Most people Nora Langdon’s age are more into power naps than powerlifting, but pumping iron has given the 78-year-old Detroit-area grandma a healthy retirement hobby — and put her in the record books.
Not only is Langdon a recreational weight-lifter, but her competition deadlift, bench press, and squat have yielded her 19 world records, the first of which came years after she reached the age of eligibility for Social Security benefits.
“I was 65 years old and I used to be a realtor,” Langdon said in a recent interview with Fox 2 Detroit, explaining how the gym became her second home. “I got tired going up and down the stairs and so I said, ‘Let me get some training.’”
“You just have to put your mind to it,” she said of lifting. “Your mind and your body and be consistent. As long as you’re consistent you can do it.”
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For 13 years, Langdon has been training with Art Little at the Royal Oak Gym. She told the Christian Post that she works out three days per week.
“She’s really been an asset to the gym, and to me, and to the whole powerlifting field,” Little said. “To see somebody at that age doing what she’s doing, it’s a blessing.”
Beyond the health benefits, lifting is something of a religious experience for Langdon. “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 said.
She also explained that staying active in this way is just a good way to live. “Don’t be afraid. God did not bring us here just to sit down and do nothing,” she said. “He brought us here to encourage one another and to live a Christian life. A lot of older people, when they retire from their job they want to sit down and watch TV. That’s the wrong thing to do.”
“God has never said retire,” she continued. “There is nowhere in the Bible that says retire. So you have to keep going, and that’s one of the main things to keep your body going and to keep your health going. It’s to keep moving.”
Langdon’s record lifts include a 370-pound deadlift, a 204-pound bench press, and a 413-pound squat.
“Michael Jordan, you have to catch up,” Little said of Langdon. “This is the GOAT here. She just keeps breaking her own records.”
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Unless he’s gotten stronger, Langdon outlifts John Delaney, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. representative from Maryland. Delaney told the Washington Examiner in 2019 that he can deadlift 350 pounds