Rincon restaurant owner Elizabeth Keith shatters weightlifting records


If there’s one constant in Elizabeth Keith’s day, it’s sweat.

Whether she’s behind the line in the kitchen of her Rincon restaurant, the 108 Ale House, or in the gym lifting, Keith is constantly putting in the work.

“There are a lot of women killing it in this sport,” Keith said. “To say that you’re neck and neck with some of the best is an accomplishment.”

Keith is certainly among the best, ranking as the top lifter in the United States Powerlifting Association for her weight class.

Even more remarkably, Keith had never lifted competitively until roughly two-and-a-half years ago, when trainer J.P. Marshall approached her about trying it.

“You can tell that she was kind of cut out for it,” Marshall said. “She’s got the determination and dedication to do it so why not give it a try?”

Keith has done quite a bit more than just giving it a try.

“I have the Georgia squat, deadlift and bench-only record in my weight class and I have the total record all time in the state of Georgia,” said Keith, who lifted a combined 1,157 pounds at the Goddess of Steel meet in Hendersonville, North Carolina in June for the record.

The muscles that set those records are made two-and-a-half hours at a time, at least three times per week at a backyard gym in Port Wentworth.

“Those other people aren’t giving up, they’re not stopping at the two hour mark, they’re not stopping at the one hour mark,” Keith said. “Even when you want to, they’re not.”

Between the deadlift, the bench and the squat, Keith’s eventual goal is to lift more than 1,200 pounds. However, the higher the totals get, the more time investment is required to see returns.

“The higher and more elevated of a position she gets in the sport, the harder the gains come,” Marshall said. “So the harder you have to work, the smarter you have to work, the smarter the programming has to be.”

That work usually comes after Keith has already put in a full day at her restaurant.

“My sister and I are partners so typically we just work well together in trying to figure out time and she’s made a lot of sacrifices to help me,” Keith said.

That’s why no matter how hot it is or how heavy the weight gets, Keith finds a way to press on.

“If you want to be the best, you keep pushing through,” Keith said.

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