With her latest strength feat, some might point to Shelly Stettner as a consummate example of perseverance. On May 10, 2022, the 71-year-old athlete squatted 106.6 kilograms (235 pounds) for a three-set, three-rep PR during a training session. Per her social media, the squat is a part of her ongoing training for the 2022 Powerlifting America (PA) Classic Sub-Junior, Junior, and Master Nationals on June 18-19, 2022, in Orlando, FL.
Stettner completed the set while wearing knee sleeves and a lifting belt. Her bodyweight for the lift was roughly 60 kilograms (132 pounds). That lines up as the athlete has competed in the 63-kilogram weight class throughout her career.
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Stettner does not complete the filmed set without resistance. While powering through the session, she does take somewhat extended pauses between each rep. However, considering the weight is only roughly 15 pounds less than her all-time competition best of 113.5 kilograms (250 pounds) from the 2022 USA Powerlifting (USAPL) Arnold Masters of Iron Pro. That she finished three sets of three reps of this weight is impressive.
It’s Never Too Late
Stettner’s powerlifting story could be a testament to her willingness to try new things. She didn’t pick up a barbell for the first time until April 2016, when she was 64-years-old. Years later, at the age of 71, she has seven sanctioned competitions to her name, with six victories and merely one second-place finish.
“I like many did believe getting older meant getting weaker and losing muscle. This is a myth!”
Here’s a record of some of Stettner’s more notable career results to date:
Shelly Stettner (63KG) | Notable Career Results
- 2019 USAPL Michigan Rookie Rumble (Masters 3, 60-69) — First place | Raw
- 2020 USAPL Motor City Summer Showdown (Masters 3, 60-69) — First place | Raw
- 2021 USAPL Raw Master’s Nationals (Masters 4, 70+) — First place | Raw
- 2021 USAPL Virginia Pro (Masters 4, 70+) — First place | Raw
- 2022 USAPL Arnold Masters of Iron Pro (Masters 4, 70+) — First place | Raw
Naturally, like with anyone, it took some diligence during her training for Stetner to build up noteworthy strength. Here are her all-time top stats:
Shelly Stettner (63KG) | Top Lift Stats
- Squat — 113.5 kilograms (250.2 pounds)
- Bench Press — 65 kilograms (143.3 pounds)
- Deadlift — 147.5 kilograms (325.1 pounds)
- Total — 322.5 kilograms (711 pounds)
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The Master’s Nationals Are Next
Stettner seems to be in the final stages of her training before the 2022 Master Nationals next month. The athlete has clearly been hard at work rounding out her different lifts. Her Instagram is appropriately rife with extensive footage of herself completing squats, bench presses, and deadlifts in recent weeks.
Only time will tell whether Stettner’s dedication will pay off with another win. Though, if she can dip her toes into professional powerlifting at her age and thrive, anything seems possible.
The 2022 PA Classic Sub-Junior, Junior, and Master Nationals will take place on June 18-19, 2022, in Orlando, FL.
Featured image: @shelly_ann_28 on Instagram