Teen sets sights on more lifting records

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 28, 2004

Trent Smith, 15, a world-class powerlifter, warms up with 315 pounds as his father, Brent, spots him at Wyatt’s Gym.(Sam Freeman The Vicksburg Post)

[5/28/04]Trent Smith’s arms buckled and trembled as 315 pounds of iron were dropped into his hands. Muscles fired under his denim weightlifting shirt and, slowly, the weight was lowered to his chest and raised again.

As his father, Brent, helped put the bar back on the rack, Trent Smith let out a deep breath and sat up. For most people, bench pressing that much weight is unthinkable.

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For Trent, it was a nice warm up.

Smith, a 15-year-old Vicksburg resident, has already set two American Powerlifting Association world records in his age group for the bench press. He broke his own record in the 220-pound class at the APA state meet in Ridgeland earlier this month, with a lift of 335 pounds, and hopes to clear the 400-pound mark by the end of the summer.

“That’s all I really want to do,” Trent Smith said of lifting. “It’s just the thrill of knowing that you’re getting stronger, and that you can see yourself getting stronger.”

Smith started lifting several years ago, on a visit to the gym with his father. Brent has lifted for years, and can bench press well over 400 pounds. When Trent started, he could barely lift the 45-pound bar.

“I couldn’t get a bar up. I couldn’t do anything,” Trent said with a laugh.

He kept at it, though, just playing around at first. About a year after he started to lift seriously, he began to take shape.

His arms and chest grew into a solid mass of muscle, and he began to resemble his father more than the skinny kid who had been unable to lift his own weight a few months before.

“I didn’t know he was serious until about three months after he started jumping (in weight),” Brent Smith said. “I saw him putting more and more weights on, and thought, Hmm, we might have something here.'”

Eventually, Trent Smith began entering powerlifting competitions. It didn’t take long for him to start dominating.

At his first meet, in November 2002, he broke the world bench press record for 13-15-year-olds in the 198-pound weight class. He since has added the 220-pound record to his resum, and hopes to increase it at the next APA meet in about six weeks.

One day, Trent hopes to earn a college scholarship and compete in strongman competitions. Whether he becomes the next Magnus Ver Magnusson one of the greatest strongmen to participate in the World’s Strongest Man competition remains to be seen, but he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon.

“He can go as far as he wants to,” Brent Smith said. “You never get burned out on this. It’s like church it keeps calling you back.”