TRAVIS AFB (CBS13) — A Travis Air Force Base Airman just broke a powerlifting world record.
Tech Sergeant Kenneth Cook, a 60th Operations Group boom operator evaluator, bench pressed 551 pounds at the annual Olympia Pro Powerlifting Competition in Las Vegas on September 13, a Travis AFB spokesperson said.
Cook’s feat set a new world record, previously 534 pounds, in his 198- to 200-pound weight class.
“I woke up that morning knowing two things: Either I was going home with an international record or I was going to the hospital with multiple injuries to my chest muscles,” Cook said. “I envisioned me breaking the record time and time again; during every workout, every set, I saw my goal coming to life. Over and over, I practiced my form in my hotel room, in the elevator, in the car on the way to the competition.”
Travis AFB officials said Cook used his first attempt to lift 512 pounds as a warm-up.
Cook’s coach Eric Cranage said the powerlifter’s goal was to raise the bar so high that the record wouldn’t be broken again anytime soon.
“Benching heavy weight comes with proper technique, a lot of repetition, putting your body in uncomfortable situations and stressing your muscles until they grow,” Cook said. “Those same attributes are needed to be an effective leader and follower in our Air Force. Proper technique when dealing with peers, the Airmen who work for you, and certain workloads is needed daily.”