Powerlifter Janis Finkelman Deadlifts 460 for 2 at 135 lbs Bodyweight

Janis Finkelman is a powerlifter who competes in the 123 lb and 132 lb weight classes. She currently holds the 123 lb women’s deadlift world record with a 454 lb pull, which she set in August 2015.

In July of 2016, Finkelman was deadlifting 460 for a double at a 125 lb bodyweight and tore her bicep on the second rep just before lockout. After a long road of recovery through multiple highs and lows, she’s now pulling 460 for a double at 135 lbs.

Yesterday, she shared the video below with a description about her recovery that most athletes who’ve overcome adversity and injury can definitely relate to.

Finkelman writes, “July 10, 2016 I tore my bicep on the second rep with 460 lbs. Today, I did that set again weighing about ten pounds lighter (135) and it felt easier. And it felt good, because tearing my bicep and having to have surgery was not fun. And it has not been a fun climb back from that shit.” 

Below is the video of the bicep tear that happened less than a year ago. If injuries caused by lifting make you queasy or bother you, then keep scrolling.

In her Instagram post’s description, she also writes about the mental battle she’s had to overcome, “I have really screwed up and fallen backward into dark mental places multiple times. I have been afraid more times than I know and I have almost quit more times than I want to say. But I didn’t. I’m still here, my bicep is still attached, and no my back doesn’t hurt from this, jeez y’all.”

Finkelman is an elite powerlifter who shows how injuries can at times, be a tougher battle mentally than physically. When you’re working at maximal loads and mishaps happen, then it can be a daunting experience building your mentality back up.

Before Finkelman’s injury, she also held the 123 lb total world record with 950 lbs. 

Jennifer Millican has since broke Finkelman’s total with her 992 lb total, which she set at this year’s Arnold Classic. With Finkelman’s recent deadlift video, could we be witnessing an epic comeback on the horizon for her near future?

It’s going to be interesting to watch Finkelman as she continues to progress back into competition. Will she stay at her current 135 lb bodyweight and aim for the 132 lb class, or drop back down to compete at 123 lbs to compete?

Feature image from @janisfinkelman Instagram page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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