Haggenmiller wins world bench press championship
Tom Haggenmiller, owner of Powerworks gym in Perham, won the world bench press championship in his division at the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters World Championships held at The Peppermill Hotel in Reno, Nev., November 1-6.
This is the 12th appearance Haggenmiller has made at the world championships. This year's event had over 600 total lifters from 20 countries in attendance at the biggest powerlifting championship in the world.
Haggenmiller competed in the Masters division for lifters over 50 years of age and in the 220-weight division, despite weighing in at 203.
"I never plan on winning anything," Haggenmiller said.
Typically, Haggenmiller lifts at the 198-pound division.
"I just took a shot and gambled and gained a couple pounds. It worked for the bench press."
Haggenmiller made his first appearance at nationals in 1994.
"I lifted when I was a kid, he said. "I didn't go to any big meets until I was 50."
To win the bench press world championship, each lifter is giving three attempts at each weight having to lift successfully at least one time.
Haggenmiller was a perfect six for six in his attempts and won the even with a lift of 255 pounds.
"That's kind of hard to do not missing a lift," he said.
Haggenmiller won the championship in natural fashion in the unequipped division, meaning there is no gear or special equipment or garments to aid the lifter.
"If you use a bench press shirt it springs the bar off the chest," Haggenmiller said.
In the unequipped division, each lifter is required to wait two second with the weight, surrounded b three judges, before completing the lift.
Haggenmiller's bench press, along with a dead lift of 480 pounds, was both announced at the championships as Minnesota state records.
"Dead lift is my best event," he said.
Haggenmiller currently hold four national records in the bench press, squat, dead lift and total weight.
He also holds three world records in the squat, dead lift and total.
He last won at the world championships four years ago and has won at World's a total of five times.
"It's like golf, it depends who shows up. If Tiger Woods shows up you're in trouble."
A recent conversation on the golf course continues the analogy.
Haggenmiller, a golfer, stated to a member of his golf team, "I wish I could hit it 200 yards like you."
To which, he was responded with, "I wish I had the world championship."
Haggenmiller will be in Perham for a couple more weeks before heading to his winter homes in Florida.
He will be available at Powerworks gym and encourages anyone looking to get some lifting advice to contact the gym at 218-346-5320.
"I'm trying to help people in town."