Forget every preconceived notion you have about weightlifters; one Arizona athlete defies all expectations. She is a 62-year-old, completely vegan, record-breaking powerlifter.
Armed with ambition and fueled by foliage, Rocky Luedeker of Oak Creek started lifting competitively four years ago, after wanting to follow in her family’s footsteps.
“I was sitting there and was like, ‘Why am I sitting here? I have arms and legs. I can do that, too,'” she said.
She continues to reach new records.
“My best curl is 45 pounds, my best squat is 124 pounds, my best deadlift is 184,” Luedeker said.
Luedeker has 13 world records and 26 state and national records, to be exact.
“It feels good knowing you got that weight up, putting it back down, seeing the white lights knowing you got it,” Luedeker said.
She does all of this on a plant-based diet. She loves bean and rice and eats lettuce every day.
“A common myth is we don’t have enough protein, and we have more than enough protein,” she said.
But it takes more than just protein to become a high-performance athlete. It takes the right attitude.
“If I don’t get it this time, I will practice harder and get it next time,” she said.
It’s an attitude Luedeker passed to her daughter, Bianca Luedeker.
“Definitely, lifting has greatly increased my confidence,” Bianca said.
She is a vegetarian and now training for the 2024 Olympics. She said she is proud to be part of the “Lifting Luedekers,” and proud of her powerlifting mom.
“Her deadlift is twice her weight,” Bianca said. “Her weight is 90 pounds. She’s deadlifting 182, and I think about how long it took me to get to that point. It was really hard.”
Of course, Rocky is also on a steady diet of dairy-free humble pie and craves competition over crushing records.
“It’d be nice to see more ladies my age doing things,” Rocky said. “I’d really like to see that.”
She’ll be competing in Las Vegas in November, hoping to break the bench press record.
She said she hopes she inspires others to questions their own limits.
“I’m doing it! If I’m doing it, they can do it!” Rocky said.
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