by Stacy Smith, Leisure World News
When powerlifter Charles “Chuck” Lund turns 75 years old in March, he will be on track to beating the highest world record of pounds lifted – 450 pounds for a squat, bench press and deadlift – by someone in his age category.
What might seem impossible to some seems likely for Lund; he lifted 533 pounds at his last meet and is on the verge of lifting 600 pounds – his goal for next year. This year alone, he’s broken state and national records held by the United States Powerlifting Coalition (USPC) and World Powerlifting USA (correction made per Charles Lund).
The septuagenarian, who says he’s not athletically gifted but has always been very strong, switched from boxing to weightlifting at 54 years old, and has loved every minute of it ever since. Lund will compete in a USPC meet on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 9 a.m. at the Frederick, Maryland, fairgrounds.
Although Lund was initially discouraged that he’d lost a great deal of strength in his fifties, he found he was able to lift more and more weight over time, and that he was indeed competitive with those in his age and weight group.
Following a few years with a great coach, Lund qualified for a USA Powerlifting tournament at 57 years old in 2004 and took first place in his weight and age categories, lifting more than 1,000 pounds total.
When Lund and his wife moved from Tucson, Arizona, to Silver Spring, Maryland, four years ago, Lund started working with strength resistance bands following a treatment regimen for stage 3 melanoma, which is now in remission.
In October 2020, the couple moved to Leisure World, where Lund began working with fitness trainer Sam Ellis in the Fitness Center in Clubhouse II. Lund wanted to move from resistance bands to free weights, and Ellis agreed to help.
“I’m grateful to Sam for helping me to lift safely at my age. We worked this past year on correct form and strength training [for] squat, bench press and deadlift,” he says. Squat, bench press and deadlift are forms of weightlifting that work different muscles.
Lund has learned along the way when to push himself and when to take it easy.
“Lifting more and more weight very gradually is important,” he says, adding that powerlifters should lift enough weight to destroy muscle tissue to a point that it can build itself back even stronger, but not so much weight that the muscle tissue can’t repair itself within a reasonable time.
Lund says that days off from weightlifting are critical. “Too many lifters lift too often or lift too soon after an injury,” he says. Lund has never had a serious injury from weightlifting.
Boxing and weightlifting are lifelong passions for Lund, activities he’s participated in ever since he was a kid. He’s even inspired his grandson, who just graduated high school, to start powerlifting.
Now, as Lund ages, he’s “obsessed with life-extension and health strategies.” With his doctor’s approval, he takes extra protein powder, niacinamide (B vitamin) and quercetin and pterostilbene, which are rich in antioxidants. His blood pressure and cholesterol are at lifetime lows.
“I feel as good as I have at any time in my life. I’m slower and less strong and have some memory issues, but at least I feel as great as ever,” Lund says.
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Presented to you by the USPC & WPUSA:
The United States Powerlifting Coalition was created to provide powerlifters an atmosphere where they can be comfortable in a safe, lifting environment. We utilize a monolift on the platform in order to provide the best experience for both lifters and spotters and to promote safety and confidence when squatting; a fat pad bench with face savers and Texas squat, power and deadlift bars on the platform.