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 an 82-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 81-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 holds the national records in the bench for reps, the strict curl, and Ironmaiden categories. Murphy was named the WNPF Lifter of the Year in 2014. And she now holds New York state records and national records across multiple WNPF age brackets.
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.
There aren’t any women close to Murphy’s age for her to train with. In fact, Murphy got into the sport by picking up tips and techniques while watching men lift at the YMCA. She has never worked with a trainer.
“I was surprised that people were thinking that it was strange of me to be in the gym with mostly men at that particular time,” Murphy said.
“But I kept getting stronger and stronger and I don’t wear any belts, I don’t use chalk and I don’t use the ammonia like other people when they compete in a competition. It just happened. I guess I’m just one of those things that nature has taken good care of me.”
Back at her local gym, other people who exercise have started asking to feel her biceps. One woman even called Murphy…