CHAFFORD POWERLIFTER Mike Joseph has come out of retirement in style to break the world masters record at the British Bench Press Champs in the midlands this weekend.
Let Mike tell it himself!
Mike said: “I competed in the lower bodyweight class (75kg) than the previous titles I had held (82.5kg), coming in just under weight @ 74.8kg
“Being over 40 I also qualified to lift in the masters category and my scores were entered into both the masters and open (all ages) categories.
“Having not competed at this level for nearly 2 years I was extremely nervous and unsure how I would do, although I am always confident in my ability I wasn’t sure how my body would hold up and how my previous injury would react, I assessed the other lifters in my category and the weight that they were likely to lift, before going to the weigh in to get weighed and give confirmation of my opening lift.
“For my opening lift, I elected to lift 165.5kg (this would be a new masters world record), the lift was very easy so I decided to attempt 173kg for my next lift (this would be a new WR in the open age class), the existing record was set by a Polish lifter in 1994
“This lift was very explosive and I lifted it with considerable ease, leaving me with my 3rd and final lift still to come.
By this stage I had comfortably won the competition with none of the other lifters anywhere near me and feeling strong I decided to try to push the record up by some margin and requested 180kg on the bar (this would be 2.4 x bodyweight)
I focussed on my lift, with my coach Derek Cope giving me final words of encouragement and got myself “in the zone”, as soon as “bar loaded” was called I approached the platform like a raging bull, accepted the bar handed out to me, lowered the bar to my chest and once the “bench” signal was given I exploded the lift toward the ceiling and awaited the judges signals to see if the lift had been given.
To my joy I got a white light off of all three judges and had really smashed my 10 minute old world record.
This made the two years of pain and hard work following injury worthwhile.
“By becoming British Champion I will now be invited to represent team GB in the forthcoming World Championship (held in Autun France in June) and also the European Championships (held in Lausanne in September) where I hope to further improve my lifts and prove that the king really is back.
I am now a double world record holder with records held in both the 75kg & 82.5kg class (198kg lift).