Photo via @graoficial/Instagram

Instagram-famous weightlifter accused of using fake plates

Critics say there's no way she can squat that much.


Tess Cagle


Published Jun 5, 2017   Updated May 23, 2021, 4:10 am CDT

The online powerlifting scene has recently dealt with a slew of scandals pertaining to viral powerlifters accused of using fake weights. Now the community accuses Gracyanne Barbosa, a Brazilian Instagram-famous model, of using fake plates to attract followers.

Rumors first began when Nick’s Strength and Power, a YouTube channel with more than 98,000 subscribers, posted a lengthy video arguing Barbosa used fake weights in one of her training videos, in which she squats 495 pounds almost 10 times.

Nick Miller, the man behind the YouTube channel, worries Barbosa uses fake weights to get followers to like photos of her “fake butt.” Titling the video “Girls are using fake weights now too?” Miller detailed how he believes Barbosa is just one of many women who dishonestly attract an audience in the powerlifting community. For him, it’s a systemic issue.

“We’re seeing this all too frequently on Instagram,” Miller said in the video. “People are trying to get Insta-famous and post just extreme videos to try to get clicks and try to get likes and more exposure for themselves.”

Miller said Instagram models like Barbosa take attention away from “real female powerlifters.”

“By posting these fake weight and fake squat videos, they’re really mudding the waters of the real fitness industry and they’re really taking away the accomplishments of real female powerlifters that really squat that much,” he added.

Gracyanne Barbosa has more than 5 million followers on Instagram. Many of her lifting photos have been flooded with users questioning if she’s using fake plates.

“Ain’t no way she doing three plates for reps that easy,” one user wrote. “If she is please enter powerlifting you will dominate.”

Almost 610,000 viewers have watched Miller’s video to find out if the rumors are true. Barbosa has not yet commented on the issue.

H/T BroBible

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*First Published: Jun 5, 2017, 5:51 pm CDT