What do you bench? Local power-lifter breaks his own record

Jon Wolbers traveled to Vegas last week to compete in the power-lifting world championships.

Jon Wolbers holds the trophies he won last week in Las Vegas at the WABDL World Championships

Jon Wolbers holds the trophies he won last week in Las Vegas at the WABDL World Championships

At 66, Jon Wolbers could be relaxing on a beach somewhere sipping fruity drinks and reminiscing about his greatest power-lifting exploits. The only problem is that for Wolbers, who already holds multiple world records, his greatest exploits might still be yet to come.

Last week the Abbotsford-based power-lifter was in Las Vegas for the World Association of Bench Pressers and Deadlifters (WABDL) World Championships. There he competed in the Law-Fire 64-plus division for athletes with a background in law enforcement or fire-fighting. Wolbers volunteers with the Abbotsford Police Department, as well as coaches Special Olympics athletes in power-lifting.

In Vegas, the senior citizen benched 380 pounds and dead-lifted 585 pounds to set a new world record (he’d set the previous record for his category, 584 pounds, in 2012). After watching video of the lift, Wolbers concluded that “it went up pretty easy,” and 67 might just be a number after all.

“Best [dead-lift] I ever did was when I’d just turned 60,” he said. “I did 607 pounds at 195 pounds body weight, so that’s three times my body weight. Still a world record.”

Wolbers practices his dead-lift at a gym in Mission, and benches on a rig in his house. Before he began lifting at age 42, he experimented with marathon running.

Beating his own record surprised Wolbers, who hadn’t considered that he might be ready to surpass some of his older accomplishments. Now that he’s back to 585 pounds, he might try to reach 600  again and set a new personal best.

“What I learned [in Vegas] was I thought maybe I’d peaked out and I wasn’t going to do any better,” he admitted, “but I think I still got some left in the tank. It kind of rejuvenated me.”

Wolbers also picked up the Best Overall Lifter award in the Masters division 48-plus category.

At 66, he’s yet to find his limit.

Just Posted

Mackenzie Byers of Abbotsford is the valedictorian for the School of Nursing at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.
Abbotsford woman is valedictorian of TRU school of nursing

Mackenzie Byers is graduating from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

Special weather statement issued for Fraser Valley as first summer heat arrives June 20, 2021, and set to persist all week. (Photo by James Day on Unsplash)
Second day of hot temperatures rippling across Fraser Valley

Communities from Abbotsford to Hope will see daytime high maximum temps of 32 degrees

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 following an assault. (File photo)
Trial underway in February 2020 death of White Rock senior

Ross Banner charged with manslaughter following Five Corners altercation

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read