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Grannies get fit at Billings gym

granite gym.jpg
Posted at 5:15 PM, Mar 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-10 12:20:34-05

BILLINGS - If you’re looking for some inspiration, you may find it at Granite Health and Fitness in Billings, where a group of powerlifting grandmas is living out their golden years getting strong.

Inside the vault at the gym you'll find Pat Difronzo, 68, Sue Milch, 67, Cindy Newmiller, 64, and Valerie Maier, 64, pumping iron. These grannies are all nearing 70, but they can each deadlift 200 pounds.

Newmiller has four grandchildren, Maier seven (ranging from 6 to 15), Difronzo three, and Milch four (including one set of twins).

While some of these ladies lift to be active with their grandkids, the side benefits, they say, are plenty: boosted confidence and boosted booties, to name a couple.

"We do deadlifts. We do hip thrusts. That just came with it," said Ryan Jore, the grannies' trainer.

In his eight years of training at the gym the number of women of any age who can powerlift over 200 pounds has risen from three to 30.

"It's cool to see barriers being broken down and realize that’s achievable for people of any age," he said.

Jore noted that Difronzo and Milch came to him about three years ago.

"With both of them, when we started, we were deadlifting 40 pounds. Now both of them deadlift 220 pounds," he said.

For the duo, that means fewer back, knee, and shoulder problems.

"The stronger we are we just tend to age better, move better, feel better, look better of course, as well. My favorite part is still seeing someone getting their first chin-up. I think a lot of women think a chin-up is something they can’t do, so whether it takes six weeks or six months, it's really cool seeing someone hit that milestone," Jore said.