Newfield, N.Y. — James Howell, 50, of Newfield became the number one raw squat powerlifter in the world when he broke the all-time historical world squat record on Jan. 31.

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Howell was competing at the International Powerlifting Association’s Powerbowl in Allentown, Pa. He took part in the raw 220-pound category for men 50 years and older by successfully squatting 630 pounds, breaking the 628-record of Great Britain’s John Mitchell.

Watch a video of Howell’s record-breaking squat:

“I had been after [this title] for a few years,” Howell said.

This marks Howell’s seventh world record. The all-time historical records includes all competitors in the world over the past 30 years. His other records include a 670 pound deadlift.

Howell is a home inspector by profession. He trains three days a week for about two hours each day.

“It takes a lot out of you. As I get older, my recovery is delayed a little bit. I constantly sore, chronically fatigued but I love it. It really overflows to the rest of my life,” Howell said.

Howell, right, poses with Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Christian Moorecraft

Linda, who has been married to Howell for nine years, said her husband has always stayed dedicated to powerlifting, even when his friends dropped out. She said despite concerns from family members about injuries, she continues to support Howell.

“I would much prefer him to be doing something he loves so much and is so passionate about and risk the injury than having him sit at home and not being happy,” she said. 

Howell began powerlifting 24 years ago, after he decided to turn his life around and give up what he called bad life choices. 

“I quit drinking and I just needed a life change. The gym for me was a good fit. I was 155 pounds when I began weight-training and I have gotten up to 238 pounds…it’s completely made a huge difference in my life,” he says.

Linda said her husband has also coached and mentored young powerlifters who train with him.

“He always welcome whoever is there and wants to try it. What he has done for others in getting them involved with powerlifting…has given a lot of people a sense of purpose,” she said.

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