A 14-year-old weightlifter is fast making his mark on the sport – and can already lift more than twice his own weight.

Jake Schellenschlager, from Glen Burnie, Maryland (USA), has been setting world records for his weight class – under 123 pounds – after devoting himself to training for the last two-and-a-half years.

The 5ft 3, 119 pound teenager has now opened up to the Washington Post about his love of the sport and his aspirations for the future – while his parents insist it is safe on the growing boy’s body.

He started training at the age of 12 when he saw his father lifting weights in the garage.

‘He told me he wanted to be the strongest kid in the world one day,’ his father, Chris Schellenschlager, wrote on their website.

The boy started joining his father at the gym, where he met his future trainer, Mike Sarni. Jake now trains daily and can now deadlift 300 pounds.

‘My dad… is super strong,’ Jake said. ‘When I see him it gives me motivation.’

It is Jake’s dream to continue competing and setting records in his weight class. In June, he broke the world record for the squat for his age and weight at the Powerliftng Bench Press Championships in York, Pennsylvania.

Sarni said the teenager’s physical feats are possible due to his mental strength.

‘He doesn’t feel he can be defeated,’ Sarni told the Post. ‘It is that inner strength that tells him, “I can do this.” Usually, you only get that in older, more mature people.’

But while the American Academy of Pediatrics supports strength training for teenage athletes, it warns youngsters against powerlifting while they are still growing, the Post reported.

‘There is high risk to heavy maximal lifts or explosive lifts during their rapid growth phrase,’ said Paul Stricker, a fellow at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

‘Some don’t believe it is good to have kids weight lifting too early,’ he said. ‘But Jake never complains about pain or hurting, and he gets regular check-ups.’

His mother, Brandy, said that she was worried about him lifting weights but soon reasoned that it was like him playing any other sport.

His father added: ‘You don’t want your kid to be sitting on a couch and playing video games.’