John Bernasconi, a 51-year-old maths teacher from Concord school near Shrewsbury, has lifted a record-breaking 207.5 kilograms in the bench press at the British power lifting championships.
In the over 50s category, he beat the previous record of 202.5 kilograms for the bench press super heavyweight category, held by an American for the last seven years.
Twenty-two stone John is waiting for the statutory ratification from America, including the results of compulsory drug tests, before he is issued with a certificate confirming his world record.
In between teaching his maths classes at Concord, he said: “To achieve the world record is a relief if anything. It’s been all about perseverance and routine.
“Perseverance has meant continuing to do the right things and watching my diet. My preparation has been focused on that particular event and for the last couple of months I have engaged a professional trainer.
“It’s been about pyramiding up and keeping myself in the best possible condition that you can at that point in time.”
John, of Bridgnorth, has been a regular power lifter for over 32 years. In his build-up to the world record breaking attempt, he has been training twice a week for two and a half hours at a time. “It’s about quality rather than quantity,” he said. “I am now happy and relieved.”
Concord Principal, Mr Neil Hawkins, said: “We are all so proud of John for this remarkable achievement. Not only is it a wonderful personal achievement but also a massive inspiration to Concord’s students. John has shown us all what can be achieved with hard work, dedication and determination. Age does not come in to it.”
See him lifting 207.5 kg on YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVVbLDjDok