Watch Clarence Kennedy Do Powerlifting and Weightlifting At a Recent (Unofficial) Meet

We’re simple people at BarBend. When we see Clarence Kennedy post a video, we watch.

The Irish weightlifter — variously known in internet circles as Harry Potter and Clark Kent, and the Irish Hulk — is known for his superhero levels of strength in the Olympic lifts (and his vegan diet), having performed snatches at 185kg (407.8lb) and clean & jerks at 220kg (485lb) as a 94kg class athlete.

Those are elite lifts — the world record in the snatch for the 94kg class is just three kilograms above Kennedy’s PR, though of course there are big differences between training and competition lifts — which is why it was both surprising and not surprising at all when he announced in a recent BarBend interview that he was interested in switching to powerlifting.

The reasoning he gave didn’t go much further than, and we’re quoting him here, “I’m pretty good at the squat, bench, and deadlift, so I figured why not!” But that’s a pretty darn good reason, and on Sunday he made a rare appearance at an unofficial powerlifting and weightlifting meet in Bray, Ireland.

Now weighing 106kg, Kennedy competed in both weightlifting and powerlifting, performing the snatch, clean & jerk, squat, bench, and deadlift.

Naturally, he came first on every single lift, winning the best pound for pound and overall lifter. (There were no weight classes at this unofficial meet.)

You can watch all of his lifts in the video below, which includes appearances by fellow vegan weightlifter David Nolan and competitor Eoin Murphy, whose squat Kennedy beat by just a single kilogram. (Though Kennedy was doing pause back squats, which he does in order to limit the weight he can use and thereby protect his knees to a degree.)

Kennedy snatched 160kg (352.7lb), clean & jerked 200kg (441lb), pause back squatted 281kg (620lb), benched 190kg (419lb), and deadlifted 320kg (705.5lb) with straps. None of these were personal records for Kennedy, but in a follow-up interview with BarBend, he noted that he isn’t training as often as he once did.

“I just did (the meet) casually, I’ve been training two to three times a week these days,” he said. (Earlier this year, he was lifting four out of every five days.) “My knee injury is bothering me, and mentally, I can’t handle high frequency training right now. I’ve been training hard for too long without a break.”

Kennedy has experienced knee tendinopathy in both knees and has required multiple surgeries, and he predicts more surgery in his future.

“I could’ve done a 170kg snatch and a 210kg clean & jerk, but I couldn’t have lifted much more weight in the other lifts,” he admitted. He also said he doesn’t see any more meets in the near future, and isn’t so sure he still wants to compete in powerlifting. (“I change my mind fast on things,” he says.)

Keen observers of his popular YouTube channel may have noticed that the Irish Clark Kent has gained some serious muscle over the past year, and now weighs in at 106kg. But despite the compliments he receive on his physique on YouTube and Reddit, Kennedy isn’t enjoying the extra mass.

“I hate being this heavy. Everyday life is hard at 106 kilos,” he admitted, bringing to mind similar comments made by German superheavyweight lifter Matthias Steiner. “It made my cleans a lot worse. I did get stronger though. I gained the weight on purpose, but it wasn’t a good idea, and it really messed with my mobility. At the moment I’m focusing on going down to between 98 and 100 kilograms. I felt best around the time I did 340 kilograms in the deadlift, and I was 100 kilograms at that point.”

Never revealing too much about himself, there’s no way to know if Kennedy will make any more appearances at meets — powerlifting or weightlifting, official or unofficial — but we’ll be the first to watch his video if he does.

Featured image via @clarence0 on YouTube.

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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.