Farmer, Hanson break bench records

2009-11-02T23:00:00Z Farmer, Hanson break bench recordsBy Sean Eamon of The Montana Standard - 11/03/2009 Montana Standard

Add two more records to the books for Charles Farmer and Dustin Hanson.

The Anacondans competed at the World Association of Benchers and Dead Lifters World Championships last week and broke bench press records.

Farmer ripped 585.1 pounds with an equipped shirt to set a new world record in the submaster 198-pound division. He eclipsed Oregonian Ben Brizendine's former record by one pound.

Hanson was a world-record breaker once again, lifting 380.6 pounds in the 132-pound junior division. He actually tied the new world record for men's open in that weight class.

Team Montana was represented by 10 lifters at the event.

Also making the trip was Terry Baldwin, a Missoulian who competes at 271 pound.

At 54 years young, he broke a masters record by benching 551 pounds.

Farmer gave himself a couple of black eyes in the process as he tried to bench 600 pounds. He blew blood vessels around his eyes.

"Sometimes I think it's not worth it," Farmer said. "Getting the world record was worth it. When I look at it I don't know if it's an ego thing, or if I just want to be strong, but I'm never satisfied." Hanson and Farmer introduced themselves to the world of power lifting a few years ago.

"I wouldn't be there if it wasn't for Charlie," Hanson said. "It takes him 45 minutes to get across a room because he has to stop and talk to everyone. He says nothing but good things and helps out when people have questions or need a spotter at meets. He's a real nice guy." The lifters sometimes wear equipped shirts, which force their arms forward in front of their chests narrowing a lifters' shoulders. The bench press shirts take some getting used to, but can produce some big-time numbers.

"The shirt squeezes the rest of your body," Farmer explained. "I've had to get strong to be able to control the weight. People think they'll wear that shirt and bench 50 pounds more. They're actually weaker." Hanson recalled the early days in their power lifting careers when the two showed up at a bench competition without the shirts.

"When we started everyone had the shirts and we went in there raw," Hanson said. "It was like bringing a knife to a gun show." The world championship competition usually attracts more than 700 lifters. This year in Reno, Nev. more than 500 competed.

This year was Hanson and Farmer's second trip to Nevada to compete in the championships. Both broke world records last year.

Lifters from as far as China compete in the event. Farmer was paired with a Finnish lifter.

The bench press competition involved two side judges and a back judge. Lifters have to finish within 60 seconds and are ordered when to press and rack.

Lifters have to stop the bar at their chest for the press command. They stop again with arms fully extended for the rack command.

Hanson, a student at University of Montana Western, will compete in both open and junior divisions next year. The next closest competitor in his division lifted 302 pounds, more than 70 pounds less than Hanson's lift.

"I don't think he's taken second ever," Farmer said. "He's just a freak of nature. You're going to see huge numbers from him in the future." Also accompanying the duo were area residents Cormac Moore and Jamie Clawson. Most of the other lifters on Team Montana hail from the Missoula area or Idaho.

The lifters meet in either Anaconda at Goosetown or at Missoula's Baldwin Fitness Training once a week to practice lifting with their specialized shirts.

The WABDL will have a competition in Missoula in March.

Other lifters for Team Montana at the WABDL World Championships in Reno, Nev.

181 pounds — Joe Pablo, 54, of Arlee took first place benching 325 pounds.

148 — Skip Schacher, 73, of Ronan benched took first place benching 165 pounds.

214 — Harold Smith, 77, of Montana set a new world record benching 345 pounds Jamie Clawson of Anaconda placed second in dead lift pulling 270.8 pounds.

Other competing lifters included Cormac Moore, Don Linerud, Ike Pablo and Joe Pablo Jr.

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