back to top

This Teen Powerlifter Is Setting World Records And Acing Her Classes

LeeAnn Hewitt balances lifting, school, volunteer work, and more like a boss.

Posted on

Since moving to Florida from Jamaica at 4 years old, Hewitt has emerged at the top of her high school's Equine Pre-Veterinary Program, has earned membership in the National Honor Society and Chemistry Honor Society, and has just about completed her AICE diploma.


"I was recruited me to join the girls weightlifting team by my current coach and former leadership teacher," Hewitt tells BuzzFeed. "After I competed in my second state championship, I decided to pursue lifting outside of school. That's when I discovered powerlifting."

Later, at the Arnold Sports Festival, Hewitt broke six world records and became the strongest woman in her weight class' sub-junior category in squat, bench, deadlift, and total (which was 1,268 pounds, by the way).

Instagram: @hewittleeann

And at the Raw Nationals (shown above), she became her weight class' strongest teen in America, securing her spot on the U.S.A Powerlifting National Team.

Still, she hasn't let school take a back seat. "I sometimes find myself studying for exams while lifting," she says.

hewittleeann / Via

Outside of lifting and academics, Hewitt is also active in volunteer work (with veterinarians, in schools, and on local beach cleanups), as well as art including pottery, painting, and photography.


Impressed yet? She's also done it all with diabetes.

hewittleeann / Via

"I have to check between lifts and during competition to make sure I'm lifting at safe blood sugar levels," says Hewitt. "I also have to monitor my diet to maintain proper sugar levels in order to lift."

Hewitt attributes her success to her family's love and support, as well as her faith.

hewittleeann / Via

"I draw my strength from my faith and trust in God, and from my mom, who is my toughest coach and biggest cheerleader," she says.

Among Hewitt's goals are to become the first woman to squat 1,000 pounds raw (without supportive gear), and to become an Olympic gold medalist for powerlifting. There's just one problem.

hewittleeann / Via

"This would mean, first, that powerlifting would have to be recognized to be an Olympic sport," she says, "just like weightlifting."

"I would like to use my successes to inspire others who may be struggling in any way to remember that anything is possible," Hewitt tells BuzzFeed.

hewittleeann / Via

"Remain strong. Dream big, rise above adversity, and believe in yourself even when your goal seems unattainable."