College president Larry Anderson is mild-mannered college president by day, super weightlifter by nightLarry Anderson, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College president, qualified for the World Championships in Las Vegas, Nev., in mid-November. At 61, Anderson holds the state’s bench records in the 54-60 and 61-67 age brackets.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Many 61-year-old men might have a difficult time moving that refrigerator in the kitchen, adjusting heavy boxes overhead in the garage and wouldn’t embrace the idea of bringing that couch up the basement stairs.
Larry Anderson could do all three as his warm-up.
That’s because the 5-foot-7, 205-pound president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is a superior weight lifter. In fact, for his age, he’s Minnesota’s best, according to the record books.
At 61, Anderson holds the state’s bench records in the 54-60 and 61-67 age brackets. Lifting weights competitively since 1985, Anderson’s top lift was an absurd 462 pounds around five years ago. Last week, he put up 404 pounds to win his division at the Midwest Regional Bench Press Championships in Minneapolis. With that feat, Anderson qualified for the World Championships in Las Vegas, Nev., in mid-November.
“When I lift, it’s my way of relaxing,” said Anderson, who resides in Alborn, explaining that he tries to lift three or four times per week, as well as run on his off days. “Really, it’s just to relax. Not to work out.”
Anderson said his quick move to competitive lifting started unexpectedly when he was younger. Swift success piqued his interest.
“I don’t remember where I won my first tournament, but lifting has just become a natural habit for me,” Anderson said. “I just got into it and had some successes. I just like it. And now, here we are.”
Anderson’s lifting was perhaps at its peak when he would train almost daily following his AlBrook football practices years ago. He said he would coach, then train for a couple of hours alongside his son, Cody, who was an impressive weight lifter himself. Yet, Cody says he was nothing like his old man.
“He’s just a tank,” Cody said of his father. “I’ve seen 60-year-olds that can barely walk. Whatever my dad wants to do, he does it.”
Larry Anderson has qualified for national and world competitions before, along with Cody. Both Cody and Larry’s grandson, Jacob, also hold state youth weight lifting records. His wife, Rosi, usually attends meets.
Cody said it’s his father who sets the tone for the weight lifting family.
“He definitely has a passion for it,” Cody said. “He’s as active as a 25- or 30-year-old. I mean, I can’t even lift a fourth of what he can.”
Cody, a football and baseball player for FDLTCC, said with sports, school and work, he and his father’s schedules have been tough to tie together to train over the past year. Cody said he doesn’t lift as much as he used to and doesn’t think he’ll ever have a shot to match his father’s form.
“Maybe if I started today,” Cody said with a laugh. “He’s got some big shoes to fill. He’s the best role model and dad a person could ever have.”
Cody’s girlfriend, Ariel Morris, said she has seen Larry working out in the college weight room to hone his abilities weekly.
“I see him in there a lot,” Morris said, adding that she enjoys lifting weights as well. “He’s a smaller guy, but just so intimidating, too.”
Larry explained that in the open divisions at meets, some competitors are lifting more than 800 pounds. Amazingly, one freakish lifter, attempted to put up 947 pounds – without success – last weekend, Larry said.
“It’s amazing what those guys can do,” said Anderson, a member of the World Association of Bench Pressers and Dead Lifters since 1995. “It’s just fun to watch and be a part of. I like the atmosphere and really enjoy it.”
Although in the elder division, Morris said Anderson holds his own.
“All those guys at competitions look big, tall and mean, and Larry is just a 60-year-old and always comes out of the blue,” Morris said. “He goes to work from 7-7, then lifts, then runs for miles. That impresses me most.
“I lift weights,” she continued, “but I’ll admit, I’ve tried to lift the bar, and I’m not very successful at it. Larry just keeps going. I give him props.”