Powerlifter Kim Evers: Champion Rising/Written By: Janna Moretti
Kim Evers is my friend. We both train at American Barbell Club in Gainesville, Florida, where she outlifts just about everyone who walks through the doors. She probably outlifts most women and men in Gainesville, Florida, and, in due time, I have no doubt that she will outlift most people in the world. Her work ethic is unparalleled, especially for being 23 years old. Her gratitude for others in her circle is shown through loyalty to their counsel. People believe in Kim Evers—and if you ever meet her, you’ll believe in her too. Kim Evers is a Powerhouse.
Thank you, Kim, for sharing your story with me, and thank you, Sisters of Iron, for providing a platform for these stories to be heard.
Powerlifter Kim Evers: Champion Rising
Written By: Janna Moretti
I competed with Kim Evers at Battle of the Bay VIII in 2022. At 22 years old, Kim competed in the 242-pound class in both the junior and open divisions. She took top squatter of the day. She took first in juniors and in the open. She racked up a 463 DOTS score, making her more likely to receive professional meet invites.
Kim and I sat near each other behind the platform where others laughed and joked with friends before heading out for their attempts. Both of us, kind in our day-to-day interactions, friendly even, sat quietly and reserved a few seats from each other. Walled off from others, physically present, but mentally in another place. To many people, meets are about having fun, talking with new people. To a lot of athletes, competing in powerlifting is about having a good time. But not to all lifters.
“Fun has nothing to do with it,” Kim said to me later that day while we waited for names to be called for awards.
Kim, in her 23 years, has lived multiple lives’ worth of experiences. She has been an athlete since she was little. Her parents put her in soccer at the age of five, then she’d later go on to play volleyball, basketball, flag football, and track. Kim had struggled with her weight in high school, but by the age of 19, she had lost 100 pounds. She helps her mom run a store in Homasassa, Florida, goes to school online full time, and works as a server at a restaurant in Gainesville while training in powerlifting full time. She does Muay Thai in her offseason. Kim has skyrocketed to the top five highest squats of all time in juniors. She has the seventh highest junior deadlift of all time. In her young life, Kim has thrived in ways that others rarely thrive. After sitting to talk with her about how she is this anomaly—a rare, disciplined gem—I gained some insight as to how Kim views powerlifting and how she has managed to climb the ranks of powerlifting in a such a short time.
We talked about training, of course, and we talked about structure—how many training days per week, what the rep schemes look like, the technicalities of lifting. We spoke of restraint in diet and alcohol, finding balance and all that. She explained how she trained through a broken hand from Muay Thai and three concussions. But really, the thing that came up over and over again talking over our coffee next to students on laptops, earbuds in, under that creeping Gainesville sun, was other people—Kim’s gratitude of other people. When I asked her how she’s been able to get so far in powerlifting in only three years, she explained how other people were there to help her. She is surrounded by people who believe in her potential as a lifter. Getting to know Kim better meant getting to know her circle, the people in her corner. Kim’s power is rooted in her work ethic and her loyalty to her people—to the ideas they have about her—and through their belief in her, she summons and delivers the best in herself.
Despite Kim’s insane work ethic, even if she puts the work in, Kim is still a mental lifter. She will bail on a lift she has lifted in the past if her head’s not in the right place. Then she’ll come back to it moments later after her friend and training partner, Kurt Jackson, talks trash to her. He’ll say something she needs to hear and then something clicks in her mind and then she executes.
“It’s almost as if the cards have to be stacked against me in order to hit the lift,” Kim explained. The lift she just missed will move like an opener, all speed and confidence. There is a gulf between who Kim is when she thinks she can’t versus the person she becomes once she realizes she can. Kim is hard—and when people talk with her outside of these realms of sport, she comes across as sweet. Helpful, loving. But when it’s time to win—some whole other person is unleashed.
And here’s the thing: Kim doesn’t brag about her performance. She’s humble as hell. When I asked her what contributed to her 110-pound jump in total from Battle of the Bay in February to the Croquetta Classic in October landing her a DOTS score of 492, instead of saying, “Well I made sure to sleep more, eat more, etc.,” she attributed that growth to her coach.
“That’s all Killian,” she said, referring to her coach Killian Hamilton. Training with Killian is different from her training with other coaches she’s had. “He doesn’t kill me with reps, he doesn’t do back-downs; there is not an excessive amount of volume to build strength.”
