Eighteen-year-old powerlifting phenom Daniella Melo just broke her all-time deadlift record with a mammoth 480-pound (217.7-kilogram) lift in training, which would be a new IPF junior world record in the -84kg class. This would have beaten the current junior world record by 2.7 kilograms and the junior American record by 7.7 kilograms.

And keep in mind that at the IPF World Championships in June, Melo’s max deadlift was a whole ten kilograms lighter.

Take a look at the lift below.

A post shared by Dani Melo (@daniellamelo) on

What makes this deadlift even more impressive is that according to her boyfriend (who posted the same clip a few hours before her), Melo hit this weight three times during this workout and she’s only been doing sumo deadlift work for two weeks. (We won’t be surprised if she pulls sumo in all her meets from now on.)

(Check out deadlift world record holder Cailer Woolam discussing how he chooses between sumo and conventional deadlifts!)

Right now, Melo herself holds the junior USAPL deadlift record with 210 kilograms (463 pounds), which she set in March this year at the Arnold Slingshot Pro. At the same meet, she set the junior American records in the bench, squat, and total while she was at it, because why not?

This deadlift is significant, and while it’s about twelve kilograms short of the women’s open American record (set by Cristi Bartlett at the 2015 Raw Nationals), Melo has definitely proven that despite her age, she can compete with the world’s best open athletes. She currently holds the IPF open world record in the back squat for her weight class, which she set just a few weeks ago at the IPF World Championships in Belarus.

Watch the historic clip below:

A post shared by IPF Powerlifting (@theipf) on

On top of that, she set the open American total record at this year’s Arnold Sports Festival with 1,145 pounds (519.4 kilograms).

A post shared by Dani Melo (@daniellamelo) on

Daniella Melo is definitely one of the most exciting powerlifters in the sport right now and to be honest, we’re hoping that she takes home a few more open American records and world records before she leaves the junior class.

We probably won’t have to wait that long.

Featured image via @daniellamelo on Instagram.


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I’m a journalist with over seven years' reporting experience on four continents, with most of that spent covering health-related issues. My experience includes covering cholera outbreaks in Kenya and the clubbing scene in Shanghai, which is also where I wrote my first 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.