Just two days before International Women’s Day, Tamara Walcott deadlifted a record-breaking 641 pounds.
The 38-year-old, mother of two, broke her previous deadlift record of 636 pounds and set a new world record in women’s deadlift by lifting 641 pounds in Elephant Bar deadlift at the Arnold Sports festivals in Columbus, Ohio.
Hailing from the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix, Walcott has quickly established a successful career for herself. After her first record-breaker, Walcott penned in Newsweek that her interest in lifting formed out of a need forself-care following a divorce. At the time, she weighed in 415 pounds. With a friend, she joined a group circuit training class that used dumbbells and floor exercises. Walcott’s confidence boosted when the coach didn’t focus on her size, but her as a person. The push awoken her former athletic self. She lost 100 pounds in her first year of working out.
In 2017, Walcott moved for work and tried a few different gyms but none of them fit. Then, she walked into a powerlifting gym. Though Walcott was inspired by all the strong bodies she saw, she was also hesitant by the lack of other Black women. Thankfully she found a coach and by the end of 2017, he convinced her to sign up for her first meet.
Walcott’s first competition was in Baltimore in 2018. Ultimately, she bench-pressed 231 pounds, squat-lifted of 385 pounds, and a deadlifted 396 pounds.
To think, Walcott almost quit powerlifting due to stress about being good enough. After missing her deadlift at her second competition in 2019, she saw a lot of hate comments like, “why are there so many Black girls here?” in the post-competition footage online.
Nevertheless, she persisted.
In 2021, Walcott set the all-time heaviest women’s deadlift in the world: a 636-pound deadlift. The victory broke the previous record that was held by Andrea Thompson of 621 pounds at the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival. Thompson was there to go head-to-head with Walcott but was not able to top her biggest lift.
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“What a way to spend a day during Women’s History Month BREAKING RECORDS, raising the bar, inspiring the masses, [and] letting everyone know that if I CAN, SO CAN YOU. Especially my fellow women,” Walcott stated on her Instagram account.