This unique cluster set was heavier than her current world record.

Written by

47-kilogram powerlifter Heather Connor has shown that she will be ready to compete at the 2023 IPF World Classic Open Powerlifting Championships on the week of June 11-18 in Valletta, Malta by performing a unique cluster set.

On May 5, 2023, Connor posted an Instagram reel of herself performing a unique cluster set — a training technique that involves very brief rest between repetitions. She began the set by deadlifting 190 kilograms (418.9 pounds) for a single rep. Her spotters immediately added more weight to the bar and, a few seconds later, she quickly performed a rep with 195 kilograms (430 pounds). Connor appears to have mistakenly listed the 195-kilogram lift as “424” pounds in the post’s caption.

The second repetition was above her current all-time World Record of 192.5 kilograms (424.4 pounds) that she pulled at the 2021 USAPL Raw Nationals. Both reps were above her current IPF World Record of 185 kilograms (407.8 pounds) that she achieved at the 2022 IPF World Classic meet, which she referenced in the text on the video.

Connor approached the bar in her familiar sumo stance, grabbed the barbell with a close grip, and lifted it straight up to a lockout. Once she returned the barbell to the floor, she stepped away while the other plates were added outside of the collars.

She then quickly returned to the barbell, repositioned herself, and began the second pull. The second rep was slower than the first, but she successfully locked out the rep before ending the set with a shout of excitement. She was wearing a singlet and weightlifting belt during the lifts.

Connor is a two-time IPF world champion in the 47-kilogram division, having won those championships in 2017 and 2019. She placed second to Tiffany Chapon at the 2022 edition of the contest. Her most recent meet was at the 2023 AMP Classic National Championships, where she placed second to Jessica Espinal. Connor’s lifts at that meet are as follows.

Heather Connor | 2023 AMP Classic National Championships

  • Squat — 137.5 kilograms (303.1 pounds)
  • Bench Press — 70 kilograms (154.3 pounds)
  • Deadlift — 187.5 kilograms (413.3 pounds)
  • Total — 395 kilograms (870.7 pounds)

If Connor were to win her weight class at the upcoming meet in Malta, it would be her third world championship. With four weeks remaining until the competition, this recent training clip may lead some powerlifting fans to believe that Connor has the potential to pull 200 kilograms (440 pounds). If she were to achieve that lift, she would be the first woman in her weight class to break that barrier.

Featured Image: @heather.e.connor on Instagram

About Chris Colucci

Chris has spent more than 20 years studying health and fitness beginning at a supplement store in the local shopping mall, earning a brown belt in Kenpo Jiujitsu and teaching martial arts to kids and adults, personal training with clients including competitive athletes and 80-year olds, interviewing legends of the strength world, and fine-tuning countless articles from expert coaches. In his “spare” time, he studies late-19th and early-20th century physical culture; takes care of his wife, kids, dogs, and cats; and tries to keep his vegetable garden producing year-round.

View All Articles