Unstoppable weightlifter Jeff Ellis continues his record-breaking streak.
By Steve Stein
Weightlifter Jeff Ellis moved into a new age group for competitions this year, but he’s still collecting medals and breaking records.
Ellis, who will turn 60 on May 1, won his 16th Michigan Senior Olympics gold medal in 18 years — to go along with one silver medal and one bronze medal — earlier this month when he took first place in the age 60-64 198-pound division in the Winter Games at the Strength Depot in Plymouth.
The West Bloomfield resident broke the division record of 253.5 pounds on his first bench press, lifting 255 pounds. Then he broke his own record on his second bench press, lifting 265 pounds.
His third and final bench press, at 270 pounds, didn’t happen because Ellis re-injured his shoulder while he was starting the lift.
“I had an inflamed rotator cuff that prevented me from training for three weeks,” Ellis said. “I began training again only a week before the Senior Olympics. I took off about a week and half after the Senior Olympics and I’m feeling better now. I’ve resumed my regular workouts.”
While his last bench press at the Senior Olympics was disappointing, Ellis achieved his goals of winning a gold medal and breaking the division record.
Ellis won a gold medal at a national competition last year, taking first place in the age 55-59 198-pound division with a 275-pound bench press at the American Amateur Powerlifting Federation nationals in Grand Rapids.
It was a particularly satisfying achievement for Ellis because he had qualified for the 2016 and 2017 AAPF nationals, only to miss both because of an injury.
He’s qualified for the 2019 AAPF nationals April 12-14 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., but he won’t go. Not because of his latest injury, but because the competition is being held during the final weekend of income tax season and Ellis is a certified public accountant.
Income tax season doesn’t put a halt to Ellis’ regular workouts.
“My workouts are always a priority, especially during income tax season,” he said. “I want to keep training and competing.”
His next weightlifting competition is the Michigan Senior Olympics Summer Games in August.
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