Shirley Webb Is the Weightlifting Grandmother Your Gym Teacher Warned You About

Shirley Webb, 78, deadlifts at Club Fitness in Wood River, Illinois.


Ever have a gym coach who yelled at everyone to work harder by threatening to have his grandmother defeat them in a contest? You know: “My grandmother can do better than that, and she has a wooden leg with a kickstand!” That kind of stuff.

Well, meet his (proverbial) grandmother.

Until two years ago, 78-year-old Shirley Webb’s only exercise was pushing a lawn mower. But after joining Club Fitness in Wood River, Illinois, with her granddaughter, Webb has steadily worked her way up to deadlifting well over 200 pounds. She’s already set the Illinois and Missouri records in the deadlift—at 237 lbs. and 215 lbs., respectively—and is gunning for the American record in June.

“She’s gotten to the point where everybody greets her and is just absolutely impressed,” her trainer, John Wright, told espnW. “She inspires everybody that goes to the gym and it’s fun to see that.”

Read more at espnW.

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