The adage “age is just a number” got another point in its favor on May 10, 2022, when 71-year-old powerlifter Shelly Stettner hit the gym and back squat a trio of raw 106.6-kilogram (235-pound) triples — a personal record. Additionally, she hit a 104.3-kilogram (230-pound) triple and paired them with three sets of chin-ups — nine reps for the first two sets, eight reps for the third — one day after performing three sets of 15 dips.
I like many did believe getting older meant getting weaker and losing muscle. This is a myth!!
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[Related: 2022 WDC World Silver Dollar Deadlift Championships Results — Ben Thompson Hits World Record 577.2 Kilograms (1,272.5 Pounds)]
Never Too Late To Lift
According to a caption on a different Instagram post also on May 10, 2022, Stettner says she never touched a barbell until April 4, 2016, at age 64. She did not successfully perform her first chin-up until until Jan. 25, 2018, and her first successful dip wasn’t until March 1, 2018.
Stettner made her competitive powerlifting debut a year and a half later at the 2019 USA Powerlifting (USAPL) Michigan Rookie Rumble at 68 years of age in the raw 63-kilogram division, on Oct. 12, 2019, according to Open Powerlifting. She won that contest with a 285-kilogram (129.3-pound) total. She has competed in five sanctioned powerlifting meets thus far in her competitive powerlifting career, earning gold in each event. Here are those results below:
Shelly Stettner’s Competitive Powerlifting Career
- 2022 USAPL Arnold Masters of Iron Pro | Masters 4 — First place
- 2021 USAPL Virginia Pro | Masters 4 — First place
- 2021 USAPL Raw Master’s Nationals | Masters 4 — First place
- 2020 Motor City Summer Showdown | Masters 3b — First place
- 2019 USAPL Michigan Rookie Rumble | Masters 3b & Open — First place
In addition to the above results, Stettner also ranked as the runner-up in the Open division at the 2020 USAPL Motor City Summer Showdown. Per Open Powerlifting, Stettner holds the world records for all three lifts and total in the raw Masters 70-74 division with the following lifts:
World Records | Raw, Masters 70-74, 63KG
- Squat — 113.5 kilograms (250.2 pounds)
- Bench Press — 65 kilograms (143.3 pounds)
- Deadlift — 147.5 kilograms (325.2 pounds)
- Total — 322.5 kilograms (711 pounds)
Stettner also holds the third heaviest squat at 63-kilograms in the Masters 65-69 division via her 105-kilogram (231.5-pound) lift at the 2020 USAPL Motor City Summer Showdown.
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[Related: Rudy Kadlub Squats 195-Kilogram (430-Pound) Double With Wraps at Age 73]
Stettner’s will compete next at the 2022 Powerlifting America Sub-Junior, Junior, and Master Classic (Raw) Nationals on June 18. Judging from her training lifts, exceeding her current squat world record is in the cards. If she matches her expectations at Nationals, she will earn to way to the International World Games Association (IWGA) World Championships ffrom July 7-17, 2022.
Featured image: @shelly_ann_28 on Instagram