In his prime, Arnold Schwarzenegger could deadlift 710 pounds. Willie Murphy can deadlift 215 pounds — more than a quarter of Arnold’s max.
At just 105 pounds, Murphy doesn’t exactly scream “meathead,” but she could probably put most of us to shame in the gym.
It all started with a weight-lifting competition at her local YMCA in Rochester, New York, a few years ago. After an employee told her she could compete — “Go for it, granny” — Murphy began lifting 5-pound weights. Now she’s taking home trophies: She recently took first place in her division in the deadlift, power curl, bench press, and bench press repetition competitions at the WNPF World Championships.
Back at her local gym, other exercisers have started asking to feel her biceps. One woman even called Murphy her idol. “They see I’m old and I’m not being pushed around in a wheelchair,” she told USA Today. “I can shovel my own snow. And I can push my car if it gets stuck in the snow…I’m almost 80 years old and I am still living life.”
Building strength safely is important, especially as we age. But how old is too old to start a #strength training program?