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Pendleton powerlifter presses nearly 750 pounds

CAMP PENDLETON — What do a baby elephant, a motorcycle and 85,000 M16 rounds have in common?
Not much.
But each one weighs about 750 pounds; the weight that one 24-year-old Camp Pendleton Marine bench pressed, breaking a world-record for his 275-pound weight class.
Sgt. David “The Beast” Douglas, an automotive organizational mechanic for 1st Maintenance Battalion, bench pressed 738.5 pounds during the United States Powerlifting Association Nationals in Costa Mesa July 3.
For his outstanding bench press accomplishment, he is now ranked first in the Nation and fifth of “All Time” for all powerlifting confederations, including the USPA.
“I just try to stay confident even if I don’t get the lift on the first try,” Douglas said about his most recent feat. “I work hard, I train hard; it feels like it finally pays off when I achieve my goal weight. I just have such a passion for this sport.”
Douglas’s goals don’t stop here. He plans to join the “800 Pound Club” during his upcoming competition in Las Vegas in September. There, the 6-foot tall bar bender will be competing for the title of “Mr. Olympia” in the 275-pound weight class.
“Being chosen to be in the (2011 Mr. Olympia Pro Powerlifting Competition) is an honor,” he said modestly. “I really had to give my all to be selected for this. It means I’m top-three in the world for my weight.”
And he deserves it, according to a Marine who has “been there since the beginning.”
“I knew he could do it,” said Pfc. Cody Arendell, a Semper Fit Specialist and a lifting-mentee of Douglas. “He inspires everyone on the team with his drive and motivation. I don’t know anyone more goal-oriented and passionate than him.”
Arendell isn’t the only one who agrees. Douglas, who is also the base’s powerlifting team captain, is widely known across Camp Pendleton for his accomplishments — especially at the 14-Area Gym where he weight-trains at least 2 to 3 hours a day and gives a lending hand to the staff whenever he can.
“For me, it’s not always about winning the titles and medals. It’s about the camaraderie that comes with being part of a team,” Douglas said, noting that he’s not the only title-holder on the team. “We have some really strong athletes here. We all work hard and work together. I love sharing my accomplishments with the Marines I train and work with.”
For more information about the powerlifting team, call (760) 725-5947 or on Facebook at