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78-year-old Detroit woman becomes powerlifting star with 19 world records

She reportedly deadlifts close to 400 pounds, squats 380, and bench presses up to 185.

78-year-old Detroit woman becomes powerlifting star with 19 world records
Cover Image Source: Instagram/Nora Langdon

Nora Langdon is living proof that one should never underestimate anyone just because they are old. The Detroit-native was 65-years-old when she discovered her passion for heavyweights. Now, at 78, the retired realtor and grandmother of one is a powerlifting champion with over a dozen state, national, and world records under her belt. Her path to a healthier life began in 2007 when she weighed over 210 pounds and often struggled to catch her breath when walking up the stairs. Determined to make a change, she decided to go to a gym.


"I never went to a gym or picked up anything before the age of 65," Langdon told Good Morning America. "On the first day I started [going to the gym], I went home that night and told myself that I'm never going back again because it was too much for me. Then I heard a voice saying, 'go back.' So, I went back and here I am today." It was her personal trainer of 13 years, Art Little, who inspired her to get into powerlifting. "She watched us getting ready for a powerlifting meet and asked a question I'll never forget it; 'Do you have any old broads doing that?' And I said 'Yeah,'" Little told FOX 2. "She came and watched us at the meet and said she wanted to do it."


Although Little was initially apprehensive about his client's age, Langdon was determined. Starting with a broom as a barbell then eventually moving to heavier weights, she quickly moved up the ranks. So far, she has set 19 world records for her age group through her competitions with the American Powerlifting Federation, including one for squatting 413 pounds. And she isn't slowing down any time soon. According to Landon, she deadlifts close to 400 pounds, squats 380, and bench presses up to 185. "I've beat everyone from 60 years old up to my age. I have no competition," she explained.


"When I squat this is what I say, I say 'Holy Spirit fall on me,' and I just do it and I come right on up," she added. Little also believes that Langdon's best is yet to come. "Her next goal is to do something that's unprecedented for her age: A powerlifting total of over a thousand pounds," he said. "It's surprising because you'd think as someone gets older, they'd get weaker. But that's not the case because she puts the time in the gym and works hard."


"She's really been an asset to the gym, and to me, and to the whole powerlifting field," Little said of Langdon. "To see somebody at that age doing what she's doing it's a blessing." Langdon — who multiple times a week spends up to three hours at a time doing squats, bench presses, and deadlifts at her local gym — has yet another competition scheduled for this month. She revealed that the gym is what drives her to keep pushing. "It keeps me motivated and that's why I go," she said. "I'm strong now. I take no medication. I'm in good health. And that's where I want to stay."


"A lot of older people just stay home, sit down and watch television after retiring. But you were born to continue until the Lord takes you away. Your body was made to exercise and you have to keep it moving in order to stay healthy," Langdon added. She now hopes to encourage others to pick up a dumbbell or barbell and give powerlifting a try, irrespective of their age. "Get up off that couch, go walking, walk a mile starting, then you can end up with five miles. You just have to be consistent and keep doing it and don't let your mind or people tell you you can't."


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