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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I’m a journalist and content producer with over seven years' reporting experience on four continents, with most of that spent covering health-related issues. My resume includes covering cholera outbreaks in Kenya and the clubbing scene in Shanghai, which is also where I wrote my first ever health article for an English language magazine. (It was on diarrhea.)After returning to Australia to finish up degrees in Journalism and International Relations I wound up in New York City where I’ve worked for Men’s Health, VICE, Popular Science and others. I try to keep health relatively simple — it’s mostly vegetables and sweat — but I live to explore the debates, the fringes, the niche, and the nitty gritty.