At the beginning of 2021, “78-year-young” powerlifter Nora Langdon was filmed squatting 159 kilograms (350.5 pounds) in the gym. That’s a lot of weight for a septuagenarian to load on their back, but for Langdon, it’s just another day at the office.
I feel strength when I powerlift.
However, despite being one of the best lifters globally, Langdon is not sponsored. She was featured on the Dec. 19, 2021, episode of Refinery 29‘s “Irreplaceable: Celebrating Different,” wherein she discusses the challenge of having to work as an Uber Eats driver to support the financial costs that accompany professional powerlifting, such as lifting suits, weight belts, and out-of-state travel.
Check out the full episode below, courtesy of Refinery29‘s YouTube channel, which highlights Langdon’s 2021 World Powerlifting Congress (WPC) Amateur World Championships & CanAm victory:
[Related: Legendary Powerlifter and Bodybuilder Bev Francis (64KG) Sets New World Records In All Three Big Lifts at Age 66]
Langdon’s dominance in the Masters 70-79 division is tough to overstate. According to Open Powerlifting, she holds the equipped world records for all three big lifts — squat, bench press, and deadlift — and total in the 84-kilogram weight class and a plethora more, both equipped and raw, in the 82.5 kilogram and 90-kilogram classes.
Langdon lives in Southfield, MI, where she grew up with her nine siblings. Langdon’s introduction to powerlifting came after a 35-year career as a real estate agent. She recognized that she was out of shape when she would feel out of breath climbing stairs while showing a prospective buyer a home. During a birthday party, she was introduced to her friend’s husband, Art Little, a trainer at the Royal Oak Gym in Royal Oak, MI.
After her first training session with Little, where she was bench pressed a broomstick, Langdon was skeptical if she was “getting too old for this.” However, she kept going to the gym, and her progress was swift. So swift that she made her professional powerlifting debut at the 2006 USA Powerlifting (USAPL) State Championships at age 64 in the 90-kilogram class. Her 242.6-kilogram (556.9-pound) total earned the gold in the equipped division. These days, Langdon competes in three competitions each year — State Championships, Nationals, and World Championships.
View this post on Instagram
[Related: 72-Year-Old Powerlifter Rudy Kadlub (100KG) Sets 4 World Records at 2021 IPL World Championships]
Langdon estimates that she has 20-25 medals in her trophy room — she has competed in 25 sanctioned meets and won 23 of them. She failed to post a total in the two outliers. Her competition best lifts are as follows:
- Squat — 187.5 kilograms (413.3 pounds) | single-ply
- Bench Press — 92.5 kilograms (203.9 pounds) | raw and single-ply
- Deadlift — 173 kilograms (381.4 pounds) | raw
Age is no number. If you got the strength and the willpower to do it, you can do it.
Beyond acquiring a sponsorship so she can leave her Uber Eats job and commit to training full-time, Langdon’s goal is “to do 500 pounds.” She did not specify which lift she meant, but presumably, she meant the deadlift. Langdon hopes her passion for the sport inspires other women to “step up” and attempt the same lifts as her.
Langdon currently has a GoFundMe where anyone can donate to help finance her powerlifting career, specifically her next two competitions — the 2021 USAPL National Championships in Chicago, IL scheduled for June 6-12, 2022, and the 2022 WPC World Championships in Fort Lauderdale, FL in November. At the time of this article’s publication, she’s raised $3,163 of the $3,000 goal.
Featured image: @noraliftsheavy on Instagram