One grandmother from East Alton, Illinois, stunned the Internet when she powerlifted 225 pounds in a video that has taken the Internet by storm.
Just two years ago, Shirley Webb, 78, was in poor health and could barely walk up the stairs without gripping the railing and pausing to catch her breath, according to NBC's "Today." When she was 76, her granddaughter urged her to join the Club Fitness gym in Wood River, Illinois, to improve her health and make exercise a part of her routine. Webb had never lifted a weight in her entire life until she joined the gym.
"At the time, I couldn't walk up the stairs unless I held on to the handrail, and if I got on the floor, I couldn't get up without a chair," Webb said, according to "Today." "Now I can come right up off the floor. The harder I work out, the better I feel."
Video of grandma deadlifting 225 pounds goes viral https://t.co/dev2d5fvLv https://t.co/4bDek4x4M6— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7 Eyewitness News)1459317650.0
When Webb's personal trainer, John Wright, realized that she was unusually strong and thrived with deadlifting, he continued to add increasing weights to her exercise routine. Two years after she first walked into the gym, Webb has set several weightlifting records for her age range in both Missouri and Illinois, according to KABC-TV. During her next competition, which is set for June 4, Webb hopes to set a personal record of 260 pounds.
"I've seen such a remarkable difference in myself," Webb told "Today." "I'm glad that people are getting inspired by me doing this. I had one lady come in the gym and say, 'I saw your video, and I decided to come down and join this club.' That makes me feel good."
Webb has been married to her husband, Dick, since 1957, and the couple has two sons and two granddaughters. Webb added that her family's support for her training and the joy they take in her successes helps her to keep going.
"I have nieces and nephews who are going crazy about it. They are absolutely thrilled with me. I get nervous during the competition, but I enjoy it because my family and my nieces are just so happy that I'm doing this," Webb said. "I feel fantastic. I work out twice a week with my trainer, sometimes three times, and I'm just feeling great."
Since videos of her feats have gone viral, many supporters took to Twitter to express their admiration for this grandmother's powerlifting capabilities.
Too old to hit the gym? Check out Shirley Webb - https://t.co/FhNc9DhxLj— Lianne Laing (@Lianne Laing)1459335538.0
Unrelated to any of this fascinating March Madness debating, I'm fully obsessed with deadlifting grandma here: https://t.co/rVJxhu76UG— Alison Overholt (@Alison Overholt)1459214059.0
Today's Get-off-your-Ass! guilt trip. https://t.co/3HOaSbKk0s God bless you, Shirley Webb! #motivation #exercise— William Valentine, CFA (@William Valentine, CFA)1459342836.0
Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter