A grandmother who started working out at the age of 59 says she feels and looks better than she did three decades ago.
71-year-old Mary Duffy from Connecticut became an international powerlifting champion in her 60s after spending around 20 hours a week in the gym.
But despite her age, she holds world records for deadlifting 250lbs, squatting 175lbs, and benching 125 lbs!
Mary started hitting the gym after her mother passed away in 2007.
“I started seriously going to the gym ten years ago when I realised I’d put on a lot of weight – I remember it hit me when I looked in the mirror and thought ‘That’s not me,’” she shared.
She lost almost 50lbs within a year and her personal trainer, Bobby Calabrese, suggested weight lifting.
Mary immediately fell in love with weight lifting and started entering international competitions organized by the International Powerlifting Association twice a year.
“I quickly lost weight, and realised the more I trained, the more I enjoyed it – and that’s the way it’s been since then.
“I’m 71, but I’m the fittest I’ve ever been – I look and feel better now than I did when I was 40. I do get people telling me I’m too old for this, but my motto is ‘You can’t turn back the clock, but you can wind it back up’.”
She continued: “Sometimes I ask myself ‘why am I doing this?’ but the negative comments are outweighed by the people who tell me I inspire them – and that’s what keeps me going.
“I’m not the average 70-year-old – and I have no intention of giving up now!”
Mary has racked up over 30 state and world records with the International Powerlifting Association, in her weight and age category.
“It can be hard to build muscle when you’re older, but I loved seeing my muscles become more defined as I got stronger,” Mary said.
“Even now, years down the line, I still see myself making improvements – and it keeps me going.”
She added: “I don’t want to look like the average 70-year-old grandmother, because I definitely don’t feel like one. I don’t think I’ll ever quit powerlifting – not unless I absolutely have to.
“Even if I do stop competing, I’ll still work out and keep in shape.”
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