Super Senior: Barb DeAngelis

Published: Jan. 16, 2020 at 1:17 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

At the ReHab Gym in Barre, Barb DeAngelis is pumped up about weightlifting.

"I think it's really beneficial, both physically and mentally," DeAngelis said.

From the squats to the dead lift, she's all in.

Reporter Joe Carrol: You going to do more?

Barb DeAngelis: Oh sure, that's the point.

Standing just a smidge over 5-feet, the 75-year-old is living large in the power lifting world.

"She's really destroyed a lot of misconceptions about what older adults can do," said Hendrik Reinold, her trainer.

In December, for the first time, the United States Power Lifting Association came to Vermont. "That was a state and national record for her squat," Reinold said.

DeAngelis broke three national records for her age and weight group.

"Feel a little bit more 'bad ass' than I did before," DeAngelis said. "You might not recognize it, but older woman are sort of invisible in the world."

She's on a mission to change that perception, but she's also pushing the benefits of weightlifting.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Am I in good shape?

Barb DeAngelis: Ahhhhh, you...

Since she started pumping iron she says she feels half her age. "35ish in the inside, and part of why I feel that way is because I can do this!" DeAngelis said. "A year ago, I could just barely lift a 125... My one rep maximum for this is 155, but I don't do that everyday."

What's more remarkable is that she started weightlifting just two years ago. "I'm stunned. I had no idea I would be capable of doing this," she said.

The Long Island native fell in love and moved to Vermont in her 20s. After a long career as a physical therapist, she needed a little therapy on herself after she failed a bone density test -- a common occurrence with post-menopausal woman. Reinold suggested weight training.

"I had no clue. I thought that was for the grunting body builders," DeAngelis said.

Her biggest challenge is the bench press. "This is the one she doesn't have a national record in... yet," Reinold said.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You know, people are going to be gunning for your record.

Barb DeAngelis: Let them. Great, great, because they will be old ladies just like me!

Reporter Joe Carroll: 75-year-old bad ass.

Barb DeAngelis: Well, it's better than being invisible.

Raising the bar never felt so good. "My goal is to see how far I can go," DeAngelis said.