THE BLOG

RIGHT NEXT DOOR: Bev Francis, Former Bodybuilder

03/04/2015 12:58 pm ET | Updated May 02, 2015

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Francis wanted to be a ballet dancer --her young teenage body had other plans, and no longer conformed to the physiology necessary for such a career. So she embraced the change, pursuing weight training -- bulking up to become the first woman ever to bench-press more than 330 pounds -- and track and field, in which she was a two-time world champ. Despite the attention she garnered as the star attraction in Pumping Iron 2, she lives a relatively anonymous suburban life these days. Oh, she runs a gym that bears her name, but many of its members don't realize that the quiet and unassuming woman running the day-to-day operations at the "East Coast Mecca" is that Bev Francis.