70-year-old grandma deadlifting like a pro

August 10, 2017 08:03 PM

ALBANY – She was content to just go to the gym and lift a few weights to stay in shape. That’s until she met a trainer who suggested she try lifting something heavier.

Seven days a week, you can find 70-year-old Marilyn Cataldo at Best Fitness. Instead of making doilies, this grandmother prefers to deadlift.

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"Just tone up. You want to keep your muscles moving," she explained.

Her husband was ill too and lifting weights helped her deal with the stress.

Cataldo was content to lift those five or 10 pounds until she met a trainer who suggested she try something heavier. We’re talking 200 pounds heavier -- like the weightlifters who do the deadlifts.

"I was afraid I couldn't do it and then I was afraid I was going to get hurt," recalled Cataldo.

Soon, she was dead lifting 270 pounds, so her trainer, David Derry, challenged her again. It was a weightlifting competition with onlookers and she would have to wear a singlet -- like they do in the Olympics.

"I didn't look like all the young girls there," admitted Cataldo.

Terrified, she agreed. She went to ABC Sports on July 8 for the competition.

"I'm looking at all these young girls and I’m thinking I’ve got to be crazy," she remembered.

Her first lift was 220, then 252.

"If she made that 252, then we were allowed to pick any weight we wanted to for our third attempt and the weight we decided was 281," explained Derry.

Pumped, she decided to go for it.

"The crowd goes crazy. Everyone was cheering. It was very loud, it was awesome," beamed Derry.

Not only did she break the deadlifting record of 275 pounds for her age group and weight -- she exceeded it.

"It was very nerve-racking, but you know what? I’m so proud of myself, I can't believe I did it," she exclaimed.

Her next goal is a 300-pound deadlift!

More information:

Liberty Games PowerLifting


WNYT Staff

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