The load on the lumbar spine was calculated in eight power lifters when they executed an extremely heavy lift. The calculated load on L3 as well as the total load lifted during training in the last year were related to the bone mineral content (BMC) in the L3 as determined with dual photon absorptiometry. The loads on L3 in the lifters ranged between 18.8 and 36.4 kN. The BMC values were extremely high and closely correlated to the amount of weight lifted during training (r2= 0.82). The study showed that intensive training will increase the BMC to an extent that the spine can tolerate extraordinary loads.