Grandmother, 71, can deadlift 250 pounds and says she’s feeling better than she was 30 years ago

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A grandmother who became an international powerlifting champion in her sixties says she looks and feels better than she did 30 years ago.

Mary Duffy, 71, of Trumbull, Connecticut started exercising at the age of 59 after losing more than 50 pounds within a year after her mother’s death in 2007.

She soon became addicted to weight lifting and is now spending pumping iron for about 20 hours a week in six-hour gym sessions, and has more than 30 state and world records to her credit.

Despite being told she is ‘too old’ to go to the gym, Mary holds world records for deadlifting of 250 pounds – more than a baby elephant – as well as banking at 125 pounds and squatting at 175 pounds.

Mary Duffy, 71, from Trumbull, Connecticut, became an international powerlifting champion in her 60s and says she looks and feels better than she did 30 years ago

Mary Duffy, 71, from Trumbull, Connecticut, became an international powerlifting champion in her 60s and says she looks and feels better than she did 30 years ago

Mary spends about 20 hours a week on iron pumps in six-hour gym sessions and has more than 30 state and world records to her credit

Mary spends about 20 hours a week on iron pumps in six-hour gym sessions and has more than 30 state and world records to her credit

“I started going to the gym in earnest ten years ago when I realized I had gained a lot of weight – I remember it hit me when I looked in the mirror and thought,” I’m not, “said Mary.

‘I quickly lost weight and realized that the more I exercised, the more I enjoyed it – and it has been like that ever since.

‘I’m 71, but I’m the fittest I’ve ever been – I look and feel better now than I was when I was 40.

‘I do get people who say I’m too old for this, but my motto is “You can’t turn the clock back, but you can wind it again”.

Despite being told she is 'too old' to go to the gym, Mary has world records for deadlifting and 250lb benching 125lb and squatting 175lb

Despite being told she is ‘too old’ to go to the gym, Mary has world records for deadlifting and 250lb benching 125lb and squatting 175lb

Pictured at age 30, Mary says she's the fittest she's ever been, insisting, 'I look and feel better now than I did when I was 40'

Pictured at age 30, Mary says she’s the fittest she’s ever been, insisting, ‘I look and feel better now than I did when I was 40’

‘Sometimes I wonder’ why am I doing this? But the negative comments are offset by the people who tell me I inspire them – and that’s what keeps me going.

“I’m not your average 70-year-old – and I don’t intend to give up now!”

Retired Mary used to go to the gym in younger years, but didn’t start taking it seriously until she turned 59, when her mother died.

Mary ‘sat around feeling sad’ for two years after her mother’s death, rising to 176 pounds, which she said made her uncomfortable for her tiny body.

“I looked in the mirror and saw how big I had grown – that was a light bulb moment for me,” said Mary.

“I remember thinking to myself ‘I refuse to let that be me’ and signing up to join the gym.”

Retired Mary, pictured lifting weights in a workout this year, did the gym in younger years, but didn't start taking it seriously until she turned 59

Retired Mary, pictured lifting weights in a workout this year, did the gym in younger years, but didn’t start taking it seriously until she turned 59

Mary 'sat around feeling sad' for two years after her mother's death in 2007, rising to 176 pounds

Mary quickly shed 50 pounds after joining the gym

Mary ‘sat around feeling sad’ for two years after her mother’s death in 2007, rising to 176 pounds (left) – but she soon lost 50 pounds after joining the gym. Right in the picture, Mary this year

Mary fell in love with weightlifting and soon began participating in international competitions organized twice a year by the International Powerlifting Association

Mary fell in love with weightlifting and soon began participating in international competitions organized twice a year by the International Powerlifting Association

Within a year, she had lost nearly 15 pounds, and her personal trainer, Bobby Calabrese, suggested lifting weights.

Two weightlifting sessions a week, plus cardio and general strength training every day, gave her the courage to compete in her first powerlifting competition in 2014 at the age of 64.

Mary fell in love with weightlifting and soon began competing in international competitions organized twice a year by the International Powerlifting Association.

She has set more than 30 state and world records with the International Powerlifting Association, in her age and weight category.

“The more I worked out the more I enjoyed it,” said Mary, “it can be hard to build muscle when you’re older, but I loved seeing my muscles get more defined as I got stronger.

“Even now, years later, I can still see myself making improvements – and it keeps me going.”

Two weightlifting sessions a week, plus cardio and general strength training every day, gave her the courage to compete in her first powerlifting competition in 2014.

Two weightlifting sessions a week, plus cardio and general strength training every day, gave her the courage to compete in her first powerlifting competition in 2014.

Mary has set more than 30 state and world records with the International Powerlifting Association, in her age and weight category

Mary has set more than 30 state and world records with the International Powerlifting Association, in her age and weight category

Mary has set more than 30 state and world records with the International Powerlifting Association, in her age and weight category.

Mary is pictured with personal trainer, Bobby Calabrese, who originally suggested she start lifting weights

Mary is pictured with personal trainer, Bobby Calabrese, who originally suggested she start lifting weights

Superfit Mary trains more than twenty hours a week in the gym, doing three fitness boot camps and two personal training sessions.

She also does daily cardio sessions on the rowing machine and cross trainer, as well as additional weightlifting sessions with friends.

Despite exercising for up to six hours a day, she said people often judge her by her age.

Mary, sharing her progress on her fitness Instagram, said, “ I get a lot of people trying to tell me not to lift weights at my age – but I just laugh and tell them to check out my data.

There are times when I wonder why I push myself as hard as I do, but it’s the positive comments from people that keep me going.

‘I don’t want to look like your average 70-year-old grandmother because I definitely don’t feel like one.

‘I don’t think I’ll ever stop powerlifting – unless I absolutely have to.

“Even if I stop competing, I will still train and stay in shape.”

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