Breaking one world record can take a lifetime of dedication and hard work.
Holding two world records is a distant dream for most athletes.
For sixteen-year-old Tristan Rice, that dream has become a reality.
After spending just five months training and working out, Rice took his talents to Las Vegas, Nevada, to take his shot at powerlifting glory in the International Powerlifting League Drug Tested World Championship.
The young athlete’s short but fruitful powerlifting career began through success in other sports. Rice, a dual-sport athlete, took a break from football and track and field to face a new challenge and to accomplish something he had never done before.
“I started powerlifting during football and shot put,” Rice said. “There was always something I enjoyed about it.”
From the beginning, Rice found a knack for lifting heavier weights, and it did not take long for him to set his sights a little higher.
“I looked up the records and saw what they were, and I thought that I should give that a try,” Rice said. “I figured if I could be the first to set those records at my age and my weight, then that’s something I wanted to do.”
Rice slotted into the 16-17 year-old, 275 pound weight class, smashing the existing deadlift record with his 540.1 pound lift. Rice beat the previous record by nearly 35 pounds, but still believes he has room for improvement.
“I’ve done more in training,” Rice said. “I went for 567 pounds, but I couldn’t pull it. I broke out with a nosebleed.”
The climate of Las Vegas posed a new challenge for Rice, pushing him to compete despite a series of nosebleeds from the stresses of lifting, plaguing Rice’s ability to recreate his heaviest lifts in practice. “I got it to my knees and my nose let loose,” he said. “I kept pulling and lost my balance and fell.”
Across the three events Rice competed in, he set three Maryland state records, three national records in the United States Powerlifting Association 16-17 year-old division for his weight, and two world records in his class for the deadlift and squat.
Perhaps Rice’s most impressive event of the day was in squats, where he lifted 567.7 pounds to secure his second world record, among other accolades. Rice was one of just two athletes to even qualify for the championships in his age and weight class.
Rice’s final national record was a cumulative one, totaling 1,355.8 pounds across the three main events: bench press, deadlift and squat. While 1,355 pounds sounds like a nearly unbeatable record for a sixteen-year-old, Rice plans for much greater numbers.
“My next meet is April 27,” Rice said. “I want to drop weight classes and be the youngest person at the lightest weight ever to total 1,500 across squat, bench, and deadlift.”
Now, just six months into the powerlifting scene, Rice has his own training regimen and his own goals to reach. Limits have yet to stop Rice so far, and world records may only be the beginning.
Rice lifts 540.1 pounds to secure first place at the Powerlifting League World Championship.