72 Year Old Linda Leightley Deadlifts 273lbs and Holds 12 World Records

If you’re running low on lifting motivation, then sit back and relax, because we’ve got you covered. How many times have you heard the saying, “It’s never too late to start.” Probably a whole lot, especially if you’re closely tied to the fitness industry, but the saying continually rings true, and we see so in stories like the one below.

At 60 years old, Linda Leightley had hit a point in life where she felt physically sluggish, and wanted to improve her strength and fitness. She didn’t live a life of complete inactivity, as she was constantly rushing her three kids and six grandchildren around to their respective activities, but she didn’t live a life of physically driven goals.

[Check out 70 year old Esko Ketola’s final powerlifting meet in his epic documentary following his lifting journey and career.]

PBS Thirteen recently did a profile on Leightley, which follows her through her day-to-day and powerlifting career. Leightley competes in the 100% Raw Powerlifting Organization at 132-lbs, and has set 12 total world records for the 65-69 and 70-74 age groups. These records include a 273 lb deadlift and a 165 lb squat. Check out Leightley’s video below.

When Leightley began lifting, like most, it took a fair amount of time for her to gain her bearings. From the PBS Thirteen news story her personal trainer Blaine Dublin said, “She was a disaster when I got her. The first time we exercised, she almost fell over doing a lunge.”

[Check out 78 year old Janis McBee, who found a love for Olympic weightlifting later in life, and regularly competes at local competitions.]

After sticking with training for a year, Leightley lost 40-lbs, found her love for the iron, and soon realized she had strength that could tackle world records. At Leightley’s first powerlifting meet she set a record, and has set one at every meet since.

Check out the video highlighting Leightley’s lifting at the 100% Raw Potomac Open that was held in January 2014.

Possibly the best part of Leightley’s lifting is that she started at such a late age. At 60 years old, she found a love for fitness, and has since turned that into a passion that’s broken multiple world records.

So now the question remains, what’s your excuse for not starting?

Feature image from PBS NewsHour YouTube channel. 

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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