Susan Salazar Nails a World Record Total and a 602 Wilks

On the first day of the USPA’s National Powerlifting Championships in Las Vegas, Susan Salazar made history by setting a new World Record total in the International Powerlifting League: 1190.5 pounds, or 540 kilograms.

Salazar is a 60kg (132lb) athlete, an according to the IPL’s world record sheet, she beat the previous world record total — her own — by more than eighty pounds.

Take a look at the lifts below: a 435-pound squat, 264-pound bench, and 490-pound deadlift (plus clips, which she seems to have accidentally entered as “chips”).

All of these (very smooth) lifts were IPL records, all of which were previously set by Salazar herself in January 2016. (They were a 407.8-pound (185kg) squat, 248-pound (112.5kg) bench, and 452-pound (205kg) deadlift.) You can get a better look at this weekend’s deadlift in the post below.

In an Instagram post, Salazar wrote of the contest:

It’s the Monday after USPA Nationals and it’s just starting to hit me. It just all seems so surreal. I think to myself, “WOW, the first woman to achieve a 602 Wilks score in knees sleeves…that’s just incredible!!!” Then I realize wait, that’s me, WE DID THAT! J But what’s even better than that; was the fact that there were 120 women competing in one day…THAT WAS SO AMAZING! We are taking over, ladies!!!!

Indeed, the Wilks score may be the most notable product of the entire meet. It’s not, as some are claiming, the highest Wilks score ever, or even for a female (Larysa Soloviova made a 688.87 Wilks score as an equipped lifter). In fact, global rankings of Wilks scores by any category are a little hard to come by, but there’s no doubt that Salazar’s is extremely impressive for a raw athlete.

The Wilks coefficient is a formula that’s intended to help compare powerlifting totals across different weight classes — a 500-pound deadlift from a 100-pound female is more impressive than a 500-pound deadlift from a 500-pound male, and the Wilks score is meant to adjust for that.

Susan Salazar lives in California and works in public relations for the USPA, and while this is her highest ever total, she was also seen hitting a 9x bodyweight total in 2015: 1157.4 pounds at 124 pounds bodyweight.

A big congratulations to Salazar on her performance this weekend!

Featured image via @gracievanasse on Instagram.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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