Eva Dunbar Now Has the Highest Wilks for Any Raw Powerlifter (Ever)

This weekend, Eva Dunbar’s stature in the sport of powerlifting soared to new heights. The 148-pound athlete competed at an RPS meet called “No Retreat No Surrender” in Cherokee, North Carolina, and finished with the highest Wilks score of all time for a raw powerlifter, in any weight class, male or female. Her score was a 637.95.

[OK, it’s a little outdated now, but check out our infographic of the greatest Wilks scores of all time here!]

Dunbar went 8 for 9, squatting 536.8 pounds (243.5kg), benching 315.25 pounds (143kg), and pulling 518 pounds (235kg). That was also a new all-time world record for the raw squat with knee wraps, beating Rheta West’s 2016 record by 1.8 pounds.

We couldn’t get a video of her bench, but here’s her phenomenal 518-pound deadlift. Both lifts were PRs.

She wrote of her performance,

There was magic in the Smoky Mountains this weekend. (…) It’s been a year since I stepped on the platform to compete and I came in with some huge goals in mind. Methodically, piece by piece with the help of (Dallas Norris) & (Anthony Hobaica) we built a total, and I took back the ATWR total by 37lbs putting it at 1370 giving me a Wilks of 637; now this is the highest Wilks in raw powerlifting history regardless of gender. I also took the ATWR squat in wraps with a 537lbs squat.

Nobody ever knows all of the behind the scenes drama and obstacles that we have to conquer to earn that spot to even attempt to break these records. Sometimes our own insecurities and self doubt can sabotage our efforts. There is such a small margin for error. But, through all my anxiety, and inexperience, I found comfort in the wisdom of my husband and the many perspectives of my teammates.

The highest Wilks for a raw athlete, ever. This is a pretty big deal.

Featured image via @hollywood_hobz on Instagram.


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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 different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)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.