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Strength Training Expert to Speak on 'The Strength of Women' April 5

Jan Todd, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Texas at Austin who once was known as the strongest woman in the world, will give the fourth annual Warren Stewart Lecture at Old Dominion University on Thursday, April 5.

Her talk, "The Strength of Women: An Illustrated History," begins at 4 p.m. in the Hampton/Newport News Room of Webb Center. It is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the human movement sciences department in ODU's Darden College of Education, the lectureship is presented to emphasize the importance of wellness throughout the aging process and making changes in personal behavior with regard to diet and exercise. It is funded by an annual gift from Warren Stewart, an ODU alumnus and retired school system superintendent who currently serves as Virginia state president for AARP. Stewart is committed to the pursuit of wellness on both a personal and professional level.

Todd, the Roy J. McLean Fellow in Sport History at UT-Austin, is a sport historian and a well-known expert on strength training. She has written two books, "Physical Culture and the Body Beautiful: Purposive Exercise in the Lives of American Women" (Mercer University Press, 1998) and "Lift Your Way to Youthful Fitness" (Little-Brown, 1985).

In addition, Todd has written more than 100 articles in popular and scholarly journals on various aspects of strength training and exercise.

In the 1970s and early '80s, she was considered by both Sports Illustrated and the Guinness Book of Records to be the "strongest woman in the world." In 1982, she became the first woman inducted into the International Powerlifting Hall of Fame. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Association of Oldetime Barbell and Strongmen in 1992.

Todd set world records in five bodyweight classes during her 12-year powerlifting career. Her personal bests were 545 pounds in the squat and 1,230 pounds in the partial dead lift.

She was inducted into USA Powerlifting's Women's Hall of Fame in 2004, the Texas Powerlifting Hall of Fame in 2005 and the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2008, she was honored by the Oscar Heidenstam Foundation in England for her contributions to the field of physical culture.

This article was posted on: April 3, 2012

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