A good number of grandmothers need a helping hand to carry their shopping bags or climb a flight of stairs – but not Willie Murphy.
And she’s a 77-year-old grandmother.
At just 105 pounds, Murphy doesn’t exactly sound like she can lift much of anything, but don’t let her weight fool you. She could probably put most of us to shame in the gym, cranking out one-handed push-ups and pull-ups with ease, according to USA Today.
(yes, that’s 77-year-old Murphy doing a ONE-handed push up)
It all started with a weight-lifting competition at her local YMCA in Rochester, New York, a few years ago. After an employee told her she could compete — “Go for it, granny” — Murphy began lifting 5-pound weights. Now she’s taking home trophies: She recently took first place in her division in the deadlift, power curl, bench press, and bench press repetition competitions at the WNPF World Championships.
She was also named the World Natural Powerlifting Federation 2014 Lifter of the Year.
Back at her local gym, other exercisers have started asking to feel her biceps. One woman even called Murphy her idol. “They see I’m old and I’m not being pushed around in a wheelchair,” she told USA Today.
“I wanted to become better, to have a little edge in life, so I started the weight training,” admitted Murphy. “Little by little I became stronger and stronger.”
But that doesn’t have to happen just because you hit 60: “When you start strength training in your 60s, 70s, 80s, even 90s, you will add about one pound of muscle per month,” Westcott says. Since muscle is your calorie-burning engine, those gains translate to fat loss — no dieting required.