Powerlifting Father and Son Style – Bill and Zach Gibson (USA)


I was recently contacted by Bill Gibson, who wanted to let me know how proud he was of his son’s powerlifting achievements, and on his own progress.  As a father myself I could understand the bond he has with his son, which grows stronger both literally and metaphorically, by them both sharing the passion of powerlifting.

So here is the interview I had with Bill to tell their story:

PB:   Tell me a little bit about you and Zach?

BG:   Zach is 15 years old and I am 42.   Zach is a Sophmore at Norwood Norfolk Central School.   Zach plays Hockey and Football.   I work for the State.  We live in Massena New York,a small town along the Canadian border.

PB:   How did your training and competing in Powerlifting with Zach come about?

BG:   I have weight trained always in some form or another since high school.   Zach and I have trained together for about 2 years.  About a year ago Zach and I decided to enter a unsanctioned bench press competition at one of the local State Colleges.   It was small and informal but Zach did really well with a 225 lb bench press at just 14 years of age.   I was able to do a contest winning 415lb raw bench.   After that we decided to try a sanctioned event and chose the Syndicated Strength Alliance event at the Iron Asylum gym.

PB:   So how did your involvement in the sport hasten from there?

BG:   While on a Hockey trip for Zach we discovered Hercules Gym in Syracuse,New York.   This is the home of some great lifters.   While there we met power lifters Rheta West and Scott Rowe.   They have helped us with training,   answered a multitude of questions and have even coached us at our last competition.   They represent what the sport is about and we can not thank them enough.After competing in our first sanctioned event we were hooked.

PB:   So you train with Zach, but are any other members of your family involved in Powerlifting?

BG:   It has been incredible to be able to train with my son.   It has been a great boost to his confidence and a lesson that hard work pays off.   My wife Peggy has been a huge part of our training and competition.   She often trains with us,cooks incredible high protein meals and is hugely supportive.

PB:   Bill, what results have you achieved in Powerlifting comps?

BG:   I compete in the Masters division(40-44).   My best competition lifts to date are 430lb bench, 475lb squat and a 440 deadlift.

PB:    How is Zach doing in his Powerlifting division?

BG:   Zach competes in the 13-15 year old division.   Zach’s best competition lifts are 315 bench,365 squat and a 420 dead lift.

PB:   So a father and son training together, how does that work? 🙂

BG:   We train well together and there is rarely any tension.   I started late in life,  I realize I am in my forties and there are some limitations.   I am always trying to get a little better every time. I cannot wait for the day that Zach can surpass me,I know it will be soon.  He is at a point where he makes bigger gains on a regular basis.I make sure he trains smart and concentrates on good form.

PB:    So where are your next competitions?

BG:   Zach will be attending the APA Vermont event in October where he holds the American record in the Bench Press and Deadlift.  He is hoping to break the Word record bench press in his divisions.   We will both be competing in the Iron Asylum SSA event in Oct.

We are hoping to attend the IPL World Power Lifting Championships in LasVegas Dec. 3rd at the Golden Nugget Casino.   Zach’s goal for that competition is a 415lb squat,a 335lb bench press and a 450lb deadlift for a 1200lb total.

I am sure Zach should  do fine and I am very proud of his efforts.I hope to better my totals.   My totals will probably be at the lower end but it will be a great time traveling to compete in such an event and an honor for us to share the platform with such world class strength athletes.

PB:   So how many lifting records does Zach currently hold

BG:   Zach currently holds the IPA World Bench Press Record,Unlimited(13-15) in his weight class.He also holds the New York State IPA Squat,Dead lift and Bench Press records for those divisions.He holds the APA American Bench Press and deadlift record(13-15 year old)Unlimited for his weight division.Zach also holds the SSA American and New York State Bench,Squat and dead lift records(13-15 year old)Unlimited in his weight division.

PB:   Wow…Thank-you for a very interesting interview.

BG:   Thank You Again For Your Interest.

Read our other strongman/powerlifters interviews:

Todd Whiter one of the strongest powerlifters pound for pound


Gawain Johnstone one of the fastest rising powerlifters 


US Father and Son Powerlifters 


Moe Westmoreland –  Strongman arrives from powerlifters past 


Eben Le Roux – Australian Strongman champion

Mark Wells – Australian Strongman Competitor


Sue Metcalf – Australian Strongwoman International Competitor

Fred Hatfield – Icon to Powerlifters worldwide


Sigfus Fossdal – Our First Interview – Powerlifters powerlifter.

Sigfus Fossdal –  A Year on with the 398lb Powerlifters powerlifter


My Interview with Geoff Capes – Worlds Strongest Man Winner 1983/1985