Dennis Nieblas bench pressed 300 lbs. on his 70th birthday

Phil Perzan

I met Dennis Nieblas about six years ago at the Anza Athletic Club. Since then we have been working out together at least three days a week. About five years ago, Dennis told me he had a goal to bench press 300 lbs. on his 70th birthday. Back then he was unable to bench press that amount of weight but he made a commitment to himself and began a program of heavy weights to gain strength and muscle. I looked online on various weight lifting sites and found that less than 1% of the population can bench press 300 pounds at age 70.

Well, Dennis turned 70 this year and on Saturday, December 1 we held an event at the Anza Athletic Club called [email protected] About 50 or so of Dennis’s friends and acquaintances were there to witness his attempt to accomplish this significant feat. Ellen Sussman, reporter for the Green Valley News, was on hand to take pictures and write an article for her newspaper.

At 7:30 a.m. the time was at hand. Mark Bleisch and I loaded the weights on the bench press machine. Dennis carefully observed the weights being applied to ensure they were properly positioned. He then took his place on the bench and the group waited with great anxiousness, suspense and anticipation. He focused on the task at hand and as we had all hoped, up went the weight with a successful lift. Triumphant!

We presented Dennis with a [email protected] cap, shirt and medal in recognition of this significant accomplishment along with a decorated birthday cake which we all ate to celebrate the event. Dennis served in the US Navy as a submariner so thank you for your service, Dennis, and congratulations on accomplishing your 70th birthday goal. As they say in the Navy, “Well done, Sailor!”