Powerlifter Isabella von Weissenberg “Accidentally” PRs her Deadlift at 495lb

There are few powerlifting fans today who don’t know Isabella von Weissenberg’s name. The Swedish IPF athlete is a bona fide phenomenon in the sport, regularly setting world records on the stage and quietly breaking them again in training.

We write a lot about her squats, but today we wanted to highlight her latest deadlift, which she seems to be feeling pretty guilty about. She’s in her very first week of a strength development program, and she went ahead and set a personal record on the deadlift: 225 kilograms (496 pounds) at roughly 68kg bodyweight. Oops.

She wrote in her Instagram caption,

Starting week 1 of this dev block strong by ”accidentally” maxing out and completely blowing RPE haha. Ok not funny. Stupid. But PB! A stupid PB. Sorry Mike.

In my defense, how was I supposed to know it was gonna be heavy when 210kg just flew up like nothing?? I can’t be held accountable for this.

It’s never a long wait between personal records for this athlete, and last week she set another one in the high bar squat with 10 reps at 160 kilograms (352.7 pounds).

This one was wholly premeditated, with her caption reading,

Doing this set was an idea that formed in my head about a week ago. I’ve been mulling it over. It strikes me that I’m able to, not always but quite often, reach a certain state of mind in training lately that lets me move some of the weights around in a way that feels almost effortless. It’s hard to describe it without sounding like I have hubris, because I don’t.. and I don’t want to try and catch it or define it, but I’ve recently heard of it being referred to as flow state. I don’t know.. I think there is a lot to it. And definitely something I want to explore more because srs, it feels super cool.. you know.. like a super power

[Interested in learning to hit a flow state? Check out our article on how to train it in your own workouts.]

Her deadlift may be a far cry from the IPF world record (Kimberly Walford’s 535 pounds) but it’s twenty pounds over her European record of 215kg (474lb), so she has a lot to be happy about. She also holds the current squat world record of 200 kilograms (440 pounds), which she keeps on breaking in training. Here’s a lift of hers from a few weeks ago that was 7.5kg over her record.

We can probably count on her beating her European record squat, deadlift, and total at her next meet. Life is good for Isabella von Weissenberg.

Featured image via @ivweissenberg 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.