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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Atkinson strong man marks 88th birthday

From the Eagle Tribune

April 16, 2011
Atkinson strong man marks 88th birthday

By Cara Hogan The Eagle Tribune Sat Apr 16, 2011, 01:52 AM EDT

ATKINSON — Fred Archambault marked his 88th birthday yesterday by doing 20 pull-ups — and then 20 more.

"I feel good," he said after his second set yesterday morning.

The Atkinson resident is a world-record holder in power lifting for his age and weight class.

"I set a world record in the dead lift for my age, I was over 80," he said. "I'm the oldest guy to compete in a world meet."

Ted Curtin, co-owner of Hampstead Health & Fitness, has known Archambault for 15 years through the fitness world. Archambault has been working out at Curtin's club for the past five years.

"There's no one like him," Curtin said. "At 165 pounds, Fred can still lift over 350 pounds when he competes, which he seldom does now because he hurt his back. But he competes against guys in their 60s."

Archambault is the number-one-ranked power lifter in the world, factoring in his age, weight and handicap, Curtin said.

According to the Hampstead Healh & Fitness website, Archambault, at the 2007 New England States Open Championship in East Bridgewater, Mass., squatted 370 pounds, bench-pressed 210, and had a dead-lift of 420 pounds for a 1,000-pound total.

"The guy literally should be on Oprah, he's amazing," he said.

Doing 20 pull-ups for his 88th birthday was just a fun goal he set for himself, Archambault said.

"When I was a power-lifter, I always used to set goals," Archambault said. "Now I'm no longer doing power lifting, so I set a goal on the pull-ups. I didn't know it was going to be a big deal."

He started lifting when he was serving with the Air Force in Italy during World War II.

"I was on the ground crew and the long-range planes would be gone for several hours, so we had a lot of spare time," Archambault said. "I found a pair of old axles with the wheels attached from an old mining cart. I would estimate it weighed at least 75 pounds. I got to the point I could do one-hand presses over my head, about 10 on each arm."

When he came home, Archambault joined a power lifting group and continued to train. When he married at age 24, he gave it up.

"I started lifting again after I retired at 60 and, about five years later, I went into my first power lifting meet at 65," he said.

His power-lifting career lasted 22 years. He said he had to stop this year for health reasons. But he still works out three days a week, like he always has.

"My routine has changed a little bit," Archambault said. "I don't do anymore squats or benches because I have a problem with my shoulder. I don't like to do the dead lift much anymore either. I do more legwork and pull-ups now to stay in condition."

He attributed his longevity and health to his strict workout regimen.

"I've had a long, pleasant retirement. I blame a lot of it on the fact that I did get interested in the gymnasium," Archambault said. "I feel real good and I maintained a lot of my strength."

The staff at Hampstead Health & Fitness serenaded Archambault and presented him with a birthday cake.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!!

Anonymous said...

You're a true inspiration for all of us! Nice to see a positive story involving Atkinson in the Eagle Tribune!!!