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Holbrook's Bradshaw aims for StrongWoman title

Weightlifter Allison Bradshaw of Holbrook trains for North

Weightlifter Allison Bradshaw of Holbrook trains for North American StrongWoman National Championships. (November 2010) Credit: Sharon Weston

Allison Bradshaw has a lot of pull . . . literally.

Last month, the 26-year-old competitive weightlifter moved a fire truck 30 feet as part of training for the North American StrongWoman National Championships being held Friday night in Reno, Nev.

"I put on a harness, leaned my body all the way forward and started moving my feet as fast as I could, pulling the rope as hard as I could," the Holbrook resident said. "It was pretty wild."

The weightlifter is one of 10 women competing in the heavyweight division of Friday's competition, which consists of five events, including lifting a 240-pound atlas stone ball over a 52-inch-high bar.

"Atlas stones is one of my favorite events, but it's always a challenge since I'm generally one of the shorter competitors," the 5-foot-5 Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw took an interest in fitness early on, participating in track and field in high school, and continuing to throw the shot put and hammer in college. She earned a bachelor's degree in sports management from Clemson University in South Carolina, then a master's degree in exercise science from Springfield College in Massachusetts.

"I love competing," Bradshaw explained. "When I graduated college, I needed a new sport, so I began competing in Olympic weightlifting, then power lifting. Then I found StrongWoman when I started working at the University of Florida as an assistant strength coach. I have been ranked nationally in all three strength sports."

Bradshaw, originally from Southbury, Conn., is the oldest of four girls. Her parents are supportive of her competing, though her father is a bit apprehensive about the risk of injury, she said.

Luckily, Bradshaw hasn't had major injuries, though she always has scrapes on her arms from lifting the atlas stones.

When not competing, Bradshaw is an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Hofstra University. She's also a strength and endurance trainer at Equinox gym in Woodbury.

"She is right on the mark with judgment; she was able to read me right away," said Diana Rudner, one of Bradshaw's clients. "She knows how to challenge you without discouraging you."

If Bradshaw is among the top two finishers in her division - each category has a top prize of $100 - she can move on to a world championship competition, which has not been scheduled.

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