The kings of fake weights – the growing scourge of bodybuilding

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Recently, a group of people has been rampant on the Internet who manipulate viewers, trying to convince them that they are almost breaking Guinness World Records in bench press, when in fact they are not even able to lift half the claimed weight.

The idea of strength sports

Strength sport, like any sport, has competition as its very principle – but it should be healthy and fair. After all, the purpose of weightlifting is not the activity itself. The basic ambition of every athlete in this case is to increase his or her muscle mass and physical fitness. This is what determines whether an athlete will be recognized. How much progress will be made, how much will be lifted at a certain weight – effort, hard work, reliability

Unfortunately nowadays we can observe that many athletes give up the natural way of building muscles and try to take an easier way – they inject all kinds of substances into their bodies. However, this is just the beginning of cheating at gyms. The current trend is even more absurd and equally harmful. It consists in putting fake weights, that is empty, and therefore light discs for example, on barbells, in order to manipulate the viewer, from whose perspective it will seem that the strongman is lifting the weight of up to 300 kilograms. Thus, something is happening in front of thousands of people that any rational person would think impossible

The whole problem with empty weights is dangerous because, as we mentioned earlier, inherent in sports is competition. When some people lift weights of 120 kilograms, others immediately try to top them. This healthy rivalry has led to many great achievements in strength disciplines. Now, however, hypocritical behavior has caused some amateur athletes to try to catch up with their idols and end up putting real weights on the crane, for example. After a while, an ambulance is needed

Brad Castleberry

One of the masters of cheating is influencer Brad Castleberry, who decided to start cheating a bit. Experts on the subject immediately spotted numerous inconsistencies. With a declared body weight of 115 kilograms and 175 centimeters of height Brad supposedly had to bend his arm with a load of 180 kilograms. The absurdity of this is that even the biggest names in the sport, such as Norwegian strongmen Svend Karlsen and Magnus Samuelsson, could not manage this feat. Similarly, Brad boasted of his unearthly strength when he bench-pressed a staggering 305 kilograms. Surprisingly, Castleberry did not claim to be the new champion, as the previous record at his weight was as much as one hundred kilograms less!


Another king of cheaters is Athlean-x, who advertises himself as a personal trainer who has worked out everything naturally, based on the knowledge he has gained before. However, his feats have come under increasing scrutiny, especially when he has clearly pushed the limits of his body and acted as if he doesn’t feel fatigue. Among his “records” he included bench pressing with a pause at the bottom with a supposed weight of 143 kilograms. That is, he was only a few kilograms off the record in his weight category, but, it should be noted, Athlean-x performed the exercise with a much more difficult technique. And that was just the beginning of his huge crushes…

Main photo: Victor Freitas/

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