Sheppard member sets record at power lifting cup

Darrin Charles, an instructor with the 366th Training Squadron, works out at the Levitow Fitness Center Tuesday. Charles set the record in the American Powerlifting Federation’s Military Squat record with a squat of 705 pounds in the 275 pound weight class. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Jacob Corbin).

Darrin Charles, an instructor with the 366th Training Squadron, works out at the Levitow Fitness Center Tuesday. Charles set the record in the American Powerlifting Federation’s Military Squat record with a squat of 705 pounds in the 275 pound weight class. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Jacob Corbin).

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Records were set and standards placed Nov. 4 when Darrin Charles, an instructor with the 366th Training Squadron, competed in the Texas Cup Power lifting Meet in Plano, Texas.

Charles, who has been power lifting for two years, participated in the 275 pound weight class and lifted a total of 1702 pounds.

Charles competed in the meet which is comprised of three principle lifts, the dead lift, bench press and squat. In the dead lift he lifted 589 pounds, in the bench press he lifted 408 and set a record in the squat category with a lift of 705 pounds.

Overall, Charles finished third in the 275 weight class, which is not his normal class. Usually Charles competes in a lower class but this event he was one pound and 20 ounces over the limit.

Practicing four days a week and attending physical training with his unit at least twice a week, Charles works hard to keep fit and prepare for competitions.

"The Air Force PT program helps keep me flexible and my weight down," Charles said.

While Charles didn't know he was going to be setting a record, he had planned on squatting a large amount at the competition.

"Long before the meet, we (him and his training partner Monty Sparkman) decided I'd do a 700-pound squat," Charles said. "It gives you a point of achievement."

Personal achievement is a large part of why Charles competes in power lifting and means more to him than winning he said.

"I have a philosophy of 'you're only as good as your last meet,'" Charles said. "If you didn't beat yourself, you didn't progress. It's the same thing with your PT test, even if you passed, if you didn't run faster than the last time, you didn't really progress."

Though, personal achievement is not Charles' only goal, he also seeks to bring power lifting into the mainstream of sports, especially in the military.

"It's a sport that should be recognized," Charles said. "It's as legitimate as any other."

Charles said he got into power lifting after watch the World's Strongest Man Competition on ESPN and learning they, for the most part, had started out power lifting.

Charles said he would like to continue power lifting and return to his original weight class with the goal of setting military records in all three categories. Eventually, he'd like to compete in the military finals.