At 81 Years Old, Shirley Webb Deadlifts Big Weight At IPF Worlds

We’re three days into this year’s IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships. This year, the Championships are taking place in Calgary, Canada, and the Masters athletes are just about finished with their competition times (finish June 9th).

On the first day of this year’s Worlds, the M4 athletes took the platform in a glorious manner. The IPF M4 athletes are composed of athletes from the ages of 65-70, and grandmasters who are 70+. Unfortunately, not many of these athletes (if any) really use social media, so their extraordinary strength feats don’t receive the attention they deserve, and end flying under the radar to the Junior and Open athletes.

And all of this brings us to the focal point of this article, Shirley Webb, who was the oldest competitor at this year’s Worlds, Webb was born in 1937 and competed at a young age of 81 years old.

Webb competed in the M4 women’s 84+kg weight class, and finished off with a solid total of 200kg (440 lbs). For her final attempts, she hit a 50kg (110 lb) squat, a 37.5kg (82 lb) bench press, and a 112.5kg (248 lb) deadlift. Check out her third attempt deadlift below, and yes, that’s her son filming at the beginning!

Editor’s Note: Thank you to Canadian powerlifter and coach Avi Silverberg for sending this video to BarBend!

What’s cool about Shirley Webb’s lifting and my note earlier about many Masters athletes lack of social media use is that she’s actually gone viral before, in some respects, probably more so than the athletes who often push their own videos in hopes of going viral.

In January, BarBend contributor Tessa Yanonne wrote an interview piece with Webb where they discussed how one of Webb’s deadlift videos acquired over 17 million views after being shared on Bleacher Report. Additionally, the viral deadlift video caught attention from pro athletes like JJ Watt and if you search “Shirleywebb” on Instagram, then you’ll find over 20 posts covering her lifting — none of which she’s personally shared.

Long story short, athletes like Webb are great reminders of how awesome powerlifting is, and how one’s can inspire others, even if they don’t realize it.

Related: How To Romanian Deadlift

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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