The Union Recorder

Top Stories

January 2, 2014

Should a 14-year-old try to deadlift 300 pounds?

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The freckle-faced Wonder Kid moves through a gym packed with powerlifters, gliding past the grunting, straining, muscle-bound adults.

In his middle school hallway outside of Baltimore, Jake Schellenschlager blends in with other eighth-graders, but here at the York Barbell Competition in York, Pa., the 14-year-old with a shock of red hair and toothy grin is a star. The Wonder Kid can lift more than twice his weight — a feat that impresses powerlifting aficionados and worries pediatricians who believe the sport poses risks to developing bodies.

On this day, Jake is hoping to set world or personal records.

Jake admits he is nervous as he waits for the announcer to call his name. The competition will pit Jake against himself. Although powerlifting is attracting increasing numbers of teens, there are no other competitors on this Saturday morning in his category — 14- to 15-year-olds at a weight class of 123 pounds.

Jake had been hoping to compete in the 114-pound category and spent the evening before at the gym, running on a treadmill, trying to drop water weight. In the morning, though, the scale in the bathroom of his Pasadena home in Anne Arundel County (Maryland) was stuck at 118.

He was hoping he'd somehow drop the rest on the drive with his mother and sisters to York. But when he steps onto a big digital scale, the attendant announces, "One nineteen."

Jake's eyes flash disappointment. "I was thinking if I would weigh in at 114, I could break records. Records are harder for the 123 class."

His mother assures him: "That's okay, Jake."

After the weigh-in, Jake straddles a bench to warm up on chest press. His trainer guides him as he lifts 155 pounds. Other powerlifters pass by and encourage him. Powerlifters share camaraderie, unlike bodybuilders, who compete in a world that is more about vanity and beauty. Powerlifters admire pure strength.

Text Only
Top Stories
Poll
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open