'It's a passion': Windsor woman breaks Canadian deadlift record

Windsor articling law student Haley Randall, 26, now holds the Canadian women's raw deadlift record across all federations and all weight classes.

Haley Randall is an articling law student by day — but spends her free time at the gym

Haley Randall lifted 247.48 kg (545.6 lbs) on Saturday. (Submitted by Haley Randall)

Windsor articling law student Haley Randall, 26, now holds the Canadian women's raw deadlift record across all federations and all weight classes.

At a StrongFit competition on Saturday in Smiths Falls, Ont. she lifted 247.48 kg (545.6 lbs), knocking the previous record of 234.9 kg (518 lbs).

"When I got there, the crowd was very, very electric and the whole energy of the whole day was just very exciting, and all through my warm ups, I just, you know, you feel it, and I knew," she said.

"I was like, 'I've got it today.'"

'I love feeling strong'

Randall has a background in baseball, but started power lifting about three years ago, and quickly fell in love with the sport.

"Being a woman and it being a sport that a lot of people I guess are surprised to hear that, you know, someone who is a woman, who works in a more like academic setting, they're surprised to hear that you do that," explained Randall, adding she enjoys the shock factor of that. 

"It's very primal, and I love feeling strong and feeling empowered so all of that stuff goes hand in hand with it."

Randall says the deadlift is her favourite power lift. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

She trains at the gym about four or five days a week which adds up to about seven to nine hours a week, while juggling her work at a law firm as an articling student.

It can get busy, but she said it helps that her husband Derek Randall is also her trainer.

"It's like our quality time that we spend together," she said.

"There's not really anything else I'd rather be doing with that time. It's a passion and it's a hobby, so I just make it work."

'Crazy gains'

Her husband said he knew she would be able to break the record at this weekend's event, especially since she'd already done it unofficially at the gym.

'She keeps making crazy gains day in and day out,' says Derek Randall, Haley Randall's husband and trainer. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

"She keeps making crazy gains day in and day out and she hasn't even come close to her potential."

He said she's come a long way, and just keeps getting stronger. 

Next up, she's getting ready for the World's Strongest Woman competition in December.

"I'm going to be a little fish in a very big pond, but I'm dying to see where I stack up there and see how it goes."

Beyond that, she's got her eye on breaking her own deadlift record — she's working toward lifting 272 kg (600 lbs).

About the Author

Katerina Georgieva is a multi-platform journalist with CBC Toronto. She has also worked for CBC in Windsor, Charlottetown, and Winnipeg.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.