Leslie’s Strongman Breaks World Record - The Missourian: Features People

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Leslie’s Strongman Breaks World Record

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Posted: Monday, August 5, 2013 6:32 pm

Steve Schmidt had a day for the record books.

On July 13, the Leslie strongman broke a Guinness record for lifting 100 kilograms, or 220.5 pounds, 65 times in one minute.

While that may not seem like such a feat, Schmidt did it using his teeth.

He broke the previous record set in 2012 of 54 repetitions.

During his first attempt to break the record July 13 at Leslie Baptist Church, Schmidt wasn’t able to pull off the feat. After a break, he tried again and broke the record.

Schmidt, 58, is a fifth-generation farmer who lives in Leslie with his wife, Kitty. He is originally from the Spring Bluff area. His farm had been owned by his grandparents.

He has two grown sons.

The record had been 24 repetitions, until Schmidt broke it in 2010 when he lifted the weight 50 times.

“My goal was to double it and then I just stopped,” Schmidt said. “I thought it was safe forever.”

Then he learned that a German lifter broke his record last winter.

“I made plans immediately to take it back,” said Schmidt. “I knew I could do more.”

He explained that the man who had broken his record of 50 repetitions in 2012 had called prior to that and asked Schmidt about his training regimen and diet.

Schmidt even made a mouthpiece for him, but the man never stated that he was trying to break Schmidt’s record.

“That made me more fired to go after it,” he said.

According to Schmidt, it is unlikely that the German lifter can break his new record. He said when the man labored to lift the weight 54 times he nearly passed out.

“It takes more than just teeth and jaws,” said Schmidt. “It takes the whole body.”

To keep his jaw and teeth in shape for when he is performing, Schmidt trains at home with his vertical weight system.

Schmidt also lifts weights the traditional way in order to keep up his general body strength, but he’s not trying to build up any muscles.

Now it is up to the Guinness review committee to watch his videos and see the photos of his record-breaking lifts.

“It feels great,” he said. “I should of had a few more but I didn’t lift quite high enough.”

The weight must be lifted 6 inches high.

How It Started

Schmidt said he had read about teeth lifting in the 1970s, and then he met a teeth lifter in the 1980s. He had been a Vaudeville act.

He was very interested in teeth lifting after speaking to him, Schmidt added.

“It kind of evolved from there,” he said. “I really liked it and I was getting good — that’s how it all began.”

Schmidt doesn’t just lift with his teeth. He pulls too.

He has pulled a pickup truck, school bus, fire truck, trailer, even a train car.

Schmidt became involved in the iron games in 1977. Schmidt trains at home and performs at fairs, festivals and before crowds.

During some events, Schmidt bends steel and horseshoes and tears license plates.

His records aren’t limited to teeth pulls. He also holds records for harness and back lifts.

He is a three-time national champion of the U.S. All-Round Weightlifting Association (USAWA).

In 2002, he set the USAWA all-time record for total poundage when he “back lifted” 1,115 pounds 7,253 times. It took him two hours and four minutes and there was a total of more than 8 million pounds lifted.

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