Grandmother, 78, goes viral with 225-pound deadlift

By Ben Hooper   |   March 30, 2016 at 2:10 PM
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EAST ALTON, Ill., March 30 (UPI) -- A 78-year-old Illinois grandmother is becoming a viral celebrity thanks to video showing her deadlifting a staggering 225 pounds.

Shirley Webb, 78, of East Alton, said she joined a gym at the urging of her granddaughter in April 2014 and she soon took up weightlifting for the first time in her life.

She said her trainer quickly realized she had a skill for deadlifting.

"My trainer realized that I was kind of strong, so he kept adding weights,'' she told

Webb is now a record-setting deadlifter, setting age group records in Illinois and Missouri.

The grandmother said she is aiming for a personal best -- 260 pounds -- at her next competition in June.

Webb's admirers include NFL superstar JJ Watt, who gave her a shout-out on Twitter.

"I'm just trying to live to 78, much less deadlift at 78. Touché to you Shirley!" he tweeted.

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