By Chantal Weller and Gwyn Wright via SWNS
A Brit has smashed a Guinness World Record that had stood for a decade after deadlifting nearly 130kg (286 lb) with just one finger.
Steve Keeler, 48, managed to lift 129.5kg, which is as heavy as a three seater sofa, with just his middle finger for eight seconds.
The retail manager, from Shepherdswell, managed the massive lift after four years of strength training.
He lifted six iron weight discs at the same time: a smaller one measuring roughly 10 kg (22 lb), one 20 kg (44 lb), three measuring a little over 25 kg (55 lb) each and one measuring 26 kg (57 lb).
He said: “I have always been in the gym because I do martial arts but I have only been strength training for about four years.”
Keeler, who has been doing martial arts since his teens, only came up with the idea when he was “playing around” with some weights with a pal in a home gym he had built during lockdown.
He explained: "In lockdown we were doing some gym work and after messing about with some of the weights I moved a weight that was quite heavy with one finger.
"We set challenges to see how heavy we could get and I wondered what the world record was.
"It wasn't much more than what I'd lifted."
He began training for the challenge and managed to lift 7.8kg (17 lb) heavier than the previous record which stood at 121.7kg (268 lb).
The previous record had stood for 10 years and was held by Armenian Benik Israyelyan.
It was only 50kg (110 lb) more than he lifted while messing about in the gym with his pal.
He said: "It’s incredibly painful, but my fingers are strong and I am proud of my lift.
“It's not the weight that's the hard thing to lift, it's getting through the pain and if you can do that then you're fine.
"You have to get over the pain, you can't just succumb to it - you've got to get through it. That's something I've always trained for.
“I was delighted to find out I had won.
"It's such a random record but it is mine. It's just something I thought I'd have a bit of fun with and nothing to take too seriously.
"It was a lockdown project, something to tell the grandkids.
"My stepdad was my absolute hero and when I was a child, he came into my life and helped me with a problem I had with my bicycle.
"He brought a spanner round to get the pedal off my bike and he pushed that spanner so hard he broke it.
"He was into his strength training and this record would be in honor of all he taught me. He’d be absolutely chuffed to bits."
He might try and beat his current record in future, saying “I think I’ve got 150kg in me.”
The super lifter, who has a black belt in judo, said his skill at martial arts is the reason he has such strong hands.
He said: “Martial arts is the reason I have such strong hands and high pain threshold to withstand the lift.
"I've been a martial artist most of my life and have a fifth dan blackbelt in tsuyoi ryu karate which is a full contact style.
"I train under Kent Karate Schools and am a NAKMAS (National Association of Karate & Martial Art Schools) governing body committee officer.”
The key rules to set the record were that the weight had to be lifted from the ground by at least four inches, by one finger, for over five seconds.
Keeler said: "It needed to be witnessed by qualified weightlifting instructors and was conducted in Paul Terry's self-constructed 'The Pit' gym in Ashford."
Keeler completed the challenge on February 13 and received confirmation that he was the new Guinness World Records holder while on vacation in Greece earlier this month.
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