Check Out 97 Year Old Powerlifter Edith Traina

“I discovered that in the dance and theater, most acts are about three minute long, so whatever performance I did in order to get the applause of the audience, I had to do something for about three minutes. With powerlifting, in three seconds you reach down, get the bar, pull it up, and then you the applause. That’s a lot easier.” – Edith Traina

In a lot of ways, 97 year old powerlifter Edith Traina is right on the money with that statement. Yeah, powerlifting is a lot different when it comes to dance and the amount of time the body is required to perform for an applause.

The Tampa Bay Times recently reported on a group of senior aged female powerlifters who forge on in their training, even though they’re often the only ones competing in their weight divisions at meets. Throughout the year, the powerlifting grandmas training out of Strong Life Tampa Bay, Florida compete in about six competitions a year. Last fall at the Hillsborough County Senior Games, Traina earned gold in her weight class with a 60 lb bench press and 130 lb deadlift.

“Turns out that since I have been powerlifting, which is about five years now, my breathing has improved, my COPD [is not completely gone], but it’s certainly not only under control, it’s so manageable that I hardly even think about it anymore.”

[It’s never too late to start, here’s how to start powerlifting after the age of 40!]

It’s no secret that resistance training offers a plethora of health benefits that extend far past the muscle gained under the bar. In the video, family physician Dr. Tanya Gold actually discusses how after following and working out with these ladies, she changed her mind on her perception of “lifting heavy” at older ages.

Dr. Gold points out that after the age of 30 you can lose upwards of a pound of muscle a year, and lifting heavy is one of the best ways to combat this loss.

To conclude the video, Traina sums up lifting for most strength athletes perfectly, “And on the mornings I really don’t want to go to the gym, I have to remind myself, ‘If I want to breathe, then I need to participate.'”

Feature image from Tampa Bay Times article. 


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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.