Members of the Georgia IronDawgs are no strangers to world records and world championships in various associations. Now, an IronDawg can make a legitimate claim to being the best bench-presser in history for his weight class and division. Lifting in the single-ply, 132-pound Men’s Junior Division at the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters National Championships in Nashville, Tenn., Dahlonega’s Eric Head, a Lumpkin County grad, set the all-time bench press record for his class with 501 pounds — almost four times his body weight.
“Eric beat the existing (WABDL) world record by 180 pounds!” IronDawg team captain and coach Mike Kidd said.
After a look at the all-time, all-association world records compiled by Powerlifting Watch, it turns out that Head’s feat is even more impressive. The 501-pound lift beat the overall 132-pound class world mark of 490.5 pounds set by Russia’s Ayrat Zakiyev in Miskolc, Hungary, in 2006. The all-time American record, according to PLW, was 468 pounds by Mike Kuhns set in 2009.
“It went pretty good,” Head said. “I was hoping for more; but I can’t really complain I guess. (The all-time record is) a good little birthday present.”
Head turned 25 on Saturday, the day of the meet; and took home the bench press Best-Lifter award in addition to the record and the title.
Georgia IronDawgs Joey Murphy and Tim Moon also won individual WABDL Championships. Murphy of Mount Airy took the Master’s Men’s 40-46-year-old, 259-pound, single-ply class with a 661-pound press. Moon of Gainesville, set an all-time personal record of 661 pounds on a fourth lift in the Master’s Men’s 47-53, double-ply 259.
Kidd pointed out that Moon also had a WABDL world record press, while Murphy’s lift set a state record.
Moon has battled through shoulder tendonitis and regulating his diabetes to break this latest record.
“Well praise God! He has made me strong,” Moon said. “I did 606 and 628 and finished with my personal best of 661 pounds. I had a fun day. (We all had a) pretty good day lifting.”
Moon noted he’d broken the record in his class by about 90 pounds. He also thanked Brenau University strength coach Gary Hatfield for making the trip to help in preparation. For his part, Hatfield said he was sore from doling out about 10,000 pounds of weight. He also noted that Head had narrowly missed about 529 pounds, which would have been four times his body weight.
The meet will be a feature on this week’s edition of Hall County Sports Television on Charter Cable channels 19 and 23 and on the NGPTV channel on YouTube later this week.
Next up for some of the IronDawgs will be the Georgia Games State Meet on Saturday at Iron Beast Barbell off Shallowford Road in Gainesville. Moon said he’ll lift again Saturday. Head has said he plans to attend to support the team, but he is not expected to lift.
“I can already tell I’m going to be pretty beat up,” Head said, tired but happy.