FILE: A Marine grips a barbell while deadlifting during the High Intensity Tactical Training installation challenge at Paige Field House on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Nov. 19, 2020. (Lance Cpl. Andrew Cortez/U.S. Marine Corps).

A Marine stationed in California recently broke the world deadlifting record in her weight class by hoisting more than 661 pounds.

“You can push your body harder than you think it will go,” she told Task & Purpose on Monday about her accomplishment. “You cannot be afraid of the weight of the bar. I tell myself that I’m in control and I’m going to make the bar go wherever I want it – not the other way around.”

The Marine spoke with Task & Purpose about the record-breaking lift and her approach to training on the condition that she not be identified. A story on the Marine and the record-breaking lift posted on the military’s Defense Visual Information Distribution Service was taken down over the weekend after it generated a wave of online harassment, a spokesman for the I Marine Expeditionary Force told Task & Purpose on Monday.

She said the weightlifting event took place on April 20 in Europe, and she competed in the under-82 kilograms weight class for competitors who weigh less than about 180 lbs. The Marine said she began seriously training to break the world record about 12 weeks prior to the competition.

“I would alternate weeks of heavy lifting and then one week of lighter technique-type focused work,” said the Marine, who credits her coach Andrew Clayton with her recent success.

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The Marine became interested in weightlifting as a child when she would watch professional wrestling. She decided to go to the gym and has kept going ever since.

On the day of the event, the Marine deadlifted roughly 40 more pounds than the previous record holder in her weight class, she said.

In the moments leading up to the event, the Marine’s body tensed with anticipation.

“I could feel my heart rate and breathing rate get very, very high,” she said.

Yet, the moment that she raised the bar was surreal, the Marine recalled.

“Honestly, it kind of felt kind of weightless,” she said. “It was not easy, but not the strain I thought it would be.”

Afterward, the Marine received a certificate confirming that she is the world record holder for deadlifting in her weight class.

Now an officer, the Marine has served in the Corps for the past four years. She said she was inspired to join the Marines because it is a “tough branch where all the ‘badasses’ go.”

Her advice to others who want to build up their muscles is to be patient and consistent.

“I’ve been lifting for a total of about 20 years, and then competing in that sport for about nine,” the Marine said, “So, it’s been almost a decade to get to a world record. It won’t happen in a month or even a year.”

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