50-year-old Luling powerlifter sets record in bench press
Anthony Tassin has been involved in weight lifting for over 30 years.
"I deer hunt and I powerlift. That’s my hobbies. When deer season is over with I go in the gym and go after it," he said.
Tassin was in his teens when he first started lifting weights.
The Luling native was a standout high school football player at defensive end for Hahnville High School where he graduated in 1981.
From there he went on to Nicholls State University where he played linebacker before transferring to Southwest Junior College in Mississippi. He finished up his playing days as a fullback.
At 6’2" he had the frame to carry a large amount of mass and because he had been weight training for years he packed on the muscle.
Tassin said it was hard for other college players to keep up with him in the weight room.
"When I was in Mississippi I used to weight lift with the strength coach. I was pretty strong back then. Lifting with the other guys was just not worth my time," he said.
After a leg injury, Tassin had to give up on football, but he continued to engage in weight training.
Now over 30 years later at the age of 50 and weighing in at 275 pounds, Tassin is still lifting weights and for the past seven years has done so competitively as part of the BOAD powerlifting team based out of the company gym at Cornerstone Chemical.
The BOAD team is led by personal trainer Jared Daigre in powerlifting competitions.
"I love him to death. He gets inside of my head and pushes me," Tassin said.
Unlike a lot of other powerlifters, Tassin does not go the route of taking potentially harmful supplements to increase his strength.
"I am all natural. I take no supplements at all. The only thing I take is I eat a lot of peanut butter. My philosophy is that if I need additives to do something I wasn’t meant to be doing it. And trust me I see a lot of it out there too," he said.
In addition, he only works out three days a week for two hours per session.
Earlier this year, Tassin set a record for his age group at the U.S. Powerlifting Association’s Raw Nationals competition in Hattiesburg, Miss. when he bench pressed 424.9 pounds.
Tassin said it was encouraging to finally take home a record after being involved in competitions for seven years.
"People are talking about it and it is a good feeling to me," he said.
Despite his success, Tassin said he still has his eyes set on bigger goals. Although he broke the record at 424.9 pounds he actually had a goal of 440 pounds in mind, but just barley missed on the lift.
"My goal is to bench 440 in competition. I had it, but I messed it up," he said. "There is a procedure I go through. My breathing technique I messed it up. Once I got stagnated I had no more wind when I went to blow out."
It is easy to see Tassin has a tendency to push himself to extremes.
His wife, Lori, said he is one of the most determined people she has ever known.
"We’ve been married over 18 years and I can honestly tell you anything he puts his mind to he is a hard worker," she said. "I appreciate the example he sets for our kids."
When he first started lifting competitively, much as he does now, he had another goal in mind - to bench press 500 pounds. But he pushed himself too hard and ended having to be taken to the hospital from a competition.
"I did a 455 and my second lift, at 485, I actually dropped on my chest," he said. "I didn’t break anything, but I was bruised for about three months. I had to put it on hold for a little while."
Lori said it was scary for her to get a call that he had been injured during a lift.
"I got a phone call that he had dropped a bar one his chest and had been taken to a hospital. The doctor there that saw him told him he could have been seriously injured if he was not in the physical shape he was always in," she said.
Tassin also attributes the fact that he has walked away from car accidents without injury as a sign that the powerlifting has done a lot of good for him.
"It’s excellent for my health. I was in a pretty bad auto accident and I walked out of there with bumps and bruises. Being muscular and have higher bone density helped I am sure," he said.
Lori said she stands behind her husband’s lifestyle.
"I am absolutely supportive. When you have a husband dedicated to his family and his hobbies are deer hunting and powerlifting, and he is an all around good guy, I honestly don’t worry about it. I do think he’ll lift as long as his body will allow. To have that one mishap, which was really a freak accident, I am not really concerned," she said.
Tassin said powerlifting is about doing something positive for himself, but he said he feels lucky to have a supportive family.
"They think I am crazy for doing it, but proud of me for accomplishing it," he said.
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