Nursing assistant repeatedly breaks world record for powerlifting

Apr 16, 2014

A certified nursing assistant at Salem Hospital has become a worldwide powerhouse away from her job, while pursuing her passion for powerlifting.

Most people would never know it by looking at Christie Luehrs, who is 5’1” and 130 pounds.

“My parents taught me to be independent,” said Luehrs. “So I equated it with strength. I needed to be strong.” Luehrs, of Salem, has worked at Salem Hospital for nearly 10 years as a certified nursing assistant. She often helps lift and move patients, which sometimes can be challenging.

Luehrs developed her interest in weightlifting in high school. After years of training and countless hours working out, she set a personal goal to break the open world record for powerlifting. The dream came true 13 years later in November 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada, when Luehrs bench-pressed 249 pounds.

Luehrs has since broken that world record three times. In 2013, she benched 251 pounds at an event in Reno, Nevada. In March 2014 in Portland, she bench-pressed 253 and then 264 pounds—more than two times her own body weight.

Luehrs says this is only the beginning of her journey. “I really want to get into the 300 pound mark for bench pressing,” she said. “I want to be healthy and live a good, long life. I just have to eat right, exercise and take good care of myself. I want to motivate others to do the same.”

Salem Health produced a video about Luehrs, available on YouTube at http://youtu.be/M4yzKM_Ovc0.

Salem Hospital is part of Salem Health, along with West Valley Hospital, Willamette Health Partners and other affiliated health care organizations offering exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. Salem Hospital received the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ from Healthgrades in 2014, placing it among the top 5 percent of more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide. Visit us at salemhealth.org; “Like” us on facebook.com/salemhealth; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at youtube.com/salemhealth.

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