The athlete has put herself within distance of claiming a World Record total.

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57-kilogram powerlifter Natalie Richards is making strength gains in preparation for her next meet, and she’s looking like she may break records. On May 4, 2023, Richards posted a video of herself setting a PR by squatting 179.1 kilograms (395 pounds) in training.

That was 1.5 pounds over her personal best in competition, which was 178.4 kilograms (393.5 pounds) at the 2022 Carolina Primetime meet in October.

Richards had two spotters waiting to assist her if necessary. After unracking the bar and walking the weight out, Richards stood in a conventional stance, took in a breath, and descended into the hole quickly. After going below parallel, Richards struggled out of the hole with her knees coming in slightly. Nonetheless, she stood tall with the weight and smiled before returning the barbell to the rack.

She was wearing basic knee sleeves, wrist wraps, and a weightlifting belt for this one-rep set. In the post caption, and in a subsequent video reel, she shared that she also performed a set of four reps with 161 kilograms (355 pounds). One of the more-than-860 likes for Instagram post came from fellow powerlifter and multiple world-record holder John Haack.

Richards’ most recent meet was the 2023 AMP Classic National Championships, which were held in Austin, TX on Feb. 24, 2023. Her deadlift at that meet was a personal record, and her best lifts at that meet totaled to over 500 kilograms, making her the first 57-kilogram lifter to achieve that milestone in a Powerlifting America (AMP) sanctioned meet. Her lifts on that day were as follows.

Natalie Richards | All-Time Raw Competition Bests

  • Squat — 175 kilograms (385.8 pounds)
  • Bench Press — 105 kilograms (231.5 pounds)
  • Deadlift — 221.5 kilograms (488.3 pounds)
  • Total — 501.5 kilograms (1,105.6 pounds) | First 57KG Total Above 500kg

Richards is preparing to break and set new all-time world records at the IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships, which will be held on the week of June 11-18 in Valetta, Malta. Competition at the meet will be significant, as veteran lifters including Bobbie Butters (current 57kg squat World Record holder) and Jade Jacob (current 57kg deadlift and total World Record holder) are expected to compete as well.

According to Open Powerlifting, Richards has been competing since 2019. If she competes in the IPF World Classic, it will be her first appearance in an international meet. All 12 of her previous meets had been in the United States and she has come home with 10 first-place awards.

Featured Image: @nat_lifting on Instagram

About Roger Lockridge

Roger “Rock” Lockridge has been writing professionally for 10 years and has been training for 20. His work in the fitness industry has been seen in numerous outlets and has been a part of coverage for several events including the Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic, the CrossFit Games, and the Olympics. He’s also shared his own personal success story in several interviews and articles. Lockridge lives in West Virginia with his wife and son.

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