A teenage boy is taking the world of powerlifting competitions by storm. Jake Schellenschlager, nicknamed Wonder Kid, is a 123-pound 14-year-old boy who can lift more than twice his body weight, wrote The Washington Post in a profile of the boy published Jan. 1.
At the York Barbell powerlifting competition in York, Pennsylvania, Schellenschlager lifted 155 pounds using a chest press. His trainer and other powerlifters around him motivated Schellenschlager, The Washington Post reported.
Powerlifting is a sport involving competitive weightlifting that focuses on physical strength. Jake can deadlift, meaning lift a barbell from the ground, 300 pounds.
“Three hundred pounds is obviously double is body weight,” the boy’s trainer, Mike Sarni, told The Washington Post. “He doesn’t feel he can be defeated. It is that inner strength that tells him, ‘I can do this.’ Usually, you only get that in older, more mature people.”
Schellenschlager got into powerlifting during trips to the gym with his father when he was 12. He met Sarni, and began training with him. His mother was at first hesitant, but later thought it was beneficial for him, The Washington Post reported.
“Lifting is a sport just like baseball,” Brandy Schellenschlager said. “That’s how we view it.”
Powerlifting is becoming increasingly popular among teenagers, but the cause of concern is the impact such heavy labor will have on kids who are still developing.
“Power lifting and Olympic weightlifting sports are different becaue they are usually involving maximum lifts- squat, bench press and the dead lift.” Paul Stricker, a Sand Diego-based youth sports medicine specialist, told The Washington Post. “There is high risk to heavy maximal lifts or explosive lifts during their rapid growth phrase. That is our biggest caution. We just don’t recommend they do maximal lifts or explosive lifts until they have finished the majority of their growth spurt.”