Wes Kitts Hits a 220kg Clean in Training, Closes in on American Record

Less than two weeks after the last update, we’re putting together another article covering 105kg weightlifter Wes Kitts’ impressive lifts.

On June 27th, we reported on Kitts’ new snatch and total personal records, which happened to surpass American records as well. Today, Kitts continues to prove that he’s one of the top athletes to watch at this year’s Pan Ams being held in Miami, Florida, July 22-28th.

Yesterday, California Strength shared a video (featured below) of Kitts cleaning 220kg with what looks like relative ease.

There wasn’t a jerk to complete the 220kg lift, but Kitts continues to prove he’s moving closer to catching all of the American records in his weight class. His speed under the bar was crazy, so a 220kg+ clean & jerk may be in the somewhat near future for this strong American weightlifter.

What will Kitts’ attempts look like at the Pan Ams in two weeks? California Strength gave some prediction into what we can expect, plus a little foreshadowing into a possible World Championships performance later this year.

In the video’s comments section Zach E. said, “My Pan Am prediction, Snatch: 167, 173, 180. C&J: 205, 213, 220.”

California Strength replied with, “That’s pretty spot on for a potential progression at Worlds. Pan Ams will probably look more like S: 163, 170, 175. CJ: 200, 208, 216 (Last couple of CJs will obviously be strategic decisions) I like where your heads at though!!!”

Kitts currently holds the Senior American Snatch record at 174kg. Wes Barnett holds the Senior American Clean & Jerk record with 220kg and Total at 390kg. As mentioned above, Kitts recently pushed both the snatch and total record in training by hitting a 175kg snatch and 391kg total (video below). 

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Every so often in a coach's life an athlete comes along that changes you. He or she is transformative in the sense that they make you better. Not through explicit demands but through sheer appreciation for their rage to master. Coaching @weskitts22 compels me to work harder, be more creative, more organized and more accountable because I simply refuse to let him down. — We have trained for 6 months uninterrupted for this upcoming Pan Am Championship. We have experimented with programming and Wes has made massive technical progress and significant strength gains. — Our goal for the Pan Am Championships was to be in shape to total 391kg. That performance should be sufficient for gold and it nearly doubles his current USAW stipend. Perhaps most importantly though, it represents 1kg over Wes Barnett's American Record Total. Conditioning the body and the mind to make these attempts in one training session is difficult. Add to that the pressure of knowing you are attacking one of the most impressive records in American Weightlifting and nerves can easily be rattled. — Last Friday marked the end of the 1st Mesocycle of our Realization Phase. Wes put away his straps two weeks ago and had been struggling to feel the bar in the Snatch. Nevertheless in a performance that validated a lot of our efforts this year, he Snatched 175kg (1kg over his American Record) and CJ'd 216kg (1kg over his current lifetime PR) to total 391kg (1kg over Wes Barnett's American Record Total). — No matter what your opinion is of me or the Cal Strength Team, I can tell you with certainty, Wes is destined for greatness. I encourage you to sit back and enjoy watching him this Quad. I, on the other hand will be in the trenches trying to do my best to guide this incredible young man to realize his potential. The stress and pressure are very real but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel blessed to be on this journey with him. – Dave Spitz — #American105 @weskitts22 #calstrength #cytostrength #weightlifting #caffeineandkilos #fitaid @cytosport @usaweightlifting @caffeineandkilos @fitaid

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Could Kitts end up claiming all of the American records by the end of this year? Time will tell, but judging from California Strength’s recent training videos, it definitely doesn’t seem unrealistic.

Judging from California Strength’s comment above, if Kitts’ attempt went as planned at Worlds, he would be tying the clean & jerk record, and pushing his snatch record further. Obviously, if both of those fell into place, then Kitts could find himself with the total record as well.

Feature image screenshot from @cal_strength Instagram page.