Women in Powerlifting

We don’t really get an opportunity to talk about historic women on 70’s Big, so I’d like to highlight some women lifters from the 1981 Women’s National Powerlifting Championships. You’ll see that these women were not only strong, but pretty good lookin’ too. All the numbers from this meet are in kilograms. All of the following women won their respective weight classes. And “(WR)” denotes a world record.

Terry Dillard

Terry Dillard

Terry Dillard squatted 137.5 (WR), benched 57.5, and deadlifted 145 for a 340 (WR) total. That’s a 302.5 pound squat for a 105.6 pound woman. She also won Best Lifter.

Gayla Crain

Gayla Crain

Gayla Crain, a 56 kg lifter, squatted 152.5, benched 70, and deadlifted 180 for a 402.5 (WR) total. Great hair. She’s my favorite of this bunch.

Vicky Gagne

Vicky Gagne

Vicky Gagne competed in the 82.5 kilo class. She squatted 202.5 (WR), benched 115, and deadlifted 220 (WR) for a 537.5 total! That is a 445.5 pound squat and a 484 pound deadlift. In the picture, she had been red lighted on a 507 lb. deadlifted, and said, “It’s ok, I’ll get it next time.” Kinda cute.

Wanda Sander

Wanda Sander

Wanda Sander won the 82.5+ kg class with a 192.5 kg squat, 110 kg bench, and a 210 kg deadlift. Damn strong.

Who are your favorite female athletes?

28 thoughts on “Women in Powerlifting

  1. I know she uses equipment, but Becca Swanson is definitely a fave, because she was also a pro wrestler and i think she’s going ot fight MMA soon too. Even though she lifted equipped, she is a true athlete in sports performance as well. tough lady.

  2. Not only a story on historic women but a historic post since this was a repeat from 2009 and 2010.

    My favorite female athletes are the ones who bust their ass everyday trying to get stronger.

  3. good post!

    i have a few favorites, but one that stands out to me right now is Kim Clijsters, a top tennis player. she’s absolutely adorable, incredibly nimble, super fast, and plays with finesse. and of course, she’s mega hot. quite ripped.

    anyway, another thing that makes her super cool is that she’s a mom, and somehow manages to balance home life with fame and a professional sports career.

    check her out:


  4. Since I play volleyball, I’ve always been partial to Misty May. She’s a meatier chick and at 5’9″ fairly small for the vball world. She’s been kicking ass her whole life though, and will probably end up winning another gold medal next year.

  5. I have a whole host of favorite female lifters and strength athletes. Sioux-z Hartwig Gary is a legend. Jennifer Thompson is simply amazing as a 132lb raw lifter. Priscilla Ribic, one of the best female deadlifters of all time. Melanie Roach, who made the olympic team for weightlifting while running a gymnastics school and taking care of her kids, including one who has autism. Shannon Hartnett is a great all-around strength athlete who’s excelled in multiple disciplines. Really, any woman who dedicates herself to strength sports is a favorite of mine!

  6. For anyone who is wondering (like I was), Puke = StillGrowing. Changed his name after puking during a deadlift, finishing the lift, then swallowing it.

  7. I remember these pictures from a post here last year, great pics. I tried to find some info on them when you post lat time, but google wasn’t too fruitful.

    Favourite female athletes, hmm tough one!

    In no particular order, Chris Cyborg, Merlene Ottey definitely & Bia Mesquita.

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