to it as much as she has. I was just hoping she would get into a good workout habit. I never thought she would compete. I'm impressed and proud of her," Steve Watson, Abbey's dad, said.
She has come a long way in three years.
"I think that if someone would have told me at the beginning of 6th grade I'd be lifting this much, I would never believe them," Abbey said.
She now dead lifts 176 pounds - almost twice her body weight.
"When I tell boys how much I can lift, they say, 'I'm not going to mess with you anymore,'" Abbey said.
Her coach and trainer Jonathon Sabar says there's one key element Abbey has that many weightlifters don't.
"I think the reason Abbey is lifting weight that surpasses adults is because she's never been told she can't do it," Sabar said. "It's been amazing watching her grow and develop, and at this point, she is doing weights that are as heavy if not heavier than what full grown women do."
Sabar says it's a common misconception that kids and teens shouldn't lift weights. He says as long as they have the right form and work their way up, there is no health risk to it. It's everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Abbey says her next goal is to compete in the Olympics.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)