Meet the Multi-Record Holding Powerlifter Who Can Squat 3.6x Her Bodyweight

Victoria Vargas, aka “Shoooorrrt_Stufff”, as her Instagram handle states, continually proves that her lifts are nothing short of amazing. This 22 year old -52kg powerlifter is currently on course to break the junior IPF equipped squat record later this year.

At the 2017 USAPL Collegiate National Championships, Vargas squatted 187.5kg (3.6x bodyweight), which put her 2.5kg over the current junior IPF equipped world record, and earned her the -52kg collegiate world record. Additionally, she recorded the highest Wilks total out of the whole Championships with a 623.3 score.

Vargas competed at the Arnold Grand Prix taking third in her division and successfully dominated her class at USAPL Collegiate Nationals. With her sights set on knocking off the IPF squat world record later this year, we reached out to learn a little more about this young powerlifter.

Can you give reader a little background on yourself?

My name is Victoria Vargas, I’m 22 years old, and I’m a senior student at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

How did it feel to win the highest Wilks score at USAPL Nationals? Did you have any idea you’d be in that position going into nationals?

To be honest after I was done competing I cried with joy.

I didn’t expect anything out of it just because I had just came from the Arnold competing at the Grand Prix. I only had two weeks of preparing myself in a suit, and was still stressing my body with training overloads to get ready for Collegiate Nationals.

When’s your next meet?

My next meet will be Junior Equipped Worlds in Orlando, Florida. I won’t know until the roster is up and running. (At this meet, Vargas will aim to try and break the -52kg IPF equipped squat world record). 

Your 187.5kg squat beat the current IPF 185kg record, do you plan on taking a run at that record this year?

Yes! My plan is to keep breaking that squat record. My goals for squat are very high. I want to be able to make it official when it comes to Junior Worlds.

Why equipped? What got you into equipped lifting and, do you prefer it over raw?

I have been doing equipped since high school and throughout college. I love equipped but also have love for raw. You need both to make it work.

Do you have any tips for new powerlifters going into their first comp?

If you think you can’t, you CAN. Every lifter starts somewhere. Every lifter fails. Your passion, motivation, and dedication is what keeps you going. Before going into a meet you need to have that right mindset.

Do you have a pre-meet ritual that’s different that you like to do for the your mental/physical performance?

The only thing I do is I pray that everything will be okay and you’re here to have fun.

What got you into powerlifting initially? 

My coach from 8th grade year Mr. Douglas Smith got me into lifting. Ever since then I fell in love with it.

Favorite lift of the big 3?

My favorite lift is BENCH!

As the year progresses, Vargas will continue to work on her squat (among other lifts) to officially seal the -52kg Women’s IPF Junior Squat World Record. It’s going to be exciting to watch this young powerlifter possibly make 2017 her best competitive year yet.

Feature image from @shoooorrrt_stufff Instagram page. 


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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors 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 1,100 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 was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. 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 Hoboken and New York City.