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Moon aiming for bench record at Georgia Games
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Georgia Games

What: Weightlifting meet

When: 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Iron Beast Barbell, Gainesville

Admission: Free

Gainesville’s Tim Moon is gunning for an American record.

Competing in the weightlifting portion of the Georgia Games on Saturday, Moon will try to break the previous USA Powerlifting bench press record of 660 pounds during the afternoon session in his home gym at the Iron Beast Barbell on Shallowford Road in Gainesville.

“I’d like to invite everyone out to watch and see what we’re doing,” Moon said.

Moon, one of 56 registered lifters ranging in age from 14-60, said the plan is to open up with a bench press of 635. Then on the second lift, he’ll aim for either 661 or 662 to set the new record.

This is territory he’s already been in before. During a recent meet last month, Moon, strictly a bench press competitor, lifted a new personal best of 710.

“If I can earn the American record, it’ll be a nice honor,” said the 48-year old Moon. “I’ve trained hard and put a lot of work into it.”

The powerlifting portion of the event, also at the Iron Beast Barbell, combines a lifters best bench press, dead lift and squat for one total. There’s also a push-pull category with the bench press and dead lift.

Contest director Josh Rohr says that Moon will certainly be the headliner on the bench press.

“You’re not going to walk into your local gym and see someone benching in the high 600’s,” said Rohr. “Tim’s competing at the very, very highest level.”

The meet also uses the Olympic standard for drug testing. Moon says that’s a good way to send a message to kids that you can become a record-setting lifter and not use performance-enhancing agents.

“That’s a big thing to let folks know that you can be drug free,” said Moon, who will be part of a seven-person mission trip to Bolivia later this month.

On his mission trip with two of his daughters and his brother, Moon plans to put on a weightlifting demonstration as a way of helping to spread his faith in God and talk about a drug-free lifestyle.

Moon is hoping for a top-three spot to qualify for the national meet Aug. 25-26 in Palm Springs, Calif.

The ultimate dream is to earn a berth at nationals and travel to the Arnold Sports Festival in Feb. 2013 in Columbus, Ohio.

In the bench press, athletes in the Georgia Games are required to hold the bar still after lifting it off the rack, then wait for a judge to give the go-ahead to let the weight down to touch the chest.

For your every day lifter that might not seem like a big deal, but when you’re talking about more than 600 pounds balanced in the palms of your hands, a second could seem like an eternity.

The Georgia Games is not just weightlifting.

It offers sports ranging from track and field to table tennis.

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