Sisters lifter sets deadlift record


Last updated 8/8/2023 at 10:02am

Photo Courtesy of Poorgamer

Julie Tadlock smashed records in the deadlift in a powerlifting championship competition in New Orleans last month.

Julie Tadlock loves lifting weights.

She acknowledges that she has an intense personality, and weightlifting helps her channel that intensity.

"I'm able to take my intensity to the barbell," she told The Nugget.

The Sisters woman took it to the barbell in exceptional fashion last month at the U.S. Powerlifting Association (USPA) national championships in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Tadlock, competing in the 50-54-year-old category and the 115-pound weight class, notched four consecutive world records in the deadlift with lifts of 102.5, 105, 107.5, and 110 kilograms (242.508 pounds). She broke the record on her first attempt, then proceeded to knock out progressively heavier lifts in each of her follow-on lifts. She outlifted her personal best of 109kg.

The deadlift is one of three powerlifting exercises - the others being bench press and squat. In a deadlift, a weighted barbell is lifted directly off the floor to hip level and brought back down again.

Crushing the record wasn't a given. Two years ago, in Houston, Texas, she faced a discouraging disappointment on the platform.

"I failed it," she recalled. "I didn't make the lift, and I hurt my back in the process. My technique was crappy, and I wasn't strong enough."

The lifter, who has trained with coach Ryan Hudson at Level 5 CrossFit Sisters for a decade, went back to the gym and started rebuilding.

She cleaned up her technique and did chiropractic work at Pangea Chiropractic in Bend to get her body properly aligned so she could exercise that technique. She uses Daybreak Wellness treatments for recovery from intense workouts. Hudson inspired her by coming back from a failed attempt at a world record to pick it off a year and a half later.

"I feel like he paved the way as far as motivating me - and his coaching, definitely," Tadlock said.

She credits the chiropractic work, the recovery treatments, and the inspirational coaching with getting her prepared to make her record-breaking effort.

Tadlock also brought a different outlook to the platform. She acknowledges that during the Houston competition she got too much in her head, and succumbed a bit to the pressure of the moment. In New Orleans, she decided to focus on the joy she gets from her lifting.

"I love lifting weights," she told herself. "Why not have fun with this? I'm just going to do what I love and take the pressure off myself."

She skipped out onto the platform - and made lift after record-breaking lift.

There's a touch of irony and a lot of inspiration in the fact that Tadlock's success came in a lift she had previously despised.

"I used to hate it, honestly," she said. "I think I've grown to love it because I've cleaned up my technique and I'm using the right muscles."

While she's justifiably proud of her measurable accomplishments, lifting touches more important but less quantifiable aspects of life.

"As I get older, I want to be strong and stay healthy," she said. "That's the deepest motivation I have."

Intense exercise gives her pleasure and serenity each day.

"It changes every aspect of my life, honestly," she said. "Even though it's just part of the day, it affects my whole day and it affects my whole body."

Deadlifting, in particular, provides a means to a kind of transcendence. At least that's the way she thinks of it.

"It's cheesy," she says. "It's a deadlift - but it's my 'life lift.'"

Tadlock's next tournament won't require an airplane flight. She has her sights set on a world championship masters competition in Eugene, Oregon, in October.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

Author photo

Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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