| PHOENIX, June 14
PHOENIX, June 14 A barrel-chested 91-year-old
strongman from Arizona shattered the world record for the bench
press in his dwindling age group, with a lift of 187.2 pounds -
some 50 pounds more than the previous record.
Sy Perlis bested the record of 135 pounds set in 2005 during
a national competition last weekend in Phoenix as the lone
participant in the 90-year-old and over division, competition
"He's pretty amazing, there's no doubt about it," said Gus
Rethwisch, president of the World Association of Benchers and
Deadlifters, who witnessed Perlis' record lift. "He looks like
he could be in his 70s. He's in great shape."
Perlis, who won world titles in 2010 and 2011 in the
85-year-old to 89-year-old division, told the Arizona Republic
newspaper that he started hitting the weights when he was 60
years old. He did not enter a championship competition until
five years ago at the suggestion of his trainer.
"It gave me the opportunity to do something to test myself
for one thing, and I didn't have to run around to do it as you
would in some other sports," Perlis told the newspaper.
"I got a lot of satisfaction out of it and it made me feel
good and it was good for me."
Perlis said he trains five days a week with a regimen that
includes weightlifting and cardiovascular work.
Perlis told the newspaper that his doctor is aware of his
competitive pursuits, and has said, "If you can do it, do it."
Rethwisch said the record lift qualified Perlis for the
world championships on Nov. 5 in Reno, Nevada. Perlis has told
tournament organizers he will compete.
(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Bill Trott)