(Bordentown, NJ) On November 12, Phoenix high school senior Evan Pittman guaranteed himself a place in the sports record books, becoming the youngest powerlifter in history, and the only high school student, to break more than 100 lifetime world powerlifting records.
In doing so, Pittman also raised $3500 for combat-injured veterans through the national non-profit Bob Woodruff Foundation with an effort he dubbed “Lift for Heroes” .
Competing “Raw” with no specialized equipment in the under 148 lb. class, Pittman set 10 national and 11 world records with lifts of 395 lbs. in the squat, 235 lbs. in the bench press, 485 lbs. in the deadlift, and a three-lift total of 1115 lbs. He won the World Natural Powerlifting Federation (WNPF) world championship titles in the 17-19 teen and men’s open classes for his weight, as well as three individual deadlift titles.
Pittman began lifting weights in fourth grade with his father to augment his Taekwondo sparring, and soon after entered his first powerlifting competition, breaking a bench press record in his first meet. After breaking world records in four different meets in 2014, he made the decision to try to surpass 100 world powerlifting records before graduating from high school, and six months later, he launched a fundraising effort for combat-injured vets, soliciting donations for each record he broke.
“I was after the records, but I also wanted this effort (surpassing 100 world records) to be meaningful,” Pittman said. “Raising money for combat-wounded vets through the Bob Woodruff Foundation was a great fit because of my family’s long-time military service and my dad’s service in Afghanistan. Breaking 100 world records was important to me, but helping support wounded vets while doing it served to motivate my training and kept pushing me forward.” In the end, Pittman raised $3500 for the charity through individual and corporate donations.
“Generally speaking, breaking powerlifting records year after year is about consistent, excellent lifting over time,” says Martin Drake, Chairman of Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Strength Sports. Drake has promoted powerlifting competitions for more than three decades, and has watched Pittman compete since an early age. “Only a handful of exceptional lifters have exceeded 100 world records in the past 30 years,” he says, “and no one did it in seven years of competition. Evan is quite unusual in that regard, but he is also a very unique athlete.”
With 97 world records prior to this year’s world championship, Pittman’s performance takes him to 108 lifetime world powerlifting records across eight weight classes since he began powerlifting at age 10. Pittman also surpassed nine WNPF historical world records in teen’s and men’s open categories which were set during the last 25 years of WNPF competition; those historical world records were recently retired.
A week prior to the world powerlifting meet, also placed third in the Arizona high school Division III springboard high school diving championships. He is also a black belt in Taekwondo, with multiple state sparring titles and national medals. In addition to powerlifting, he holds numerous records in AAU strongman competition (known as Feats of Strength), is a three-time AAU Junior Olympic Games Allsports combine winner, and a two-time AAU Strength Sports National Athlete of the Year. Pittman is also heavily involved in community and service activities, and received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for his 2015 volunteerism. An appointee to the Arizona Governor’s Youth Commission, Pittman was also one of the 2016 2016 City of Phoenix Outstanding Young Men of the Year.