At the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships that are taking place in Potchefstroom, South Africa, British athlete Joy Nnamani has become the lightest IPF athlete to deadlift 200 kilograms (441 pounds). She competed as a -57kg athlete and has set a new IPF world record in the lift, and what makes this even more impressive is the fact she did it without a lifting belt.
In a 2015 interview she was asked why she doesn’t lift with a belt, and she replied that the short answer was “I don’t want to.” The longer answer?
I’m working towards being so strong that there’s little difference between my lifts and those who are equipped.
It’s demanding of myself and demanding of my body but I want to know how strong Joy is, not Joy plus belt or Joy plus sleeves.
I want the truest indication of how strong the body I was born with really is.
To be clear, she goes on to say that she doesn’t discount the strength of people who lift equipped or use belts and sleeves.
You don’t just put these things on and become the hulk, they train just as hard as anyone else and sometimes use them to prevent injury rather than for any strength gains.
This makes her a pretty darn unusual figure in powerlifting, but even as someone who competes without belts, sleeves, or wrist wraps, she’s broken several world records. This is at least the third time she has broken the deadlift record in the -57kg class and she also holds the record in the -52kg class with 190 kilograms.
You can take a look at the last time she broke the -57kg record, with a 190.5kg deadlift, here:
This was back in January and she actually went on to lift 200kg (441lb), but the lift was disqualified due to downward movement.
If you’re looking for the secret to lifting heavy weight without a belt, Nnamani might tell you the same thing we’ve been saying for ages: thoracic mobility and strength is super important.
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I've been doing the thoracic mobility sequence by @manflowyoga almost every day for the last 3 months because the top half of my spine has been as flexible as a metal pole 🙃 This past week has been the first time in a long time that I've deadlifted without even a hint of pain. Stretching isn't my favourite and I could have done more interesting things with those 15 minutes but sometimes you have to stick with the things you don't want to do for a little while so you can get back to doing what you love for a long while 💡 I'll be doing a Q&A on the @gbpowerfed account on Wednesday from 8pm so stop by if you have any questions for me 😀 #sacrifice #yoga
But we’re sure she has an insanely strong core to boot. Here’s to the next world record!
Featured image via @j_nnamni on Instagram.