The -72Kg Women’s Squat World Record Was Just Broken Twice

A pretty intense squat battle just took place in Belarus.

The scene: a powerlifting platform at the 2017 IPF World Championships in Minsk. The weight class is the women’s -72kg division. The competitors: Brazil’s Ana Castellain…

and Sweden’s Isabella von Weissenberg.

Before the meet took place, the standing IPF world record in the squat was held by Von Weissenberg, set this year at the European Classic Powerlifting Championships. Here she is making the squat of 192.5 kilograms (424.4 pounds) in March.

During the -72kg event in Minsk, Castellain first tied with Von Weissenberg’s 192.5kg squat. Immediately afterwards, Von Weissenberg herself stepped up to the rack and hit a squat of 193kg (425.5 pounds), breaking her record by a scant 500 grams.

About fifteen minutes later, Ana Castellain approached the stage again. This time, her eyes were set on a 196kg (432.1lb) squat, and she looked fiercely determined.

Bam: yet another world record for the -72kg women’s class.

Almost the instant after Castellain left the stage, Von Weissenberg reappeared. Eyes narrowed, she stalked toward the squat rack like a lioness. On the bar: 197.5 kilograms (435.4 pounds). She grimaced as she unracked the bar and walked out. Was she about to take back her record?

Not this time. For now, the world record for the women’s raw squat in the -72kg class is 196 kilograms, a pretty significant jump from Von Weissenberg’s 192.5kg PR.

You could say that Castellain was actually taking the record back from the Swede — she actually set a record back in the 2014 IPF Classic World Powerlifting Championships in Potchefstroom, South Africa. Take a look at he 185.5kg (409lb) lift, then the heaviest ever made by a -72kg athlete.

It would be melodramatic to say there’s a rivalry between these two lifters, but we sure can’t wait until the next attempt at a record in this weight class.

Featured image International Powerlifting Federation IPF via 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 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.