Meanwhile in North Carolina, twenty-one-year-old weightlifter Nathan Damron — known in weightilfting circles as “The Freedom Fridge” — has just hit a personal record in the block clean. It’s not often we see an American in his weight class handling 215 kilograms (474 pounds).

He posted this video with the caption,

215kg (474lb) block clean PR! _ @coachtravismash bet money on this lift without realizing the dirty things I’m willing to do to make a heavy clean  💰💰💰

Damron is a -94kg athlete and the current senior American record in the clean & jerk belongs to Kendrick Farris, who made a lift of 211 kilograms (465 pounds) at the 2013 World University Games.

[Farris has since gone vegan, and we added him to our list of the 5 strongest vegans on Earth. Check out the full list!]

But we can’t really say that Damron is cleaning 4 kilograms over the American record since it was off of blocks and because there was a rerack, or a slight adjustment, at the bottom of the lift. That rerack would disqualify the lift in competition.

And of course, the clean & jerk requires a jerk — which Damron also happened to PR this week. Below you can see the heaviest jerk he’s ever made: 207 kilograms, or 455 pounds.

So can we expect a 207-kilogram clean & jerk at Worlds later this month? We think he’s got a pretty good shot, since we saw him managing a full clean of 207 kilograms this past August:

That said, we haven’t seen him max the clean & jerk in a while. He managed a 193kg competition lift at the Pan American Championships in July, where his total earned him sixth place. But in training we saw him hit 197 kilograms in June, though we believe his all-time PR in the lift is 205 kilograms, which he made almost a year ago in training.

Fingers crossed we see the Freedom Fridge exceed 205 kilograms at Worlds.

Featured image via @nathandamron94 on Instagram.


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I’m a journalist and content producer with over seven years' reporting experience on four continents, with most of that spent covering health-related issues. My resume includes covering cholera outbreaks in Kenya and the clubbing scene in Shanghai, which is also where I wrote my first ever health article for an English language magazine. (It was on diarrhea.)After returning to Australia to finish up degrees in Journalism and International Relations I wound up in New York City where I’ve worked for Men’s Health, VICE, Popular Science and others. I try to keep health relatively simple — it’s mostly vegetables and sweat — but I live to explore the debates, the fringes, the niche, and the nitty gritty.