132-Pound Bodybuilder Suzanne Davis Deadlifts 486.1 Pounds for a New World Record

At the USPA’s Western Warrior Powerlifting Challenge in Glendale, Arizona this weekend, Suzanne Davis made history as the first woman to deadlift 486.1 pounds (220.5kg) in the 132 pound classic raw weight class — that’s almost 3.7 times her bodyweight.

A lot of lifters try very hard to make it look like breaking records is just another day in the gym, but the 45-year-old gave a refreshingly human performance: she was nervous.

This was a USPA National Record and an IPF Raw Classic World Record, beating out Susan Salazar’s previous record of a 485-pound deadlift, though Salazar made her lift weighing 124 pounds, just missing out on the 123.5-pound weight class. Davis’s “1,062-pound-ish” total ranked her number two of all time in her weight class. She brought home the Best Lifter award for the Open class and first place in the Open and Master’s classes.

She told Muscle & Fitness that resistance band deadlifts formed an essential component of breaking through strength plateaus and taking home the record.

Davis is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of po1werlifting; a year ago, she set a world record by pulling 460.6 pounds (208.9kg) in the 123-pound class.

She’s also a competitive bodybuilder, having earned her IFBB pro card and won the NPC Team Universe Women’s Physique in 2015. She hopes to take home her first IFBB physique victory at June 10’s Omaha Pro.

Just four years ago, Davis had never lifted weights at all and was overweight, with 44 percent body fat. She cut to 36 percent by exclusively running, but when she hit a wall in her fat loss, she decided to throw herself into powerlifting.

She’s hoping for a chance to compete at the invite-only US Open Invitational powerlifting competition in San Diego on April 16th. According to her coach Tim Sparkes of Die Hard Gym and Fitness in Peoria, Arizona, her next big powerlifting milestone she hopes to hit is a 500-pound deadlift. We think she’s got it in her.

Featured image via Suzanne Davis on Facebook.

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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