Heather Connor Sets Three American Records, Wins 47KG Title at 2021 USAPL Nationals

She also owns the all-time heaviest deadlift at 47-kilograms.

USA Powerlifting (USAPL) Nationals is one of the most anticipated meets in the sport of powerlifting, and 2021’s edition had a lot of buzz around it. One reason is that Heather Connor was competing in it. The 47-kilogram lifter is considered one of the pound-for-pound strongest lifters in the sport, and her performance in Daytona, FL on June 17, 2021, proves it.

Connor set three American records and won the national championship for the 47-kilogram weight class. The summary of her lifts is below.

  • Squat — 143 kilograms (316 pounds), new American Record
  • Bench Press — 72.5 kilograms (160 pounds)
  • Deadlift — 192.5 kilograms (424 pounds), new American Record
  • Total — 408 kilograms (900 pounds), new American Record

Her squat, deadlift, and total records would’ve broken the world records as well (according to Open Powerlifting). Since this is a National meet, Connor will only be credited with American records. (A lift must occur in an International meet for it to count as a world record.)


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Squat Recap

The elementary school teacher’s day started with the squat. Weighing in at 45 kilograms (99 pounds), she opened with an easy attempt of 130 kilograms, which received three white lights from the judges. Her next attempt of 137.5 kilograms was also performed with ease.

Her first American record of the day came on the third squat attempt. Her 143-kilogram lift was enough to break her own record by half of a kilo. She received two white lights from the judges. One of the side judges gave her the only red light. In powerlifting, two whites make the lift official. Even though this is a record, this isn’t the heaviest lift she had performed. She has lifted as much as 147.5 kilograms in training.

Bench Press Recap

She then moved onto the bench press, with an opening attempt of 67.5 kilograms. She unracked it herself and pressed it with no trouble. Her next attempt was with 72.5 kilograms, and it also went up rather easily. She missed her final attempt of 75 kilograms before moving on to her signature event — the deadlift.

Deadlift Recap

Her opening pull attempt was 186 kilograms, which broke the American Record by one kilogram. Connor’s first attempt was 4.1 times her bodyweight of 45.1 kilograms, and she pulled it very quickly. Three white lights later, the opening attempt clinched the win for her in the 47-kilogram class. Had this been an international meet, Connor would have broken her own world record of 185 kilograms. 

Her second attempt was with 192.5 kilograms, and despite her shoulders coming forward slightly, the 4 foot, 10-inch powerhouse still pulled it successfully. This pull was 4.3 times her body weight, which very few powerlifters, male or female, can achieve. USAPL shared this historic lift on Instagram within a few minutes of her making the lift (see above).


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A post shared by Heather Connor (@heather.e.connor)

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With nothing to lose and history to gain, Connor called for 200 kilograms on the bar. She has performed the lift in training, but the bar didn’t leave the floor for her on this day.

Connor’s seven for nine performance on the day gave her a 47.5-kilogram total victory and her fourth USAPL National title in the 47-kilogram class. She is also a two-time International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) world champion in the same category. Her performance in Florida also added 11.5 kilograms to her American record in the total. Her efforts were rewarded with long applause from the crowd in attendance. There is no word as of this writing on when her next competition is going to be.

Featured Image: @usapowerlifting on Instagram