A 91-year-old man set a new World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters record Saturday when he bench pressed 187.2 pounds at the National Push-Pull Bench Press and Dead Lift Championships. Sy Perlis, of Surprise, Arizona, shattered the old association record of 135 pounds that had been in place since 2005.
Perlis, who only began lifting competitively five years ago, has already won the state title in 2009 and world titles in 2010 and 2011 in the 181-pound weight class. Under traditional association guidelines, competitors are only allowed a total of three lifts. On Saturday, Perlis was allowed to do five.
"We've had a lot of lifters in their middle 80s, late 80s and occasionally we get one 90 and over,” said association president Gus Rethwisch, “But they've never inspired people [like Perlis has].”