Amanda Lawrence Vs Daniella Melo Will Be the -84kg Powerlifting Battle of the Ages

USAPL Raw Nationals are just weeks away and with well over 1,100 athletes registered to compete, it’s truly going to be a titanic battle. There are a lot of athletes we’re looking forward to seeing compete but if we had to pick one must-watch weight class… OK, we couldn’t just pick one, but let’s just say we’re really looking forward to seeing the female athletes competing in the -84kg class.

There’s a ton of hype surrounding two athletes in particular, and we wanted to highlight some of their most impressive feats below.

Amanda Lawrence

First off, there aren’t a lot powerlifters who we’ve written about this summer as much as we’ve written about Amanda Lawrence. First, it was a 525-pound deadlift PR she hit in June, a PR she’s since eclipsed with 535 pounds, which we’ve seen her hit more than once now. Here’s the latest, which she posted last week. Crazy fast for max weight (albeit with wrist straps), but we’re getting the feeling this isn’t max weight for her anymore — she says in the caption that she could make 555 pounds but she’s sticking to her RPE.

(Mobile users having trouble seeing the video can watch here.)

[We also saw four very impressive sets of 480-pound deadlifts in August as well — watch ‘em here.]

As for her squats, she hit an unofficial world record in June with a monstrous 495-pound lift, then in August she PRd that with 520.3 pounds (!), and this week. This week, she added an astonishing ten pounds to her heaviest lift with a 530-pound single.

(Mobile users can watch it on Instagram here.)

This is an elite, world class powerlifter adding over 30 pounds to her max in less than three months.

Daniella Melo

Her main competition in Spokane? Defending USAPL Raw Nationals champ, Daniella Melo. To recap, we’ve seen Lawrence max with a 530-pound squat and a 535-pound deadlift. The 19-year-old Melo had an eventful summer as well, setting four open powerlifting world records at the IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships in June. One was with a 469.6-pound (213kg) squat but the heaviest was this 508-pound (230.5kg) deadlift. (See it on mobile here.)

[See Daniella Melo, Jen Thompson, and other powerlifting champions share their favorite pre-meet meals here.]

But we’ve seen her lift quite a bit heavier, with Melo having hit a 501-pound (227.5kg) squat in May and a 530-pound deadlift with wrist straps. You can watch that latest lift below, or click here if you’re on mobile.

Which means her all-time deadlift max, as far as we know, is sitting right around Lawrence’s and while she may be relatively far off from Lawrence’s squat PR, it’s worth emphasizing that Melo has been very secretive about her squats. Her Instagram is replete with benches and deadlifts but we haven’t seen a heavy squat in months. We think she’ll have some pretty significant PRs come October.

Featured image via @daniellamelo and @miss_amanda_ann on Instagram.


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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.