In June 2013 Sy Perlis (age 91) set a new world record in the 90-and-over weightlifting class. The Surprise, Arizona native competed at the USA National Push-Pull Bench Press and Dead Lift Championships, and his final hoist of 187.5 pounds was good for the record books.
Perlis, a World War II veteran who didn’t start lifting until he was 60, dominated the 85-to-90 age group before transitioning into the 90-and-over class. He had to sit out last year after surgery to fix a hernia and implant a pacemaker. Now he works out five days per week.
“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 said. “I got a lot of satisfaction out of it, and it made me feel good, and it was good for me.”
Perlis’ hobby hasn’t just been beneficial for him, it’s also motivated his wife.
“I always say if it weren’t for my husband, I’d be at home watching TV and eating bonbons,” Joan Perlis, 69, added. “He’s my motivator. He makes me work out, too.”
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