County man lifts his way to Us team at age 66

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    SPARTA-At 66 years of age, Sparta's Bill Phillips, has broken a world record at the Bench Press Nationals. He smashed the 2003 record of 380 lbs. with a weight of 424.4 lbs. The event was held on Sept. 11 in Killeen, TX. Phillips' profession as a mason gave him a head start in his power lifting career. He got involved in working out at the gym after he had done some masonry work for the Sparta Athletic Club in 1997. Just being there, peeked his interest in working out and he's been lifting weights competitively ever since. He now works out twice a week and competes in four meets per year. The sport of power lifting is broken down into three categories; squat, dead and bench press. Phillips is known as a bench press specialist and does not compete in the other two categories. He currently holds the American, the National and the World record for his age group of 65-69 in the 198lb. (or 90 kg.) weight class. With his new world record, Phillips will be invited to join the US team that will compete in the next world event in Prague, Chech Republic in April of 2005. There are only 50 members on the team, which includes men and women from 11 different weight classes. "I'm 66 years old now, it's hard to believe I can still have increases in bench presses. I plan to keep at it until I start having no increases and going backwards. There's no point after that. I do however, still plan on working out just to stay healthy," said Phillips. "I feel it is very important to keep active. I think it is a big factor in good health, plus I enjoy working out, it's fun." In addition to all of the achievements Phillips has earned this year, he was also chosen from men ages 40+ and from seven different weight classes, as Outstanding Lifter in his Master Class. "I was really honored to get that award as there were a lot of good lifters there," stated Phillips. His personal best was 440lbs. which he lifted on Aug. 14, at a local tournament in Rockaway.