Dana Linn Bailey Is Switching to Powerlifting

Some pretty big news has surfaced in the space between powerlifting and bodybuilding: Dana Linn Bailey is switching to powerlifting.

As the winner of the 2011 NPC Junior Nationals Physique contest, the first physique contest in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, Bailey is the first women’s physique pro in the IFBB. She also won the first Ms. Physique Olympia in the Olympia contest in 2013, and many consider her a pioneer in the sport of bodybuilding and physique contests.

She’s a physique competitor, or at least, that’s what she’s always been known for. So it was with some shock that the powerlifting community learned she has signed up for an upcoming USAPL meet.

“Hi, I’m DLB,” she says in the video below. “And I’m a powerlifter now. Or at least trying.”

Bailey has signed up to compete in the USAPL and has her first meet in just four weeks. She doesn’t say which meet she’ll be competing in, but she does point out that she hopes to qualify for USAPL Nationals in six weeks. She adds that she could meet the minimum required total today, but she needs to do a lot of work on her form.

[Think there’s no crossover? Check out the surprising lessons CrossFitters can learn from bodybuilding.]

Bailey’s last appearance at the Olympia contest was in 2014, and the USAPL requires its athletes to have been drug free for at least three years before competing. Bailey acknowledges that she has no doubt she’ll be asked to test and seems certain she’ll pass.

At the end of the day, this could be a good thing for powerlifting. Bailey has a tremendous amount of reach on social media and we hope this will serve as a means to promote the sport of powerlifting — and maybe even entice a bodybuilder or two to give it a shot.

Featured image via DanaLinnBailey on YouTube.

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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 things.After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?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.