‘I’ll die before I quit’: RI man training to shatter his 2nd world record

Street Stories

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Joe Reverdes is already a Guinness World Record holder, but this summer, he’s looking to get his named etched in history once again.

Last fall, Joe set the world record for the most squats in a 24-hour period. Now he’s training to deadlift more than 1 million pounds in a 24-hour period.

Joe, who’s a personal trainer at his daughter’s Johnston gym, said he loves being the underdog because there’s no pressure.

But the pressure he dealt with during his younger years is what pumps him up.

Joe said he grew up on the streets with horrible role models, including his often wayward father who taught him how to lie and cheat his way through life.

“I got caught up, but it’s the best thing that ever happened to me because when I got there, that’s when I found myself,” he recalled.

Now, years later, Joe’s wife, children and grandchildren motivate him to be the best version of himself.

“My family means more to me, so now I’m broke but rich at the same time,” he said. “My relationship with my family, my support group I have here, you can’t buy with money. You can’t.”

Joe’s training is intense.

The 53-year-old typically carries a 200-pound tire around to build up muscle and strength.

“It’s non-stop,” Joe said of his training. “When I start, there’s no stopping.”

“It’s a lot on your lower back, legs, even your grip,” he continued. “It’s a full body workout and it’s a crazy conditioning workout.”

For his next record-breaking attempt, Joe said he must deadlift more than 1,047,337 pounds within 24 hours.

Joe said the current record holder’s photo is hanging on the wall of his daughter’s gym as motivation.

“I’ll die before I quit,” he added. “I’m not going to quit unless something major happens to my body, and it did happen last time, but I kept going. It’s a mental game. Mentally and physically, I’ll be ready for this.”

While attempting to break the world record is his primary goal, Joe also hopes to inspire others and prove that nothing is impossible.

“You don’t have to look strong,” he said. “You have to be strong mentally. If you set your mind and believe it can be done, you can do it. If someone has done it, why can’t I do it? Why not?”

Joe plans to train every day until his record-breaking attempt, which will take place on Sept. 4.

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