Virginia ranks 2nd, Maryland finishes 10th in physically strongest states ranking

If there’s one thing everyone in the D.C. region has wanted to know, it’s who has the strongest residents. At long last, we have the answer.

Lift Vault, an online resource for strength training, analyzed the average weight put up by each state’s best lifters over the past five years to determine that Virginia is the second strongest state in the nation, while Maryland is the 10th strongest.

Lift Vault assessed three key exercises to dictate their rankings: the squat, bench press and deadlift.

According to the averages, Maryland actually tops Virginia in average weight for all three lifts.  Virginia’s squat (562 pounds), bench press (364 pounds) and deadlift (638 pounds) weights fall short of the totals put up by Maryland in the same exercises (608 pounds in squat, 387 pounds in bench and 653 pounds in deadlift).

But this wasn’t a case of meathead-math-gone-bad — Lift Vault’s rankings are primarily driven by the Wilks score, which allows a person to estimate their weightlifting abilities and compare themselves to other lifters regardless of body weight or sex.

The relative strength of some of Virginia’s lighter lifters was likely why it pulled ahead. The state’s lifters had an average body weight of 168 pounds; Maryland, meanwhile had an average bodyweight of 211 pounds.

Samantha Calhoun, a Virginia native and Old Dominion University graduate, is a two-time USA Powerlifting champion at 63kg (or about 139lbs). She is ranked as 10th strongest lifter in the country by her Wilks score and probably deserves a good bit of credit for her state getting bragging rights in this category.

So next time Virginians see Marylanders out and about, remind them to get their weight up.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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