Training at 90 — The Immortal Strength of Powerlifter Joe Stockinger

The nonagenarian's powerlifting career spans an amazing seven decades.

Joe Stockinger is unlike almost any 90-year-old someone might encounter at the gym. He has been training for nearly seven decades and can still deadlift over 181 kilograms (400 pounds). In fact, he can pull more than that multiple times in a row and then laugh with his training partners. The last time Stockinger made waves as the nonagenarian performing incredible feats of powerlifting strength in the gym was towards the end of 2020. At that time, he was cranking out doubles of 183.7 kilograms (405 pounds). 

That amount of weight on the barbell seems to be a sweet spot for Stockinger. Check him out sumo deadlifting an impressively smooth 183.7-kilogram (405-pound) raw triple with a mixed grip via the video below courtesy of Powerlifting Legend’s Instagram page.

You can also watch Stockinger crush a 102-kilogram (225-pound) back squat for five reps if you swipe left.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by POWERLIFTING LEGENDS (@powerliftinglegends)

[Related: Strongman Hafthor Björnsson Teaches You How To Deadlift]

Seven Decades of Powerlifting

In the video above, you may have noticed that the first thing Stockinger did after completing his deadlift was head to his notebook and markdown his effort. According to powerlifter and his sometimes-training partner Donovan Lewis, that’s a routine Stockinger has been following for quite some time. Stockinger “stick[s] to the program…he just grinds away on what works for him.”

That method has worked for Stockinger since he started training in his 20s (according to Powerlifting Legend’s post). He is a long-time practitioner of basic linear periodization — meaning he slowly increase the weight on the bar and performs simple accessory exercises, like dumbbell rows for his back, ab wheel rollouts for his core, and the leg press when he’s not deadlifting or squatting.

That commitment to smart training and steady progress has translated to a successful competitive career. Since 1983, according to Open Powerlifting, Stockinger has competed in 32 sanctioned powerlifting meets and claimed gold in 25 of them, including his win at the 2019 IPF World Powerlifting (WP) World Championships in the 69-kilogram weight class. Of the seven outliers, he still finished on the podium in six of them. The only time he missed the podium was a fifth-place finish at the 1985 International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Masters Powerlifting Championships in Toronto, Canada.

Stockinger’s World Records

Stockinger’s name is still anchored to five different powerlifting world records across two different weight classes — 67.5 kilograms and 75 kilograms — in the Masters 80+ division. Two of them are in the deadlift, two are for totals, and one is in the squat.

Powerlifting World Records at 67.5 Kilograms

  • Deadlift — 202 kilograms (445 pounds), 2016 100% RAW Powerlifting Federation Canada (RAW-CAN) Praire Power Open
  • Total — 400 kilograms (881.8 pounds), 2014 RAW-CAN Canadian Nationals

Powerlifting World Records at 75 Kilograms

  • Squat — 137.5 kilograms (303 pounds), 2014 CPU Canadian Championship
  • Deadlift — 200 kilograms (441 pounds), 2015 RAW-CAN Western Canadian Championships
  • Total — 405 kilograms (892.9 pounds), 2015 RAW-CAN Western Canadian Championships

[Related: The Ultimate Guide To Strength Sports For Masters Athletes

The Legend of Joe Stockinger

To get a sense of just how consistent Stockinger has been in the gym, over the course of his powerlifting career, there have been thirteen different presidential administrations in the United States. We look forward to seeing his training stay consistent for many more years to come.

Feature image via Powerlifting Legend’s Instagram page: @powerliftinglegends