"Feeling strong is part of who I am now": This women-only powerlifting competition is seriously badass

The winner of the Iron Maidens Raw Open deadlifted 405 lbs.

Published March 8, 2016 5:50PM (EST)

Early Saturday morning 65 women — aged 25 to 70 — arrived at a 5,000-square-foot former garage space in Brooklyn to compete in a female-only weightlifting competition.

The Iron Maidens Raw Open was founded five years ago at Crossfit South Brooklyn to give women a place to compete in three powerlifts: the deadlift, squat and bench press.

“Iron Maidens is at its heart a celebration of women who prioritize strength training,” Margie Lempert, the events founder, said. And the weights these women are pulling are astounding.

Sherine Marcelle, who came in first in her weight group, deadlifted 405 lbs., squatted 305 lbs.and bench pressed 135. The competition's oldest participant Linda Lempert squatted 60 lbs., bench pressed 62.5 and deadlifted 105lbs.

Check out our video — these women are truly badass.

By Janet Upadhye

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Iron Maidens Original Video