Jim Williams Powerlifter
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James Talbot "Jim" Williams was born on February 25, 1940 in Scranton, Pennsylvania USA. Jim was born strong and just got stronger, by the time he reached his 12th birthday he weighed 200lbs. It was not 200lbs of fat because when he competed in track and field at high school he weighed 340 pounds and could dunk basketballs without a problem.
But life changed for Jim very quickly in 1961 when he got put into prison serving a ten-year sentence for armed robbery. It was in prison that he started training seriously, although the food is not good enough he got stronger quickly. After he left prison he had put on a serious amount of muscle and went straight into powerlifting.
At his first powerlifting meet he caused a sensation with people asking where did this man who can bench close to 600 pounds come from? Although the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) had not formed yet Jim was pushing to reach his highest score on deadlifts, squats and bench-press. The only footage you can find him on Utube is Jim pushing out a 675lb bench-press, he is the first man in history to ever bench-press 700lbs.
It needs to be emphasized that at the time the world record bench-press was only 615lbs. When Jim performed his 675lb bench-press at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) meet in 1972 he was immediately given the world record which he held for years until it was broken by the famous Bill Kazmaier.
Jim is a big man, standing 6'1" tall and weighing 340lbs with a 53-inch chest and 21 inch arms it was said he could intimidate any weight on any barbell. In his training, which was often witnessed by other powerlifters who are all willing to testify they saw Jim do the 700lb bench-press, they all say they seen him push 725lbs as well.
When Jim trained he would push to the extreme and would deadlift with 900lbs and squat 865lbs without a problem. Jim was born strong as mentioned above but his raw strength was never allowed to flourish because just after the AAU meet in 1972 Jim got himself arrested again for counterfeiting. After returning to powerlifting for the second time in his life he tore his quadriceps muscles in his left leg and was never able to squat or deadlift the weights that he did previously.
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