Langford resident Stephanie Needham is a bookkeeper by day and a powerlifter by night. The 58 year old only began powerlifting this year but is already looking like a medal contender in her weight and age classes at an upcoming international meet.

Age just a number for Langford powerlifter

Langford lifter preps for international competition

Stephanie Needham lifts more than double her own weight.

Perhaps more impressively, the 58-year-old powerlifter deadlifts more than 264 lbs., a number that is four times her age every time she straightens out her body and hoists the cast-iron weights into the air. Every time the Langford resident steps up to the bar, the athlete turns heads.

“Just being able to say that I can back squat 250 lbs. and I’m 58 years old, I think it keeps me young because everyone else is younger,” she said.

“It’s always fun when I can do stuff that people half my age can’t do.”

While her specialty is the deadlift, Needham said she is currently “grooving” on the bench press, of which she can push 132 lbs. or more into the air.

Having been involved in crossfit training for several years, she only took up powerlifting in the spring. These days she’s in competition training mode, settling into a training regimen of six days a week in preparation for the Commonwealth Powerlifting and Bench Press Championship.

From Dec. 1 to 5, she’ll be among 525 lifters from 15 Commonwealth countries competing at the Richmond Olympic Oval.

“I’m hoping to lift (more) than I lifted at the provincials and maybe hit some personal records. If things go well, I hope to break the Canadian record for total (weight lifted),” Needham said.

That national record, listed in metric weight, stands at 292 kilograms. “I have achieved it in training, but it didn’t (really) happen until it happens in competition.”

Needham competes in the Masters II division for athletes age 50 to 58, and in the under-84 kg weight class. Her personal best total lift is 638 lbs. (289 kg).

Her coach, Sean Janzer, says despite the average competition age being under 30, Needham is among the top four or five female lifters in any age or size category.

“She is the one per cent of one per cent in terms of strength. She can do most things that a man or woman, young or old, can’t do,” he said. “She is very strong … She hasn’t been tested at a national competition yet, but I would say she could be top three in Canada, no doubt.”

Janzer remembers a big deal for him was when he managed to lift 300 lbs. in the deadlift when he was 24. He said Needham is capable of lifting that, despite being close to aging into the Masters III category – he said she’s still getting stronger.

“She is on a steep increase in her strength … She has definitely more to go, but she will hit higher numbers than we have ever hit before,” he said. “You never know what your body’s predetermined (limit) is. You gain until you stop gaining, but you don’t see any signs that she has plateaued.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

 

Just Posted

B.C. Fire chiefs concerned over home-grown cannabis and fire hazards

More legislation is needed around electrical, fire codes

Former hostage negotiator to hold class in Victoria

Cathy MacDonald will teach communication skills on Sept. 26

Can you name all four of Victoria’s ‘sister cities’?

Partnerships with Asian, Russian countries have resulted in tourism, investment opportunities

Saanich churches seek to spread the blessings of pet ownership

St. Luke Cedar Hill Anglican Church will hold its annual Blessing of the Animals Service Sunday

Victoria UnWined helps grant wishes for children facing critical illness

UnWined Vancouver Island raises money for Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

POLL: How much should rents increase in 2019?

A task force has recommended the provincial government limit rent increases for… Continue reading

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Most Read