If I say to you, “She’s a strong woman,” what comes to mind? Maybe your first thought is that she’s emotionally strong, or mentally tough. What if I say, “She’s a strong 70 year old woman?” Now what comes to mind? You’re probably not thinking of physical strength. That simply doesn’t fit the common narrative for 70 year olds in our culture. But what if I told you that this woman can squat 250 pounds and deadlift 320 pounds and recently set 12 American powerlifting records? And then what if I went on to tell you that she’s just getting started, that she is in fact as strong and as energetic as she’s ever been in her entire life?
My guest today is Shelly Stettner. Shelly is 70 year old national powerlifting champion. But she wasn’t always strong, or even particularly fit. She spent 30-ish years as a smoker, and occasionally hopped on and off the latest diet and exercise fads of the day. But then one day shortly before her 65th birthday she caught a look at herself in the mirror, and for the first time saw herself as a frail old lady. Through a fortunate series of events, she ended up in a gym that specializes in helping aging men and women get and stay strong. She learned to squat, deadlift and press, and over time she grew stronger… and fell in love with the process and the results, which eventually resulted in her entering – and dominating – powerlifting competitions.
You can connect with Shelly on Instagram @shelly_ann_28
Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training Book
Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40 Book
Dr. Jonathon Sullivan (Sully) Podcast Episode
Sully’s Instagram – @thebarbellprescription
Andy Baker Instagram – @bakerbarbell
Nathan Payton Instagram – @probodycoach
Click HERE for transcript.