Shawna Mendelson

Back in 2000, I started training in powerlifting at a gym called Iron Island Gym in Oceanside NY.  When I first started training, I thought I was only going to be a bench specialist like my brother Scot. Reason I came to this conclusion was because from being an active kid my entire life, the cartilage in my knees at that time had just started to disintegrate.  I didn’t think I was going to be able to be competitive in the squat or deadlift.  Well I was hugely mistaken. I was introduced to a couple of powerlifters who were on the scene, and competing at that time in all 3 lifts. So, I called them up went down for a test day next thing you know I am training for all three events. I was hooked on day one.

Six months after training, I decided to compete in my first meet. I squatted 400, Benched 230, and pulled 330. Six months after that I competed in my very first nationals. I have not stopped ever since.

I am now a 14-time World Powerlifting Champion, 10-time US National Powerlifting Champion, and I am listed in the Women’s Top 20 and top 100 Strongest of All Time. My most successful lifts are 660lb squat, 465 bench press, and a 525 deadlift.  I have in the last 3 years started to also compete in the National Physique Committee as a competitive bodybuilder. I just wanted challenge myself a little differently. Although I do enjoy bodybuilding, I love the world of strength sports; this is what I was born to do.

I coach a team on Long Island out of a gym called All Natural gym in Lindenhurst NY.  We are called Blue Collar Barbell.  We have a team of about 15 guys at all levels of competition. It’s awesome; we truly work together as one unit. I am also the New York State chairman and Official Judge of the American Powerlifting Federation/American Amateur Powerlifting Federation.  We usually run about 3 meets a year. We do what we can to keep the sport alive in New York State our meets seem to be growing every year!

What’s up next for me as far as my powerlifting career is, I will be competing at the 2012 Olympia in the 165lb weight class in Las Vegas Nevada on September 28th. I am really looking forward to this meet. I am going to be on the platform with some amazing women, and I am just looking forward to being out there again and doing my job.

I think I will always be involved in strength sports in some capacity.  I feel blessed that I am able to do what I do, and that I am also able to give back.

I want to personally thank Blue Collar Barbell, Scot Mendelson, Kerry Overfelt, for all of their continued support always.  John Inzer and Inzer advanced Designs for all of his support and for believing in me after all of these years, Proloc Collars for helping sponsor our team, Tim Denison Law for his help and sponsorship for the Olympia. Without these people and organizations I could not do what I do.

If anyone is interested in training with me either for strength,  or everyday fitness,  I can be reached at  or you can email me at


2 thoughts on “Shawna Mendelson

  1. It is no secret how I feel about you personally and proffesionaly so bear with me while I tell you once again. you are a true inspiration . You have helped me strengthen not only my body, but my soul as well. Not only from the time spent with you as my personal trainer but from watching you set your sights on a goal and never taking your eyes off it no matter how physically or mentally demanding the task of reaching that goal is . You never falter. The words “I can’t ” are no longer in my vocabulary due to your belief in me and the constant strength you exhibit in your personal and proffesional life. You Rock!!!!!
    Leslie Socol

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