Hayden resident comes back from Las Vegas a world record holder | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden resident comes back from Las Vegas a world record holder

Hayden resident Ray Birch competes in the IPL World Powerlifting Championships on Nov. 4 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Hayden resident Ray Birch has found there are some good things that go along with growing old.

Birch, a 60-year-old who recently retired as the undersheriff at the Routt County Sheriff's Office, recently returned from Las Vegas as world record holder.

Birch has been competing in weightlifting competitions since his early 20s, but this was his first opportunity to go for an International Powerlifting League world record.

With a recent birthday, Birch was now competing in the 60-64 age group in the 198-pound weight class.

He earned his spot at the world championships in Las Vegas after competing in an event in Colorado Springs.

"Then you have an opportunity to go there and compete with people from around the world," Birch said.

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Birch went after the record in the squat, bench press and deadlift.

For the squat, he loaded up with 407 pounds of weight to break the previous record by five pounds.

The bench press record was set at 265 pounds, and Birch went for 270 pounds, but was unsuccessful.

He then went on to crush the deadlift record, which had been set at 402 pounds. He broke the record on his attempt with 407 pounds.

Birch's final pull was 470 pounds.

He not only broke the record for the deadlift, but he was now the record holder for total points.

Birch knows there are going to be people going after his records, and he is still training five days a week in his home gym, while allowing time for recovery.

"It's the week after a contest, so it's going to be really light," Birch said Wednesday before working out.

These days, Birch will do cardio after lifting to stay lean.

"Which is not what I did in my 20s and 30s," Birch said.

He is going to try to stay healthy and wisely train for the next event by not putting too much strain on the joints.

"As you get older, I think you train a lot smarter," Birch said. "You listen a lot more to your body."

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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