Kim trains heavier sets of fives at RPE 8, for example, and isn’t burning out on higher sets of 10 or 12. She compared previous meet preps that had left her feeling overexerted, unable to express her true strength on the platform. “I used to feel really sore before meets,” she said. “This prep—even though I lifted way more, I felt good.” After experiencing so many different coaching styles from different sports her whole life, Kim said, “A big problem is that a lot of coaches don’t look at clients as individuals. One of the good things about Killian is that he looks at the person and what she needs. No cookie-cutter programming.” Their coach-athlete relationship is symbiotic—he brings expertise and sound communication to the table, and she adheres to his guidance. She pushes herself in the gym. She works all those hours to be able to afford competing. She is at the vanguard of the team effort.
Seeing Kim compete, you would never know that she made her way to powerlifting from a place of hesitation. “I used to weigh 320 pounds.” In high school she played sports, but in college she no longer had sports as an outlet, so she went to a commercial gym called YouFit and hired a coach. “I used to be really shy, and I actually bought training because I didn’t want to say no. I was so anxious I almost skipped the first training session. I had already paid for four sessions. But I showed up. I got on a diet and started losing weight. I got down to 265 pounds in three months. I loved working out.” Kim trained four days a week and then did boot camp classes too. Her coach was a powerlifter and he suggested she try it, that she’d be good at it. Her first squat she hit 254 pounds, benched 96 pounds, and deadlifted 296 pounds. Then she moved from the commercial gym to American Barbell Club, a gym that specializes in powerlifting and strength sports.
When Kim first started competing, it made her father nervous. Though he’s this 6’4” guy who curls 340 pounds, he reminds Kim that she doesn’t have to lift that heavy. He is supportive and proud of her, of course. He is just nervous watching her with about 600 pounds on her back. When asked if her mom is nervous too, Kim said, “No, my mom loves it. She loves to brag about me to everyone she meets. And she’s super quick with those Facebook posts.” Her parents are in her corner. And this fuels Kim to perform at higher levels than she has already met. Part of her drive is wanting to make her parents proud.
“When I was younger, I was a goody-two-shoes. Good grades. Never drank. But now I want to be the best version of me.” At first what drove Kim to thrive was external, but now those external motivators just add to the hard work she has put in to manifest her higher self. “A big thing about me is that I did my first meet at the age of 19 and everyone was super impressed. I thought, ‘That’s awesome’. I enjoy praise.”
Though Kim is competitive, and powerlifting in its nature is a sport against other people, she is not really thinking of others—at least not at first. She shows up and zones in. She puts on her music. Kim isn’t fucking around. She’s stoic. She’s looking inward, not watching others. But her friend Kurt, who handles her at meets, is paying attention to how other lifters competing in the same class are maneuvering. He knows that Kim is a mental lifter, so he says the right things to rile her up. From time to time, Kim needs that reminder that someone else is there trying to take what she came for, and a switch flips in her mind. She activates and annihilates.
An actual example of this was at her last meet. Kim was mentally preparing to lift, listening to her music. Then, as an athlete in Kim’s weight class approached the platform, the announcer said that the other athlete needed to deadlift 551 pounds in order to beat Kim. And evidently that lifter only bumped her deadlift amount to 551 after she saw what Kim had put in as her third attempt. Kim and the other lifter had been neck and neck up to this point, which Kim wasn’t tracking, but Kurt was. So, when the announcer said that the other lifter had to hit 551 to beat Kim Evers, Kurt leaned over to Kim and told her they were talking shit about her. And Kim heard the message. From the sideline, she watched the lifter fail. And then Kim went out and pulled it—because she was ready for it. Kim took first place that day and best female lifter.
Kim has a nimble mind that enters and exits the physical reality at will, allowing her to do what is seemingly impossible after she has proved to herself that it may just be impossible. But it is when the stakes are raised and others remind her of those stakes that she is able to muster her highest self to the table—to not only counter that which was all but lost—but to decimate that step on her way to a higher level that appears improbable, unseeable, unreachable. Kim, like other powerlifters, says the sport gives her purpose, a marker, a reference point from which she can see tangible growth, but the growth for her straddles the mind and the body, alongside those for whom she holds the deepest gratitude, whose counsel she abides and whose counsel inspires her to heights unimaginable to only the stoic few who hold the capacity of extremes of kindness and brutality, humility and ownership of one’s mind—all of these qualities are encompassed in Kim Evers, queen of the lifts, the champion on the rising.
Wonderful article. Very well written.
Kim is one of the purest souls to ever walk this earth. To say we are proud of her is an understatement. She is such an inspiration, and it brings myself and my family so much joy to have crossed paths with a woman as bad ass as she is. Can’t wait to see how far she will raise the bar.
You go kim.we are proud of you.girl friend…
I have know Kim and her parents for a few yr now, I am really impressed by her. I love when her mom, Stacy posts on FB. Keep up the great work Kim!
I had the honor of being one of Kim’s teachers in high school. I love this woman! I am beyond proud of her. She is an absolute beautiful soul. She will always be Kimmy Kim Kim to me. ♥️
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