POWERHOUSE Gary Ell is giving his muscles a well-earned rest after smashing an incredible 38 world records during a charity weightlifting challenge.

The 41-year-old dad-of-three hauled a colossal 36 metric|tonnes – the equivalent of a|fully-laden articulated lorry – in just over three hours to raise more than £250 for Devon charity Hospiscare.

His efforts have earned him 28 masters world records, for weightlifters aged 40-plus, and ten open world records, as well as the admiration of his fellow members at Tiverton Weightlifting Club, who assisted with the challenge at Sunningmead Community Centre on Sunday.

Among the 100 weightlifting disciplines he put his back into was the tricep-busting French press, the Olympic standard clean and jerk, and a number of finger-lifts which required him to hold the weight of an adult woman with just his finger tips.

“I still have sore hands, sore legs and sore shoulders,” said Gary, who lives in Tiverton and works as an ambulance care assistant.

“I could not physically move my hands when I finished, they were just welded around the bar.

“I could not have done it without my helpers from the weightlifting club giving up their afternoons.

“I did tell them it was their turn next year but I was told I was the only person mad enough to try it.”

As members of the International All-Round Weightlifting Association, his assistants were verified to confirm his records and he has already been contacted by the United States All-Round Weightlifting Association about a feature for its website.

“When I was doing it I did not know how much I was lifting because I was just so focused on the challenge,” added Gary.

“It wasn’t until I’d finished that I was told I had well exceeded the 15 tonnes I was aiming for.”

Tracey Skinner, of Hospiscare, which provides expert care for people with terminal conditions across Devon, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that he has raised that amount for us and managed to break all those records at the same time.

“He is a very inspirational character and the funds he has raised will go towards helping people all over Devon with terminal illnesses at this difficult time of year.”