Wes Kitts Just Broke the American Total and Snatch Records in Training

Wes Kitts has once again shown that he’s one of the best Olympic weightlifters in the United States.

In fact, there’s now an argument to be made that he’s the best American weightlifter in the 105kg class: he just broke the American record in the snatch and the total in training. And it was a fight.

Take a look at the video below of a training session that took place last Friday at California Strength and was just uploaded yesterday. Kitts is one of a few athletes the video follows as they try to max their lifts, and there are a few pretty inspiring feats, including 94kg athlete Shaheen Hashemian snatching 143kg (315.2lb, at the 1.10 mark) and hitting a clean & jerk of 160kg (352.7lb) at the 3 minute mark.

But Kitts broke two American records, but of course, they’re just training lifts, and we’re excited to see if he can replicate this on a competition platform.

We’ve embedded the video below to start at his first attempt at a 175kg (385.8lb) snatch — he misses it twice but hits it on the third attempt, beating his own American record in the lift by one kilogram.

When it came time for the clean & jerk, Kitts was laser focused on hitting 216kg (476lb). The American record in that particular lift is currently held by Wes Barnett with 220kg (485lb), but hitting 216 would show that Kitts has the strength to eclipse the total record. (We saw him clean & jerk 215kg in February.)

We’ve embedded the clip again below to start when Kitts starts his clean & jerk attempts.

The first was “just” a clean, and Kitts dropped it before jerking. But then, with an enormous amount of effort, he makes the clean again and completes the lift.

The 390kg total record that Kitts would have beaten had this lift taken place in competition was set all the way back in 1999 by Wes Barnett at the Weightlifting World Championships in Athens.

Featured image via CaliforniaStrength on YouTube.

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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