CRITICAL BENCH: Today CB is here with American Deadlift Record Holder, Dave Sheperd. Dave, can you tell Critical Bench readers about yourself?

I was introduced to this while on vacation 6 years ago in FL when I met Tom Hall from Cincinnati, Ohio who holds many records in the mid-west. Tom has deadlifted 505 in Ohio at the age of 70. I have deadlifted 465lbs which is a UPA record. This was not completely new to me as I have fooled around with somewhat heavy weights since I was 17.

CRITICAL BENCH: Dave, at 72 you’re the strongest 72 year old at 198lbs! Tell us about your world record?

I hold the American record in the UPA at 220#.

CRITICAL BENCH: Dave, congratulations for holding an American record in the UPA.  Do you have any advice for others so they can be strong as they enter their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond?

I would say that it is important to live a healthy lifestyle as genetics of course is something we can’t control. You must also push yourself to be goal oriented.

CRITICAL BENCH: What have you done that has allowed you to be strong, even in your 70s?

I would say probably just a matter of staying with it and being disciplined.

CRITICAL BENCH:  It’s really hard for people to be really strong in their 70s. In fact only 20 people or so compete seriously against you in their 70s. Do you think more guys could compete against you?

 I think there are plenty of guys my age that if they chose to do so, they could work up to being competitive.

CRITICAL BENCH:  Dave, what has worked for you when it comes to getting a bigger deadlift?

Doing the squats has helped my pull from the floor, as well as heavy bent rows and pulls off  7″ in boxes also seem to work for me.

 CRITICAL BENCH: What goes on in your mind before attempting a world record deadlift?

At a meet there is a lot of pressure to perform the lifts to a judge’s satisfaction, really no time to think about anything else for me.

CRITICAL BENCH: What are your future goals?

My future goals are really to maintain this level and improve the bench and squat a little, but without “real” supplements. Improvements at 72 are really tough.

CRITICAL BENCH: Do you have any mottos or creeds you live by?

 Never thought of having one, maybe just try and be the best at what you undertake in life.

CRITICAL BENCH: Dave, in closing is there anyone who you would like to thank?

I would like to thank all the guys on the Flex Appeal team and especially Amy Roberts and Phil Guarino, and my friend and mentor Tom Hall. Also, I want to send a big thanks to Critical Bench for the interview.


As told to by Ben Tatar