Caine Wilkes may be America’s best weightlifting troll, and we mean that in the best possible way. The reigning 105+ National Champion and World Team Member moves more weight than any other American weightlifter in roughly a decade, but that doesn’t mean his approach in training is to always go heavy. In fact, Caine (jokingly) claims a lot of his success comes from the innovative and often overlooked #snatch50everydayprogram, wherein a very strong man lifts relatively light weight for a few reps.
It’s funny the first time, but Caine really commits to the joke, and he’s been posting videos of himself snatching 50 kilograms for the better part of a year. (Interested in watching Caine lift REALLY heavy things? We’ve got you covered at the bottom of this article.)
Here he is snatching 50 kg:
Warmed up with 50kg today. I like to base my confidence for competitions off of how 50kg feels. And let me tell you, I was like butter with it today. Everything felt good, squats, drops, powers, adjusting the weight. Really good. Felt no more than 110 pounds. So I feel some real big numbers coming soon. At least I’m pretty sure. I worked up to 130/160 today and it all felt horrible… but 50kg felt really, really, like REALLY, good. Mandatory countdown to Nationals: soon. Ish. #fire #taperhumor #50keysfodays #gainz #liftlikecaine #probablyshouldnttaperlikecainetho #taperweekisthebestweek #theworkisdone #ifjamesisgoingto85imcuttingto56 #thehashtagisstrongwiththisone
More of Caine making 50 kilograms look like no more than 110 pounds:
#transformationtuesday another 50kg session from last friday. The man I am now today, four days later, is largely due to this session. Thank you, 50 kilograms and @seanmrigsby. @muscledriverusa @wilkesweightlifting @rxproshop @fitaid @cf_callused #justadragonandacentauronaplaydate #idliketothankjeffgoldblum #Repost @seanmrigsby with @repostapp ・・・ @thedragonwilkes and I trained together yesterday, which is good because I was worried about how his training was going to be the next few weeks out at the OTC. Fortunately we got him dialed in on the #snatch50everydayprogram He looks good for at least 140kg more at Worlds. #weightlifting #fitness #crossfit #teammdusa #teamusa #liftlikecaine #justadragonandacentauronaplaydate
A video posted by Caine Wilkes (@thedragonwilkes) on
Again 50 kg, this tie in the training hall before the 2015 Houston World Weightlifting Championships:
50kg warmup today. Probably the best lifting I’ve done in Houston. Maybe the only lifting I’ve done in Houston. The venue is awesome, atmosphere is great, and 50 kilograms feels like nothing guy! Lifting in some days! #snatch50everydayprogram #fire #MDUSA #teammdusa #pendlay #wilkesweightlifting #liftlikecaine #rxps #rxproshop #wefuelthemachines #fitaid #teamfitaid #olympicweightlifting #olympiclifting #snatch #dragonapproved @muscledriverusa @wilkesweightlifting @rxproshop @fitaid @cf_callused
But wait! Caine Wilkes is not messing around. Here he can be seen snatching a mind-blowing 60 kg, up a full 20% from his normal training weight:
Yesterday I snatched 60kg. I didn’t snatch 50kg as I normally do, but sometimes you need to up the intensity of a workout. This variation in intensity helps produce greatest results. Although one must also remember to lower volume for the rise in intensity. So I only did a single here and then moved on to clean & jerks. #snatch50everydayprogram @wilkesweightlifting @rxproshop @fitaid @gnarlynutrition @cf_callused #wilkesweightlifting #liftlikecaine #rxps #rxproshop #wefuelthemachines #fitaid #teamfitaid #olympicweightlifting #olympiclifting #snatch #dragonapproved
A video posted by Caine Wilkes (@thedragonwilkes) on
If there is a minimally effective dose for 105+ kilo lifters, we think Caine’s found it.
And while Caine doesn’t seem to always take himself too seriously, he’s certainly a competitor, even when that means going cross-sport. He lifted the heaviest weights by anyone in the 2015 CrossFit Liftoff ( snatching 177 kilos and clean & jerking 218 kilos). But in order to qualify his lifts, Caine also had to complete the conditioning portion;he did not sandbag this portion.
If you’ve ever wanted to see a 300+ pound man complete chest to bar pull-ups and double unders (with some proficiency!), check out the below:
Okay, fine. You want to see Caine lift really, really heavy things instead of 50 kilos over and over?
Here he is snatching 186 kilos/409 pounds:
My 186 snatch with my Dad and a few members of @muscledriverusa looking on from the back. In particular was my brother, @smooth94lifter who competed in his first national competition in over 3 years. It was exciting to see him compete again after such a long absence. And the support I get from him is overwhelming. I’m very lucky to be lifting with him again! @wilkesweightlifting @cf_callused @rxproshop @fitaid #wilkesweightlifting #wilkesbrothers #liftlikecaine #rxproshop #RXPS #wefuelthemachines #fitaid #teamfitaid #olympicweightlifting #snatch #dragonapproved #Repost @muscledriverusa with @repostapp ・・・ Team MDUSA member @thedragonwilkes Caine Wilkes with a 186kg final snatch! #TeamMDUSA #MDUSA #USAWeightlifting #USAW #USAWNC #Snatch #NationalChampion #Supers
And here’s his 230 clean & jerk PR from USAW Nationals in 2015, video courtesy of MuscleDriver USA’s Instagram account:
Team MDUSA member @thedragonwilkes Caine Wiles just had an epic end to a National Championship! Caine just hit a 230kg/502lb Clean and Jerk ending the meet with a 6/6 performance with a 416kg total! Awesome job Caine! #TeamMDUSA #USAWeightlifting #TeamMDUSA #USAW #USAWNC #CleanandJerk #Supers #NationalChampion
A video posted by MuscleDriver USA (@muscledriverusa) on
For some context, Caine looks to be within shooting distance of the American superheavyweight snatch, clean & jerk, and total records, all held by Shane Hamman. Shane snatched 197.5 kilos in November 2002 and clean & jerked 237.5 kilos at the 2004 Athens Olympics (where he totalled 430 kilograms, also the American record).
Hamman’s lifts remain the heaviest competition lifts ever made by an American, though we’re betting Caine is hoping to change that in the next couple years.