Ex-blacksmith Amputee to Set New World Record for Weightlifting

13th November 2023

Two-years after his arm was amputated John Whitman is close to setting a new world record for weightlifting. 

The former Blacksmith from Market Deeping, East Midlands is on a mission to set a new world record for weightlifting with one arm. 

The 41-year old tragically lost his arm in a workplace accident. After 36 painful operations to try to save his hand, a decision was made by medics to amputate his arm below-the-elbow to save his life.  

after the amputation I just felt lost, all the operations and pain just became who I was.

Two-years on John Whitman is still on the road to recovery and is determined to gain back his independence “after the amputation I just felt lost, all the operations and pain just became who I was.” 

Earlier this year John was fitted with a new super-lightweight 3D printed activity arm Hero Flex, allowing him to train in the gym and explore new hobbies “It was a game changer. Getting outdoors and the gym really felt like gaining a bit of old me back, and gave my energy a positive outlet.”  

John is very close to breaking the Guinness World Records title for the Most Weight Lifted by Bench Press in one hour (AA4). John needs to surpass the minimum requirement of 2,100kg (4,629lb) in order to be successful.

Now weightlifting at the gym 3-4 days per week, John feels in better physical health than before his amputation. “To set the world record for weightlifting with an impairment would create such a positive outcome out of all the struggles I’ve endured in the past two-years.”

Open Bionics is on a mission to support individuals like John turn their disabilities into superpowers. The company uses innovative technologies such as 3D printing and 3D scanning to ensure each Hero Flex is custom-built to each user. 
Upper limb amputees interested in getting a Hero Flex can register interest here where Open Bionics will determine eligibility and arrange an assessment.