Watch 76 Year Old Audrey Donellan Smoke a 290 lb Deadlift

We’ve written about older athletes before on more than a few occasions, and these articles always tend to do well, like this incredible powerlifting grandma. They’re motivating, inspiring, and play a nice reminder that age is just a number and it’s never too late to start a strength sport. In fact, that’s possibly one of the best assets strength sports have to offer: you can pick them up at any time to improve the quality of your life and health.

Audrey Donnellan hasn’t been a powerlifter her whole life. In fact, she only started six years ago at the age of 70. Now 76, Donellan recently pulled her best deadlift to date with a recent feat of 290 lbs at the RPS NJ State – North American Championships. In addition, she pulled it beltless!

Check out the video below shared on Alexander Omand’s Instagram page.

[78 year old Janis McBee proves that it’s never too late to start weightlifting!]

For a hot second, it looks as though Donellan may get stuck a few inches off the floor, but then she knocks the pull out of the park with awesome speed. After the lockout, she celebrates with excitement, and you can’t help but smile for her accomplishment.

On meet day, Donellan weighed in at 139 lbs, and ended up totaling 565 lbs, which was comprised of a 190 lb squat, 85 lb bench, and of course the 290 lb deadlift.

[It’s never too late to start a strength sport like powerlifting. Here’s a definitive guide for starting powerlifting after 40.]

If this video of Donellan wasn’t enough, then you can search her in YouTube to find a ton of epic meet videos. Check out the video below from 2013 of a 71 year old Donellan deadlifting 275 lbs that has amassed over 46,000 views.

As we head into our next training sessions, let’s acknowledge athletes like Donellan who are continuing to prove that age is just a number. It’s never too late to start.

Feature image screenshot from @alexanderomand Instagram page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor 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 1,200 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 a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. 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 New York City.

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