Could Kelly Branton Join the 1,000 lb Raw Squat Club This Arnold?

There are only a handful of powerlifters who’ve squatted 1,000 lbs or more raw in competition. Ray Williams and Jezza Uepa are two of the better known competitors in this elite weight club. In 2016, Williams and Uepa made history hitting epic 1,000+ squats, but 2017 is a new year, and we may be seeing a another member join them.

Kelly Michael Branton is a 120+kg Canadian powerlifter who finished third behind Williams and Uepa at the 2016 IPF Classic World Men’s Championships. He’s known for putting up big weight, but could the Arnold Classic be the first time we see him squat 1,000 lbs?

His latest Instagram post gives a little insight into what we might expect in two weeks at the Sling Shot Pro American.

From his photo description he writes, “ARNOLD’S UPDATE 1003 SQUAT TALK. If I destroy my second squat attempt/or if Arnold is in the crowd “please tag him in this post” I will be LOADING 1003/455kilo FOR MY THIRD ATTEMPT.

My best in Comp squat is 903 this will be a 100 pound PB. The Arnold’s is my time to push my body beyond the percentage charts. I believe in my self and I have already squatted it in my mind 1000 times. Powerlifting is all about being mentally strong. So on March,4,2017 I will set out to make some history. So let’s kill that second attempt:). If you want to turn a vision into reality, you have to give 100% and never stop believing in your dream.”

A 100 lb squat PR is a lofty goal regardless who the athlete or what the lift is. Three days ago Branton shared a 903 lb squat video. Keep in mind, this is the same weight as his highest recorded competition squat.

This squat didn’t look like the easiest lift, but it definitely doesn’t look like a max effort attempt. Plus, you have to account for the fatigue that Branton’s nervous system and muscles are probably experiencing as he’s currently in prep.

Also, let’s not forget that six weeks ago Branton performed a 10-second squat walkout with 1,003 lbs on the bar. In that video’s description he wrote, “I am the next 1,000 lb squatter.” 

There’s no doubt that Branton has been pushing for this strength feat for quite some time, but do you think he’s ready? Some lifters have speculated that he’s possibly hiding a bigger squat than his latest 903 lb post, while others have said no way.

What do you think? Will Branton be the next 1,000 lb raw squatter this Arnold?

Feature image from @great_white_north_juggernaut Instagram page. 

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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.