Dr. Kim Beckwith is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Kinesiology and Health Education Department at the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches classes in sport history, strength coaching, conditioning, weight training, and Olympic lifting. In addition to her undergraduate teaching responsibilities, she oversees the Weight Training activity classes open to all UT students and serves as the coordinator for the strength coaching specialization within the department.
Beckwith’s interest in strength began as an undergraduate student when she joined the school’s powerlifting club. She became interested in studying the history of physical culture and exercise while taking classes to earn her M.Ed. in Sports Administration in the early 1990s. She began volunteering her time to Iron Game History—a journal dedicated to the academic study of the history of the strength sports, exercise, nutrition, training for sport, and other aspects of physical culture. This led to her doctoral dissertation, which examined the life and impact of one of the pioneers of American weight training: “Building Strength: Alan Calvert, the Milo Bar-bell Company, and the Modernization of American Weight Training,” under the guidance of Jan and Terry Todd.
Beckwith’s office is housed within the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports—a research center which revolves around the study of health, human performance, competitive sport, physical culture, and the body. Since 1995, she has served as coach and faculty mentor of the Longhorn Powerlifting Club and directs the USAPL Longhorn Open Powerlifting Championships each fall. She is also a national referee for USA Powerlifting. Kim began Olympic lifting in 2009 and competed as a master’s lifter at both the national and international levels. She has served as the faculty mentor for the UT Weightlifting Club since its inception in 2016. Beckwith holds the CSCS certification from the NSCA and the Club Coach I certification from USAW.
Beckwith earned her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences in 1990, her masters of education in Sports Administration in 1995, and doctor of philosophy in Sport History in 2006, all from the University of Texas at Austin.