Watch Weightlifter Wes Kitts Barely Miss a 221kg Clean & Jerk

Wes Kitts is one of the brightest jewels in California Strength’s crown, routinely lighting up Instagram with his feats of strength. His latest: an excellent clean followed by an almost jerk of 221 kilograms (487.2lb). Watch the lift that almost exceeded the American record in the clean & jerk for the -105kg class, which was set by Wes Barnett in 1999.

[Could weight distribution be the reason you’re missing your lifts? Here are some ways to find out.]

Kitts wrote with this lift,

Disappointing end to the realization cycle. 221kg (487#) for a clean and missed jerk after making 213kg. Came into the session feeling a bit tired, but that’s not a good excuse.

I got an opportunity to hit some big lifts and let it pass me by.

Hoping I can clean some things up as I start my taper and show up to Pan Ams in the Dominican ready to crush some big lifts! Feeling down but definitely not out. Hungrier than ever…

One thing’s for sure: that clean looked really solid, more so than the last time we saw him hit 221 kilograms four weeks ago.

We’ve seen the man jerk 237 kilograms (522.5 pounds) about a year ago, but of course, it’s also a lot easier to jerk a weight when you haven’t had to heave it from the floor to your shoulders first.

For now, the history books know Kitts as the man who holds the American record in the snatch, which he set at December’s World Weightlifting Championships with 176 kilograms (388 pounds). That day he also went on to clean & jerk 210 kilograms (463 pounds), a lift that he’s repeatedly exceeded, most recently this week with this 213-kilogram clean & jerk.

We’re pretty certain he’ll be taking the clean & jerk record before too long. For now, it’s a waiting game.

Featured image via @weskitts22 on Instagram.

Nick English

Nick English

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 things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

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.

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