The World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters saw something amazing on Saturday. Sy Perlis, 91, broke the previously held record in the 90-and-over age division at the National Push-Pull Bench Press and Dead Lift Championships in Phoenix.
The record had stood at 135 pounds since 2005, notes MSN Now. Perlis broke the record in one go. The record now stands at a whopping 187.2 pounds.
Some might doubt the ability of anyone over the age of, say, 40, to take serious part in a show of athleticism. Apparently, though, Perilis “began weightlifting when he was 60,” and began entering competitions over the past five years, late into his 80s.
Granted, lifting weights does not exactly require the amount of lung capacity and muscular endurance that some other sports might. But the record is something to be proud of regardless.
“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 says. “I got a lot of satisfaction out of [the competition], and it made me feel good, and it was good for me.”
Experts agree there are great benefits to maintaining an active lifestyle through old age. Chanda Dutta, chief of the Clinical Gerontology Branch of the National Institute on Aging, said “While [people like Perlis] are unusual and exceptional, they illustrate the fact that there can still be people, even in their 90s, who age very successfully.” She adds that it’s simply “a common misconception that exercise is unsafe for older people.”
Moral of the story: think twice before messing with an "old" guy.