By: Krystle Crossman
As a young teenager Julia Vins from Engels, Russia struggled to find meaning and purpose in her life. She felt lost and couldn’t quite figure out a path that she would feel happy on. One day she decided that she was going to go to the gym. She didn’t want to start with any sports in particular. She just wanted to work out. There she found her passion and something that has transformed her life and her body completely. Vins is now 18 and can deadlift 400 pounds with ease. She began powerlifting and felt like she had finally found some meaning to her life.
Vins’ appearance often throws people off track. She has beautiful wavy golden hair, soft features, porcelain white skin, and amazingly large doe-eyes. But once you get past her neck she is a she-Hulk! Her arms are muscular and look like what you would expect to see on a male bodybuilder, but not a female. She says that people in her town call her “muscle Barbie”. She likes the contrast of the two and states that men are confused by her appearance but if they are put off by it they are just jealous because she is more athletic than she is.
Vins currently holds three different powerlifting world records. She loves taking photos of herself topless, mostly of her back, to show off her broad shoulders, muscly arms, and slender waist. Vins loves to wear make-up and look girly, but has trouble finding clothes that fit because of her unique shape. Many shirts that are made for women will fit her waist but her arms will not fit in the sleeves. Her biceps are 15 inches around. She is only 5’3” but weighs in at 161 pounds, all because of the muscle.
Her boyfriend, 29 year old Sergei, goes to the gym and lifts with her. A coach that was at the gym that she would train at saw that she had great potential as a weightlifter and began to work with her. She won the World Powerlifting Championship in Moscow in August 2014. During this time she set the world records for lifting 396 pounds in a squat, 364 pounds in a deadlift, and 230 pounds in a bench press.