The hype is real in lead up to this year’s Kern US Open.
By now, if you’re a powerlifter or an avid BarBend follower, then more than likely you know this invite only meet is set to take place May 12-13th in San Diego, California. The full roster for both the men’s and women’s weight classes are stacked beyond belief.
On the men’s side, one athlete who’s coming into the competition with something to prove is junior 90kg powerlifter Ashton Rouska. Hot off a big first place finish at the 2018 USAPL Collegiate National Championships (more on that below), Rouska is dialing in his training to hang with the best at the Kern US Open.
His latest deadlift video features one of his biggest pulls of his career and comes in at a monstrous 365kg (804 lbs). Check it out below.
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804 lbs. Judgement day is here. No more games. No more doubts. I am going to crush the US Open. I will accomplish the likes of which this world has never seen from a natural 200 lb lifter. The world will know my power, and I will break the chains on the beast I’ve had in me all these years…it’s time to take the throne. @chestnificent @hfourhelenn @kingsilverback56 @ddavison97 @hector.landa.2012 @thekilocartel @sbdapparel @kingofthelifts
Now for the hype, in Rouska’s video’s description he writes, “804 lbs. Judgement day is here. No more games. No more doubts. I am going to crush the US Open. I will accomplish the likes of which this world has never seen from a natural 200 lb lifter. The world will know my power, and I will break the chains on the beast I’ve had in me all these years…it’s time to take the throne.”
By the energy and progress in his lifting, we’re pumped to see what Rouska puts together come meet day. It’s going to be interesting to see how this young competitor at 21 years old hangs with some of powerlifting’s titans.
We mentioned it above, but Rouska ended up taking home first at the 2018 USAPL Collegiate National Championships, which took place April 18th-22nd. He competed in the 93kg weight class and finished with a 343kg (755 lb) squat, a 177kg (391 lb) bench press, and 333kg (733 lb) deadlift.
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1st place 205 lb class, Collegiate National Champion! I am the first known in collegiate Powerlifting to win an equipped meet going raw with only knee wraps! 8/9. This meet, while not an all out effort on my part, was very demanding and extremely fun! The goal wasn’t to total extremely high, but to get some weight on my back again. A great training event for the US Open and I couldn’t be happier with how it went. I weighed in at a light 196.5. Due to Bataan Death March, my field training exercise with sleep deprivation and a 12 Mile ruck, and a semester that’s wrapping up, I didn’t get to really train for 2-3 weeks (I essentially lost that time). I know confidently now for the US Open I will be in very good shape to total big considering all variables. Missed a lot of sleep this week (and drove to college station right before competing and weigh ins, lol). ON TO THE OPEN 🔥🔥 Shoutout to @puro.pinche.sordo and @k_latrell , you two did awesome work at that meet! First vid : 755 lbs (called 2-1 for depth, but the bar whip was crazy which is what caused me to cut it. Absolutely sank every other squat today. This is with shorter knee wraps then for open. Moved easy as hell. Do what you will with that. ) 2nd vid: 391 lbs Bench. Watch till end ☺️ 3rd: 733 lbs deadlift. Wasn’t my best deadlift day by any means, but still had more in tank, and again, considering variables all in all not bad! Thanks to my beautiful girlfriend, @hfourhelenn , my bros @chestnificent @pjinny @ddavison97 @hector.landa.2012 and of course to all the people at the meet and around the world that tuned in and supported me. Seriously, I couldn’t do all of this without the overwhelming support you all give me. ❤️🇺🇸 God Bless! @thekilocartel @sbdapparel #sbd #thekilocartel #armystrong
And if his numbers weren’t impressive enough he mentions in the video’s description, “1st place 205 lb class, Collegiate National Champion! I am the first known in collegiate Powerlifting to win an equipped meet going raw with only knee wraps! 8/9.”
His description concludes by talking about how his UTSA Army Cadet training has been taking a toll on his sleep and activity levels, although, he’s still managing to put the work in at the gym. There’s no denying that Rouska has a ton of grit, so now it’s time to sit back and see what he can do come meet day.
Feature image from @ash117 Instagram page.