D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Aaron "Big Red" Williams and Richard Hawthorne are co-owners of Monster Garage Gym. Hawthorne has developed a solid reputation, holding down the title of pound for pound... the "Strongest Man in the World."
Hawthorne and Williams are promoting powerlifters and the growth of the sport has seen more young girls and women picking up weights as seen in this video provided by Monster Garage Gym.
Hawthorne said, "It's gaining popularity with the women a lot because they are finally realizing that this is not just a sport for men. It's not just a sport for the strong."
"Big Red" William added, "Women are starting to realize now that you can lift heavy and get into shape with powerlifting instead of putting on all this muscle. That's what a women is scared of...that they're going to grow up looking like a man."
Hawthorne says powerlifting is a total uplifting workout.
"This will not only make you physically strong, it's a mental thing, "stated Hawthorne. "It's giving them a lot of confidence. This sport is just growing around the world."
Hawthorne and Williams have been helping a number of high school powerlifters including Aeon Adams and Ashlyn Romero of D'Iberville.
They have assisted D'Iberville girls powerlifting coach Glenn Gerhmann.
Adams said, "Since my technique has gotten better, I've gotten a lot stronger. You can see the difference.
"I didn't realize how strong I was, "stated Romero. "I've gotten further than I thought I would/"
Many of the women participating in powerlifting workouts have jumped into other competitions.
Williams said, "There's several women who have worked with us that's done fitness and physique competitions."
Aero, a junior at D'Iberville High School, placed third in her weight class in the Class 6A Girls State Powerlifthing Championships on Saturday at Jackson's Mississippi Coliseum. Aero totaled 535 pounds with a 195 pound squat, 95 pound bench and 245 pound deadlift.
Romero lifted her way to a fourth place finish. She totaled 390 pounds with a 165 pound squat, 60 pound bench and 165 pound deadlift.