Athlete Bio – Chandler Marrs

Chandler Marrs
Squat PR:
203 official, 225 unofficial
Bench PR
139.7/150 unofficial (living room, lock down PR)
Deadlift PR
341.7 official/352 unofficial (living room, lock down PR)
Years powerlifting?
How did you come to powerlifting?
I had been doing CrossFit for about a year when someone at the gym mentioned that there weren’t too many older women powerlifting and that I could do just bench and deadlift if I wanted. Squatting has been a struggle for me since the beginning. Gave it a try and it was fun. For the next year or so, continued with crossfit but added one day a week of powerlifting, and then slowly, did more powerlifting and less crossfit. Now, I train powerlifting 4 days per week, do some push/pull/carry type exercises on Saturdays and only do crossfit on occasion.
Do you have any previous athletic or lifting experience?
I was a competitive swimmer and played water polo through college. I continued with water polo off and on for the next 15 years, plus a bunch of other workout modalities. Although I lifted weights as a swimmer and when I was younger, it was never for max weight. It wasn’t until I began with crossfit that I began pushing to lift heavy. It never occurred to me, frankly.
Do you compete? Why or why not? If you compete, what do you like most about the competitions?
Yes, I compete about 3-4X a year. I need goals and deadlines. Otherwise, I am just working out and I get bored. With the powerlifting, I am constantly learning and improving. I am getting stronger. They say women of my age lose muscle. I think they are wrong.
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?
I have a trainer, a real live trainer, not online. I couldn’t do this without one. I am not sure how women, or men, for that matter, train alone. Too much to learn. I was lucky though, my trainer was associated with our local gym. Had I had to search for one blindly, I am not sure I would have even become a powerlifter. As far as finding a good trainer, it is critical that the trainer have an understanding of training older athletes. It is not the same as training 20 somethings. I have had to overcome so many age-related weaknesses.

Since COVID lock downs a year and half ago, I have been training in my living room. It was good for me to learn how to program and lift heavy on my own but I am looking forward to going back to my coach in the near future.

Where do you train? Gym, garage?
Mainly with my trainer in his garage gym, but I also still belong to the crossfit gym and train there occasionally.
What is the hardest part about beginning lifting as an older woman?
Stupid things like balance. Don’t know when I lost it, but I did and learning to cue muscles and proprioception has been one of the most difficult aspects of lifting.
How has lifting affected your health?
I am healthy, perhaps healthier than I was in my twenties, thirties and forties. Is it all related to the lifting, no, not necessarily, but it helps.
What would you tell women just beginning this journey?
Go for it. You will be pleasantly surprised by how strong you are. I know that I never thought I would be doing this or could do this, but here I am, consistently deadlifting over 300lbs for the few years.




Updated: August 2021