Submitted photo – Eureka’s Bryan Hartman set a new state record in powerlifting in San Jose last month.

With a California state record already achieved in powerlifting, one local man is turning his attention toward a world record.

Bryan Hartman, who has lived in Eureka for much of his life, has been a weight lifting enthusiast for about as long as he can remember, but only recently got into competing.

And he hasn’t disappointed.

In his first competition in April of last year, Hartman set a national drug-tested record in his division in the bench press, with a mark of 275.6 pounds.

Hartman, 53, competes in the Masters 100KG (220 pounds) division.

He has since gone on to set four state or national records in the bench press, including a new mark at the San Jose Fit Expo in July, where he bench pressed 303.1 pounds.

Submitted photo

For Hartman, it’s been a lifelong passion.

“I’ve always loved weight lifting, since I was in junior high,” he said. “It’s a great workout, a stress reliever, I just love doing it. I enjoy the time in the gym.”

Despite his love for the workouts, Hartman didn’t begin competing in the sport until last year, as the USPA (United States Powerlifting Association) stepped up their testing procedures and began holding drug-tested events.

“Really that’s what I was waiting for,” he said. “And I looked at some of the powerlifting marks and I said to myself I could beat those records.”

He has done that and more, and now he’s turning his attention to a shot at the world bench press record in his division, which stands at 337 pounds.

“My goal in San Jose was actually the world record,” said Hartman, who had a disappointing third and final lift after having set the state mark on his second attempt.

Hartman, who trains both at Cal Courts and in his own garage, will be back in action in November at an event in Malpitas, where he hopes to break his own state record.

“My main goal when I go to Malpitas is to up my state record and that will qualify me for other meets,” he said. 

Because of sanctioning rules, Hartman will not be able to attempt a world record at that event, but is hoping to get the opportunity to do so in the near future.

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Ray Hamill writes at, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.