BARKER, N.Y. (WIVB) – Rae-Ann Miller says breaking the women’s all-time bench press record was a “weight off of her shoulders”.

The Niagara Falls native and Barker resident put up 605 lbs. at the 2021 Metal Militia (MM) National Power Lifting Invitational last month in Erie, Pa. – making it a very heavy weight off of her shoulders, indeed.

“It was a relief because I’ve been working at it so long,” Miller said. “We get three lifts, so I tried it before and missed it, and the third time I got it.”

With the 605 lbs. lift, Miller broke the previous record of 600.7 lbs. set by Becca Swanson.

Miller acknowledged Swanson in an Instagram post about the record, saying “She has been in my corner for a long time. She was, is and always will be the strongest woman ever.”

Miller has been lifting for years – and her husband, Jeffrey, got her into the sport.

“He was always in the gym lifting,” Miller, 45, said. “He brought me to the gym one day, and I did well, I enjoyed it – and that’s what I’ve been doing.”

Miller says she usually trains three times a week and competes twice or three times per year.

“It’s kind of cool, because I say I’m from Barker, and they say ‘where’s that?'” Miller said.

Miller is sponsored by Anderson Powerlifting, and shares many of her training videos on her Facebook and Instagram pages.

Her advice to anyone who wants to try to sport of powerlifting?

“I think they should go for it,” Miller said. “Powerlifting is for anybody, regardless of size or age – it’s something you can prove to yourself you can do, because it’s you against the weights.”

Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.