Let’s Move Quad Cities: Quad Cities Powerlifter, in his fifties, thrives through multiple surgeries and gives his reasons for persistence

EAST MOLINE, Illinois — Moline High School Assistant Wresting Coach, Weightlifting Coach, and Shop Teacher, Bill Carlough is just getting warmed.

Carlough is a competitive Powerlifter on the Mecca Barbell Team based out of Rock Falls. Powerlifting consists of three lifts including squat, bench press and dead lift.

"In a meet I've done a 722 pound squat a 529 bench 551 dead lift best total is 1769," said Carlough, who has lifted all his life, but didn't start competing until he was 43 [years old].

Now Carlough competes in meets across the country. But, because of the intense lifts, he's seen Dr. Waqas Hussain at ORA Orthopedics for seven injuries.

"When I first met him he told me, 'I like to lift, I like to stay active,' but I really had no idea," said Dr. Hussain, "He’s very very good at what he does and really enjoys [Powerlifting]."

Overtime, Dr. Hussain and Carlough have developed a relationship.

"I grew up in the Quad Cities, I’ve been here basically my whole life; I went to Moline High School myself, we always we’re able to catch up on how things are going at my old school," said Dr. Hussain who has performed three surgeries on Carlough including a detached bicep tendon and both shoulders.

"Before I had the surgeries I couldn't sit in a recliner without my shoulders screaming at me," said Carlough.

Now, Carlough is 56 years old, but age doesn't mean he, or anyone has to ease-up on exercise.

"Yeah I came back just as strong as I had been," said Carlough, who had his second best meet in April, 2016 after a operation on his left shoulder.

He says there is more to come.

"I'm not ready to hang it up yet," said Carlough.

"In the past I think we told people, you just shouldn't do these types of activities," said Dr. Hussain, adding intense competition may have been considered unique for Carlough's age in the past.

Now, Dr. Hussain says people can compete well into their fifties and sixties. When patients come to see him, he asks them what their goals are for recovery, and bases his post-surgery expectations on what his patients what to be able to do.

"Whether that's jogging, whether that's a high level of weightlifting, or whether that's playing with their grand kids," said Dr. Hussain.

For Carlough, no doubt, it's Powerlifting. He says squat is his strongest lift and his favorite meet is the Relentless Meet benefitting children with life threatening illnesses.

"The kids don't care if you lift 100 pounds or 500 pounds they're excited to see you up there lifting for them," said Carlough, who says the three things he loves about his sport are the charity meets, his Mecca Barbell team, and the students he coaches and teaches at Moline High School.

"I would want them to work hard, so if I am going to ask them to work hard I should expect the same for myself," said Carlough, "If you ask my wife, it's an obsession," he laughed.

The Mecca Barbell Team is currently training for The Relentless Meet July 7-8 in Apple Valley, Minnesota.