Corey Shelton is obsessed with lifting weights.
Shelton is the unofficial world record holder for disabled men 2 in the 220-pound weight class of the World Bencher and Deadlift Association (WABDL) and has spent most of his life lifting heavy things.
In 2016, he benched 337 pounds during a competition in Jonesboro. A full pound over the world record.
Although the feat was captured on film, the weightlifting organization, which had not prepared for world record attempts, could not officially attribute the record to Shelton.
Today the 5’8 ” weightlifter tips the scales at 385 pounds with ease. He plans to put £ 400 in the bank by the end of the year.
“The world record in the Special Olympics is, I think, 390 or 395,” Shelton said. “My goal is to get 400 by next month. I gained 385 pounds again last week. “
The 26-year-old stands in Anytime Fitness in Mountain Home, his new gym, after taking time off to recover from thyroid problems and injuries sustained in a 2017 truck accident that tore his biceps and his ribs were broken.
He tore a chest muscle while lifting in 2018.
Shelton has been training in the gym twice a week with the help of Bryan Shriver, club manager for Anytime Fitness, and Malina Calloway, member experience manager for the gym. Ricky Rodeo, a professional wrestler from Tennessee, helps Shelton keep his diet going.
“I love to eat. Of course, as you can see,” Shelton said. “I wouldn’t have got a weigh-in without him. I literally lost 10 pounds in less than 24 hours.”
Shelton is from Cherokee Village and was diagnosed with autism as a child.
Shelton grew up on a farm at a young age and began lifting when she was nine. At 14, Shelton said he started taking weightlifting seriously.
“It’s kind of an addiction. It’s hard to explain, ”Shelton said.
Shelton and his fiancée Jamie Woods currently live with their family at home. The couple are trying to save money in order to get their own apartment.
Shelton works part-time at Truckees Canoe and Cabin Rental while also working on his YouTube channel with his fiancée, who is editing his videos.
Shelton said his personal life had been difficult – his family insisted that he give up weightlifting, calling it a “waste of time”.
“They told us to stop now,” Shelton said. “That it was a waste of time. I have not lost any events. I broke several state records. I mean, I’ve even qualified for the World Cup several times. “
In addition to problems at home, Shelton was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2016.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroxine, a hormone made by the thyroid gland. The condition can lead to joint pain, muscle weakness, and difficulty thinking, which makes lifting weights difficult for Shelton.
Worse still, the drug Shelton uses to treat his symptoms, Synthroid, is banned by the WABDL, forcing Shelton to switch to the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) to continue his weightlifting career.
“Once you take the medication, you can’t stop taking it,” Shelton said. “If a person gets off this, it can get them pretty confused.”
Fortunately, Shriver, a former chef that Calloway recruited to work at the gym, is there to help Shelton with any problems his condition could be causing.
Like Shelton, Shriver is a powerlifter who also has hypothyroidism.
“I got into it pretty hard because I was around a lot with Corey,” said Shriver.
Calloway and Shriver are currently raising funds for an upcoming USPA World Cup in Russia at the end of next year.
The gym that helps Shelton with his diet is hosting the Anytime Fitness Autism Awareness Color Run Summer Bash at Mountain Home High School’s Bomber Stadium this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“There’s a three-mile run and then just a community event,” said Calloway. “We will have free food for everyone. Tips are of course welcome. We’ll be collecting tips for Corey from anyone who wants to do this. “
The gym will also be handing out t-shirts and running a silent auction to raise money for Shelton.
Calloway said Bomb Nutrition will sell iced tea at the 5K run. Game Portal and Nature’s Way would also be participating in the event as sponsors.
“We shoot baseball for about $ 3,500,” said Calloway. “So far, we’re probably around $ 1,000, minus all costs and everything.”
While the money was originally intended for another World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters event, the money will now be used for entry, plane ticket and hotel room for Shelton during the United States Powerlifting Association championship in Russia.
Whatever money is left over is used to find new shelter and food for Shelton and his fiancée that he needs to keep up his diet.
“Training is only 20% of the work,” Shelton said. “Yes, 80% is your diet. A body is like a car. If you put in bad fuel or if you don’t put enough fuel in, you will get poor performance. “