Great-grandad still power lifting at 80
PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 November 2015 | UPDATED: 08:25 25 November 2015
As the evenings get colder and darker making it to the gym can be a battle for even the most strong-willed.
But, 80-year-old Arthur Boulton – who can bench press 395 pounds – has no problem.
For the ex-marine power lifting is “as natural as eating breakfast”.
Arthur, who trains at Stan’s Gym, Aveley Road, Upminster, began working out as he recovered from a neck injury sustained while practicing judo with the marines.
He said. “My neck got so big the guys said I had better get the rest of my body the same size. I couldn’t get back to Judo but I worked on the rest.”
Arthur, who lived in Elm Park for more than 30 years before moving to Benfleet, has competed in power lifting competitions and taken British Amateur Weight Lifters’ Association (BAWLA) assessments.
While in his 40s Arthur could dead lift 480lb and squat 590lb, but keeps it to an impressive 200 pounds now he has reached his eighth decade.
“Talking to Stan [the gym’s owner] you would think I was the strongest man in Britain.
“I’m not, but it’s not bad for 80 I guess – I’ve done it all my life.”
Weight lifting has been a useful skill outside of the gym. When helping a friend move a full-size piano Arthur was able to strap it to his back and carry it down six flights of stairs.
When he reached the bottom he got a huge cheer from neighbours watching from their balconies and enjoyed a “marvellous East End singsong”.
When in his 40s Stan swam competitively against men half his age.
He said: “I ended up winning – lifting made me strong over 200 meters – but it took five people to hoist me out of the pool after racing against 17-year-olds.”
Arthur has no plans to put down his weights yet.
He said: “Becoming a great-granddad has started my life again and the lifting definitely helps me pick them up.
“I feel 80 after five hours bending in the garden but other then that I’m OK. Being a marine you look after yourself.
“There used to be a gang of us but they have dropped by the wayside, I just enjoy it and hope I can last a few more years – I am probably going to die down here.”
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