In 2013, CT fletcher went viral with a Youtube Video entitled “ The Strongest Man You’ve Never Heard of”
Kelly Branton of Windsor Ontario has you beat by a long shot.
Boasting an absolutely monstrous, 903 lbs squat (IN SLEEVES!) a 564 lbs bench and a 730 lbs deadlift, Kelly’s anonymity will be short lived, as he is now the strongest power lifter in Canadian history and one of the strongest men in the world.
Kelly’s hard nose attitude and savage intensity has lead him to 4 Canadian championships and a bronze on the world stage. This might be the first time you’ve heard the name Kelly Branton, but you can bet it wont be the last.
JS: Hey Kelly, first off I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do this for me! Before we start why don’t you give us a bit of a background on yourself?
KB: Thanks for having me. My background powerlifting wise: I started powerlifting in 2009, I’ve been doing it for about eight years now I took a little break because of a back injury. I have won 4 national championships, I competed in my first world championship in 2015 where I got a bronze metal.
Most recently took home gold at Commonwealth championships in Vancouver. In my powerlifting career I’ve broke many national and provincial records.
JS: Do you remember the first time you stepped into a gym? What was your first ever work out?
KB: I was in the 6th grade when I did my first workout, I lied on the form the gym made me fill out so I was able workout alone. I did not want to workout with my parents present.
My first time I worked out I remember doing lots of pec-deck and leg press.
JS: Before you were bending bars, you were lifting cars…what motivated you to go from strongman to powerlifting?
KB: Actually, I was powerlifting first then just did one strongman meet then back to powerlifting. Strongman is an insane sport those guys have to be good at so many disciplines. But my passion was always powerlifting.
JS:What are your “go-to” accessory movements and do you still use strongman as apart of your training?
KB: Good mornings / rows / leg press / hack squat / hammer curls/ lots of triceps. I still use a little bit to help with grip and lots of overload training.
JS: You’ve had so many accomplishments in the sport, from Canadian National Championships, to Canadian records, Commonwealth Gold and a Bronze on the World Stage. Which of your performances do you rank highest in your mind?
KB: When I got to compete at worlds for the first time I could not describe the feeling. I was laid out for 2.5 years just watching raw lifting rise. When the day came when I got to lift at IPF worlds against Blaine/Ray/Jezza and all the other animals it was surreal.
JS: You and I both hail from Windsor Ontario, a blue-collar town to say the least. How has growing up in 519 impacted you as a person and as a lifter?
KB: Windsor has the most pro athletes per capita in Canada. All of them are tough as nails in their sport. We grow up with a little a chip on shoulders. I love the 519
JS: What measures do you take to stay healthy through all that training???
KB: Measures I take to stay healthy in training: I try to make every rep explosive and fast I stay away from grinding and I always try to stay in position. When you’re out of position your chance of getting hurt goes up dramatically.
JS: You’ve referred to your state of mind as “angry” when you are lifting, and anyone watching would definitely agree. Has this state of mind always been present when you’ve competed?
KB: Everyone is different I just can’t be laughing and playing around when I’m lifting. I need to be focused, aggressive and pissed off. It comes naturally. I truly think powerlifting’s 80% mental so I try to stay focused and in that state of mind that I need to be. That makes me the best I can be.
JS: I’ve just recently had the pleasure of training at the Power Pit in Belle River; can you discuss the importance of training around like minded people and such accomplished lifters in the sport?
KB: I’ve had the pleasure of training at the power Pit pretty much since I started powerlifting. It’s always great to train with people that are in the same sport you are in. The power pit ranges all different ages and levels of lifters so you do learn a lot. In the sport you have to be open minded to get better whenever you think you got it all figured out I can guarantee you, you do not.
JS: One of the things that really sets you apart is you are without a doubt one of the strongest truly raw power lifters in the world, have you ever, or have you ever thought about competing in wraps?
KB: I’m not against competing in wraps. I would probably do it if I was in a league that had wraps but I don’t see any benefit except for some overload training that I would put them on for.
JS: “Eat and Grow”, is a phrase now synonymous with Kelly Branton, what does it take to feed the machine on a daily basis?
KB: Yeah that seem to of caught on pretty good to me it’s all about eating the right foods in a ton of them I grew up around competitive bodybuilder’s and really listen to what they say about nutrition. Eat like a off season bodybuilder train like a power lifter GAME OVER.
JS: You went for the record at the commonwealth with your last deadlift attempt and missed it by a hair, can we expect redemption in Texas come June?
KB: In June records are not a concern of mine. I have one goal and one goal only. I’ll do whatever I have too.
JS: You’ve become an inspiration for young lifters, especially young Canadian lifters. Who did you admire as you were climbing the ranks?
KB: My favorite lifter of all time was Kirk Karwoski his intensity is kinda what I think I feel. I loved watching him squat.
In Canada when I first started a guy name Alex Mardell was top gun he totaled 1000kg, Something I have always wanted to do. I always admired him when I was coming up, I wanted to compete against him but I got hurt.
JS:What’s next for Kelly Branton?