Athlete Bio – Susan Elwyn

Susan Elwyn Deadlift

Susan Elwyn
72 in August
Weight Class
either 47 or 52 kg
Where do you live?
Truro, Ma and Sarasota Fl
Squat PR:
As an M3 & 4 , 102.5 geared & 88 raw in comp. 200 lbs raw and 245 geared in the gym.
Bench PR:
55 geared & 47.5 raw in comp. 125 & 115 in the gym. (This is after hurting my shoulder which happened in 2010.)
Deadlift PR:
130 kg geared & 120.5 raw in comp. 290 lbs & 265 lbs in gym.
Clean & Jerk PR:
haven’t done any since the 1980’s. Could easily jerk 135 but only cleaned it once. Never did rack jerks.
Snatch PR:
Could do about 90 or so when young. Don’t do overhead lifts now.
Years lifting?
57 lifting. 43 competing
How did you come to powerlifting or Olympic lifting?
Lifted to build strength for Judo. A powerlifter at the gym suggested I do the lifts for more strength. Three years later, I tried a local meet & I was hooked.
Do you have any previous athletic or lifting experience?
Played a lot of sports (badly) for fun. I still do and still badly.
Do you compete? Why or why not? If you compete, what do you like most about the competitions?
I compete. I enjoy the excuse to travel and the chance to meet and hang out with other lifters; people who understand what I’m doing and don’t think I’m nuts. I compete both raw and geared in USAPL & IPF which is drug tested.
Equipped or Raw?
Do you have a coach or trainer? In person or online? How did you find your trainer/program? Do you have any advice for women looking for a trainer?
No coach. I listen to my body and train accordingly which I can do after all this time. If you want a coach go to a gym and watch the coach{es} train other lifters. You will get a feel for how they relate to the students and if they really know their stuff or if they are just wind bags.
Where do you train? Gym, garage?
When I wasn’t competing, I trained at home. I train at a gym now that I’m back competing again. I train at the city owned Rec facility when I’m in Sarasota and at the Rec dept gym in P-town (it’s technically part of the Sr. Ctr.) when I’m on the Cape. I am the only powerlifter at either place.
What is the hardest part about beginning lifting as an older woman?
I wouldn’t know since I started at 15 and it’s been a part of my life ever since. My guess would be overcoming inertia and negative thoughts and just doing it.
How has lifting affected your health?
Positively. Most women my age look and act old enough to be my mother. A few days ago when I was walking on Commercial St. in P town, a guy said to me “Did you work out at Pep’s Gym in Maynard back in the 70’s & 80’s?” I said, yes. He told me his name and said he recognized me from then – 35 to 40 years ago. I think lifting is the fountain of youth.
What would you tell women just beginning this journey?
Don’t expect overnight results or miracles. Take your weight and measurements when you start. Then avoid the scale and tape measure for 6 months. Just work out regularly and don’t miss workouts. After 6 months, look in the mirror, step on a scale, take your measurements and you will be very pleasantly surprised.