Valley woman becomes champion power lifter

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - "I got on the ground one of the times I was crawling around, I just asked God if he could heal me... I'd become the strongest I've ever been," Ari Phillip said

Phillip says it took a few years to recover from a thyroid surgery that left her weak and unable to walk, but when she did, there was no stopping her.

"Mind you, the first class I couldn't do five push-ups," she said. "I remember being really upset about that."

She channeled that frustration, built her strength, and became the strongest she's ever been.

"My first five competitions, I broke a world or national state record at those competitions," she said. "The last one in April qualified me to life in Mr. Olympia in Las Vegas.

"I see a lot more women deadlifting and squatting, bench pressing, and those three disciplines," Josh Barnett said.

Barnett owns Metroflex Gym where Phillip trains. The three disciplines of power lifting, deadlifts, bench press and squats are so much more to Phillip.

"One thing I love about power lifting, I get up at 4 a.m., I'm at the gym at 4:30... that's my time and that time has carried over to being a world-record holding power lifter," Phillip said.