In about three and a half years of serious lifting, 22-year-old Amanda Lawrence has already accomplished what most powerlifters can only dream of: winning the International Powerlifting Federation World Classic Powerlifting Championships.

Lawrence took first in the women’s -84kg (185 pounds) open class with a 243kg (536-pound) squat, a 117.5kg (259-pound) bench, and a 252.5kg (556-pound) deadlift, making for a total of 613kg (1,351 pounds). Her squat, deadlift, and total were world records, and she won the Champion of Champions award for being the strongest woman overall at Worlds, regardless of weight class.



Any powerlifter—man or woman—would kill to be in Lawrence’s position, and it’s all the more impressive considering how quickly she’s progressed. Before 2016, powerlifting hadn’t even crossed her mind and she had never trained in squat, bench, or deadlift movements.

Her first meet was in June of 2016, which she started training for in January of 2016. Lawrence credits a program that had her squatting every single day with getting her started. For four months straight, she didn’t take a day off—a notion that she knows sounds crazy, but it paid off at her first meet, the USA Powerlifting Twin Ports Raw Open in Duluth, MN, where she squatted 167.5kg (369 pounds). These days, she’s still known for her squat and deadlift.

Since then, she’s absolutely dominated at USAPL competitions, crushed it at her first IPF Worlds in June, and built a substantial Instagram following along the way. Her presence on social media grew quickly, a side effect that has both pros and cons.

Her 100,000-plus Instagram following exposes her to an audience that’s not strictly limited to people who actually follow powerlifting, and people love to accuse her of being on steroids or using fake weights (spoiler: neither is true). But in her eyes, all that doubt is just a compliment.

We got ahold of the powerlifting phenom to talk lifting, world records, and social media trolls. Keep reading for her take, as told to M&F.