Benson sets world squat record

Jim Benson of Smarr set a new world record squat of 1,150 pounds in the 242-pound weight class at a competition in Gray on Sept. 10.

Monroe County’s own Jim Benson set a new Southern Powerlifting Federation (SPF) world record for heaviest squat at a powerlifting competition in Gray on Sept. 10.

While competing at the Flex Classic at Gray’s Flex Fitness gym, Benson squatted the most pounds ever in the 242-pound weight class by squatting 1,150 pounds to set a new all-time SPF world record.

Benson, 30, said the lift of 1,150 pounds was a new personal record as well having never before reached the amount in training. Benson squatted 1,050 pounds in his first attempt before upping his weight by 100 pounds. He initially tried to post a new world record mark at a competition in Orlando, Fla. in May, but he failed three times to lift 1,146 pounds. Benson said the previous world record squat mark was 1,140 pounds, which was set in 2009.

In order for the new squat record to stand, Benson also had to complete successful bench presses and deadlifts. Benson said he didn’t try to maximize his bench or deadlift, recording weights of 405 pounds and 600 pounds, respectively, in order to save his strength for the squat competition.

Benson said there were about 30 other competitors at the Gray competition, as well as his parents Jim and Lisa Benson, and they all stopped to watch his record squat before applauding his performance when he had achieved the goal. He said it’s ironic he set the record in September because the meet came on the heels of one of the worst training cycles of his lifting career. Benson said he got over the training struggles by taking a longer break than normal between training and the September competition. He said he also stayed on top of his protein and food intake, which include 7,000 to 8,000 calories daily, and improved his sleep habits.

Benson, who previously missed over a year of action following a major knee injury, said of his record-breaking achievement: “It was definitely a good moment to have,” Benson said. “It took three years to get over my knee injury.”

Benson said he wanted to thank his sponsors for the September meet which included: Connie Ham Mid-Georgia Realty, Dr. Deena Holliman Smith, Boondocks, Dairy Queen and Walker Chiropractic. Benson also runs his own Macon-based gym, Dirty South Barbell, on Terminal Ave. He said the gym, which features personal training, appeals to professional weightlifters and fighters, as well as ordinary people looking to get stronger or fit. For more information, contact Benson at 478-214-6886 or Shane Hammock at 478-542-0070.