if you search the web for female-only powerlifting resources, admittedly you won’t find much. Most websites tend to focus on men, or both men and women, but few are geared solely to female strength athletes. Belle of the Bar (BOTB) was launched as a Facebook group in 2014 to help fill that void. This is a place for female strength athletes (regardless of experience) to come together for support, questions, and to celebrate personal records (PR's) and general badassery. We empower women to lift with the best of them, to keep making gains, and to be the best they can be.
This is a community, and BOTB is nothing without each and every one of its members. But we owe a great deal of thanks to some key members who help keep the ship afloat. Most notably: Rae, Beth, Becca, Cheri, and Lindy. Meet them below.
Founder & Director of Public Relations
I’m Raeanne “Rae” Pemberton, the Founder of Belle of the Bar. Before starting this group, I’d spent years as a distance runner, proudly losing over 100 pounds along the way. In 2013, after two years of CrossFit, I dabbled in training programs with the help of strength coaches and transitioned my focus solely to powerlifting. It wasn’t long after my first powerlifting meet that same year that I discovered strong(wo)man. I was immediately hooked. I grew to love feeling strong, and I loved the feeling of being more rather than less. It was like I could do anything.
I have since set records in the ILSA (Illinois Strongman Association) in deadlift, and I qualified and competed in the first United States Strongman Nationals in 2015 where I earned second place. I continue to compete in local and national level strongman competitions as a heavyweight competitor.
Fun Fact: I love all of my amazing tattoos, but surprisingly, I'm deathly afraid of needles!
Director of Business Development
Hi, I’m Beth McBride, Director of Business Development at Belle of the Bar. After years of triathlon training, and an eventual abandonment of all athletic activities, powerlifting found me when I needed it the most. After a period of inactivity, I struggled with my body image and sought out a local personal trainer to help get me back on track. She introduced me to powerlifting and to a local group of female strength athletes. I was hooked after my first deadlift. I loved the feeling of iron in my hands, of my strength. It was no longer about how I looked, but how much I could lift. I’ve competed in a number of backyard meets and sanctioned UPA meets in both Open and Masters divisions. And after being strongly encouraged by my coach, I began Strongman training, qualifying for the 2017 US Strongman Nationals.
Being Director of Business Development for Belle of the Bar gives me an opportunity to combine my passion for lifting and my love of strategic business development. I get to determine our long term strategic goals, identify business opportunities, and develop our customer relationships.
Fun Fact: I love that my strong truck pulling and dead lifting legs have given me superpowers that enable me to beat my competitive-cyclist husband on hill climbs.
Director of Athletics
I’m Becca Abrahams, Director of Athletics for Belle of the Bar. I specialize in programming for muscle building, powerlifting, strongman, lifestyle change, and weight loss. As a nationally ranked powerlifter and strongwoman, I’m constantly striving to become a stronger version of myself. For more than 5 years, I’ve sustained a weight loss of over 100 pounds, and I’m well acquainted with the unique challenges that women face in maintaining a lifestyle of strength while juggling a busy life.
In my experience as a personal trainer and strength coach, I’ve developed a diverse clientele and enjoy the process of helping my clients reach and surpass their goals. It’s my joy and passion to empower women to BE MORE, NOT LESS, in all aspects of their lives.
Fun Fact: I have an uncanny ability to exceed the physical limits of every smart phone I've owned. Gorilla glass has met its match!
Hey y'all, I'm Lindy! Before I ever got started in strongman, I trained in CrossFit for three and a half years. During that time, I developed a deep love for lifting and getting stronger. It took a while, but I decided to bite the bullet and start strongman. I left my CrossFit gym and joined one of those globo gyms. I trained there for a while, but just recently I moved to a strictly lifting gym, where I could really hone my techniques. In my first strongman competition, I did my first car deadlift—literally the coolest thing I have ever done—and I took first place. I competed in another competition two weeks later and found out how much more I have to learn in this sport and really look forward to moving the journey. As a forum moderator here at Belle of the Bar, I love to encourage our members to discover how strong they really can be and to continue their journeys as well.
Fun Fact: If I was offered the chance to have any profession in the world, I would be a comedian. You'd see me on SNL and stand-up shows!