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Inspiring 78-Year-Old Grandmother Sets Lifting World Record

The powerlifting champion hopes to encourage others to get active, no matter their age. 

Heavy metal barbell on the floor

Seventy-eight-year-old Nora Langdon has become an inspiration to people of all ages. The grandmother of one spends multiple days a week at the Royal Oak Gym, near her home in Michigan, training for lifting competitions by doing bench presses, squats and deadlifts for three hours at a time. She turns to prayer as a form of encouragement during her workouts.

“When I squat this is what I say: ‘Holy Spirit fall on me,’ and I just do it and I come right on up,” she told the Fox affiliate in Detroit, Michigan.  

At the age of 65, Langdon was determined to live a healthier lifestyle. In 2007, she weighed over 210 pounds and often struggled to catch her breath while going up the stairs. She knew it was time for a change.

Nora Langdon in the weight room
      Nora Langdon in the weight room

“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,” Langdon told Good Morning America. “Then I heard a voice saying, ‘go back.’ So, I went back and here I am today.” 

After joining the gym and watching her trainer prepare for a powerlifting meet, she attended his competition and decided to try it herself. She began with the basics—using a broom as a barbell before eventually moving to weights. It wasn’t long before she discovered lifting was her passion.  

Langdon has since set 19 world records and quickly became one of Michigan’s best in her age range. She can deadlift 400 pounds, squat 380 and bench press up to 185.  

Although Langdon has won 20 of her powerlifting meets and has state, national and world records under her belt, she shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Her next goal? To powerlift a total of over a thousand pounds, according to her trainer, Art Little.  

“She’s really been an asset to the gym, and to me, and to the whole powerlifting field,” Little said. “To see somebody at that age doing what she’s doing it’s a blessing.” 

She wants others to know that with motivation and strong faith, anyone her age can get into shape. “You were born to continue until the Lord takes you away,” she said. “Your body was made to exercise and you have to keep it moving in order to stay healthy.” 

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