On Nov. 12, Phoenix high school senior Evan Pittman guaranteed himself a place in the sports record books, becoming the youngest powerlifter in history, and the only high school student to break more than 100 lifetime world powerlifting records.
Pittman won the World Natural Powerlifting Federation (WNPF) world championship titles in New Jersey in the 17-19 teen and men’s open classes in the 148 lb. class, and also won three individual deadlift titles. In doing so, he also raised $3,500 for combat-injured veterans through the national nonprofit Bob Woodruff Foundation, with an effort he started 19 months ago called “Lift for Heroes.”
Competing “Raw” with no specialized equipment and weighing 147 pounds, the North Central Phoenix teen set 11 national and 11 world records with lifts of 395 lbs. in the squat, 235 lbs. in the bench press, 485 lbs. in the deadlift, and a three-lift total of 1,115 lbs.
Pittman began lifting weights in fourth grade with his father to augment his Taekwondo sparring, and soon after entered his first powerlifting competition, breaking a bench press record in his first meet. After breaking world records in four different meets in 2014, he made the decision to try to surpass 100 world powerlifting records before graduating from Phoenix Country Day School, and six months later, he launched a fundraising effort for combat-injured vets, soliciting donations for each record he broke, to serve as his training motivation.
“I was after the records, but I also wanted this effort (surpassing 100 world records) to be meaningful,” Pittman said. “Raising money for combat-wounded vets through the Bob Woodruff Foundation was a great fit because of my family’s long-time military service and my dad’s service in Afghanistan. Breaking 100 world records was important to me, but helping support wounded vets while doing it served to motivate my training and kept pushing me forward.” In the end, Pittman raised $3,500 for the charity through individual and corporate donations.
With 97 world records prior to this year’s world championship, Pittman’s performance takes him to 108 lifetime world powerlifting records across eight weight classes since he began powerlifting at age 10. Pittman also surpassed nine WNPF historical world records in teen’s and men’s open categories which were set during the last 25 years of WNPF competition; those historical world records were recently retired.
A week prior to the world meet, Pittman also placed third in the Arizona Division III state high school diving championships. He is also a black belt in Taekwondo, with multiple state sparring titles and national medals.
In addition to powerlifting, he holds numerous records in the AAU strongman competition (known as Feats of Strength), is a three-time AAU Junior Olympic Games Allsports combine winner (a competition that tests speed, strength and athleticism), and a two-time AAU Strength Sports National Athlete of the Year.
Pittman is also heavily involved in community and service activities, and received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for his 2015 volunteerism. He is an appointee to the 2016-2017 Arizona Governor’s Youth Commission, and was one of the 2016 City of Phoenix Outstanding Young Men of the Year.
Learn more about this outstanding youth athlete at: http://worldsstrongestviolinist.com.