When a legend returns to the sport, expect epic things to occur on the lifting platform. Powerlifting and bodybuilding legend Bev Francis emerged from a 36-year competitive powerlifting hiatus to compete in a drug-tested meet for World Powerlifting’s Powerlifting Australia. Competing in the 64-kilogram class in the Masters 65-69 division with a bodyweight of 62.5 kilograms, Francis cracked six Powerlifting Australia world records. Here are her results:
Powerlifting Australia — Bev Francis | 64 Kilograms, Masters 65-69
- Squat — 95 kilograms (209.4 pounds) — Powerlifting Australia World Record
- Bench Press — 60 kilograms (132.3 pounds) — Powerlifting Australia World Record
- Deadlift — 120 kilograms (264.6 pounds) — Powerlifting Australia World Record
- Total — 275 kilograms (606.3 pounds) — Powerlifting Australia World Record
Francis’ successful squat attempt of 90 kilograms (198.4 pounds) and deadlift attempt of 113 kilograms (249.1 pounds) initially broke the world records. Check out Francis’ 95-kilogram (209.4-pound) world record squat in the video below, courtesy of AAP’s Instagram page:
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[Related: Watch 17-Year-Old Jack Bartlett (140KG) Set a 317.5-Kilogram (700-Pound) Raw Squat World Record]
Per Flex Magazine, since 1985, Francis has received rotator cuff shoulder surgery, carpal tunnel surgeries for both wrists, six arthroscopic knee surgeries, and two knee replacements. Despite that, she can still lift world record weight in the Masters 65-69 division.
According to Open Powerlifting, Francis’s competitive powerlifting career included 12 sanctioned meets between 1977 and 1985. She won all 12 of those events competing in the 75-kilogram and 82.5-kilogram weight classes. Every one of Francis’ competitive appearances — aside from her debut — were in single-ply equipped events.
Bev Francis Powerlifting Career
- 1997 Australian Amateur Powerlifting Federation (AAPLF) Victorian Women’s State Championships — First Place
- 1980 International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) Women’s World Championships — First Place
- 1980 AAPLF Australian Nationals — First Place
- 1981 IPF Women’s World Championships — First Place
- 1981 AAPLF Australian Nationals — First Place
- 1981 AAPLF Melbourne University Powerlifting Championships — First Place
- 1982 IPF Women’s World Championships — First Place
- 1982 AAPLF City of Adelaide Championships — First Place
- 1982 AAPLF Australian Championships — First Place
- 1983 IPF Women’s World Championships — First Place
- 1984 IPF Women’s World Championships — First Place
- 1985 IPF Women’s World Championships — First Place
With her latest win in the Master 65-69 division, Francis remains undefeated across her powerlifting career. In the 36 years between powerlifting meets, Francis became a legend in the sport of bodybuilding, opening the “East Coast Mecca” — Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym in Syosset, NY.
The 30,000-foot facility is where multiple Mr. Olympia champions have trained, including four-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler, seven-time winner Phil Heath, eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, as well as celebrities like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
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[Related: 72-Year-Old Powerlifter Rudy Kadlub (100KG) Sets 4 World Records at 2021 IPL World Championships]
Francis was also a world-class bodybuilder, having scored three consecutive bronze medals at the Ms. Olympia competition in 1987, 1988, and 1989 after her 10th-place debut in 1986. She improved upon that to earn a pair of silver medal finishes on bodybuilding’s grandest stage in 1990 and 1991.
Return of a Legend?
It is not clear whether Francis’ performance at the Powerlifting Australia was a one-off appearance or the beginning of a renewed powerlifting career for the strength-sports legend. Regardless, her prowess with a barbell remains, and history recognizes her as an all-time great.
Featured image: @advancedathletesperformance on Instagram