Isabella Von Weissenberg (-72kg) Squats 196.5kg for a New World Record

Meanwhile in Málaga, Spain, the European Powerlifting Federation’s Classic Cup has just wrapped up three days of competition. The EPF are yet to publish the official results on their page, but one of the raw lifts has already made the rounds: the -72kg athlete Isabella Von Weissenberg’s new IPF world record squat of 196.5kg (433.2 pounds).

If you want to see a perfect example of the kind of raw strength and primal drive you need to take home a world record, watch it below — we almost thought she wasn’t going to make this one.

[What do elite powerlifters think about before hitting a 1-rep max? Twenty athletes told us how their answers here!]

The lift made headlines in her native Sweden, with articles focusing on the interesting story behind the lift.

In June, the -72kg squat record was broken twice in an epic squat battle between Von Weissenberg and Brazil’s Ana Rosa Castellain. Going into the 2017 IPF World Championships in Minsk, Von Weissenberg held the world record with 192.5 kilograms (424.4 pounds), which Castellain matched. Von Weissenberg then broke her record by 500 grams.

Fifteen minutes later, Castellain approached the stage and nailed a 196kg (432.1lb) squat. Here are the two lifts side by side.

Right afterward, Von Weissenberg attempted a 197.5kg squat, but it wasn’t to be.

She wrote in September,

Obviously I want that record back, but it doesn’t make me any less impressed by her and glad for her success. Much respect and motivation!

This weekend, she fulfilled her wish.

Von Weissenberg is one of Europe’s most promising -72kg powerlifters and in addition to her world squat record she holds the European total record at 500.5 kilograms (1,103.4 pounds), which she made at the same meet where the squat battle took place.

Her specialty is the squat but she’s also an impressive deadlifter, regularly pulling over 200 kilograms. The heaviest we’ve seen from her was 215 kilograms (474 pounds), although this lift didn’t get a pass from the judges due to either a grip slip or shoulders not being locked.

We’re looking forward to her next meet.

Featured image via @ivweissenberg on Instagram.


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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.