A Detroit grandmother is turning heads in Michigan thanks to her love of weightlifting and wild success in competitions even at the age of 78, according to Good Morning America.
Nora Langdon told the news outlet that she had never even stepped foot in a gym before the age of 65, but immediately fell in love with weightlifting and spends hours each day honing her skills.
She is widely beloved in her main gym, Royal Oak Gym, but has also caught the attention of other weightlifters due to her 19 world records and 20 wins in sanctioned meets since 2007, according to Barbend.
“I’ve beat everyone from 60 years old up to my age. I have no competition. It keeps me motivated and that’s why I go. I’m strong now. I take no medication. I’m in good health. And that’s where I want to stay,” Langdon told GMA.
“A lot of older people just stay home, sit down and watch television after retiring,” she said. “But you were born to continue until the Lord takes you away. Your body was made to exercise and you have to keep it moving in order to stay healthy,” she added.
Her trainer and coach, Art Little, told Fox 2 Detroit that Langdon is dedicated to being great even as she gets older. He explained that she simply walked in one day and began to ask him questions about weightlifting.
“She watched us getting ready for a powerlifting meet and asked a question I’ll never forget it; ‘Do you have any old broads doing that?’ And I said, ‘yeah.’ She came and watched us at the meet and said she wanted to do it,” Little said.
“Her next goal is to do something that’s unprecedented for her age — a powerlifting total of over a thousand pounds. It’s surprising because you’d think as someone gets older, they’d get weaker. But that’s not the case because she puts the time in the gym and works hard,” Little added in his interview with GMA.
Barbend has a detailed list of Langdon’s record competition wins but they include some eye-popping numbers. In competition best single-ply lifts, Langdon has squatted 413.4 pounds, bench pressed 203.9 pounds and deadlifted 369.3 pounds
At the 2020 American Powerlifting Federation Michigan State Meet in the 82.5-kilogram class, Langdon bench-pressed 159.8 pounds, giving her first place in the competition.
She already has wins at the 2012, 2016, and 2018 World Powerlifting Congress World Championships, the 2019 APF Nationals and the 2008 International Powerlifting Federation World Masters Powerlifting Championships.
Barbend’s Phil Blechman said Langdon “has been competing consistently at the top of her division for the last 13 years,” and said she would have dominated 2020 if not for COVID-19.
“She’s really been an asset to the gym, and to me, and to the whole powerlifting field. To see somebody at that age doing what she’s doing it’s a blessing,” Little said.
Langdon was a real estate agent before she found her passion in weightlifting. While the coronavirus pandemic has made competitions difficult, Langdon still goes to the gym daily, making sure to clean down all of her tools before and after according to GMA.
She’s already looking to expand her repertoire with other lifting styles.
But she urged the elderly, and really everyone, to be more active and get their blood flowing.
“Get up off that couch, go walking, walk a mile starting, then you can end up with five miles. You just have to be consistent and keep doing it and don’t let your mind or people tell you you can’t,” Langdon said.
“When I squat this is what I say, I say ‘Holy Spirit fall on me,’ and I just do it and I come right on up,” she added.