John Bennett may be the strongest 83-year-old alive. At least he can claim the title in the deadlift, where he set a world record, lifting 325 pounds.

John has been a lifelong weightlifter. When he went to college in 1970 at 30 years old, he set a few college records. But weights were hard to come by says John, “I used to do chin-ups off trees in my backyard.”

After a lifetime of staying active, John finally decided it was time to compete. A friend urged him to see if he could set a new world record in the 81-85-year-old, 220-pound weight class. The previous record was 270.

Years and years of fine-tuning his deadlift have made John somewhat of an expert in the deadlift. Here are a few of his tips:

“The thing about deadlift is, you have to remember, the power comes from the glutes,” explains John.

  • Power comes from the glutes, not your back.
  • Your back will stabilize, not lift.
  • The bar starts on the floor, mid-foot, against your shins.
  • Keep your head in line, don’t exaggerate it.
  • Don’t let your shoulders drop. Keep everything square.
  • When you’re ready to lift, everything moves at the same time.
  • The descent is the same as the ascent.