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Kevin Oak (@OakStrong) is one of the strongest human beings on earth.  Weighing roughly between 220-240 pounds, he can squat over 800 pounds, deadlift over 800 lbs and bench press over 500 lbs.  In 2016, he set a world record in powerlifting, totaling 2,127 pounds (965 kg) in one competition.  Most recently, he set a squat world record for the 242-pound weight class, squatting 832 lbs.  Insane.

Even if you have no interest in powerlifting, you have to respect a man of his caliber.  Developing super-human power requires years of dedication, focus, and sacrifice.  Interesting enough, Kevin took an unlikely path to powerlifting.  After earning a degree from Villanova University on a full track scholarship, Kevin began work as a stock trader on Wall Street.  But after realizing that it wasn’t his passion, Kevin left Wall Street and pursued Powerlifting seriously.

The road to world-records hasn’t been easy.  After leaving Wall Street, Kevin worked as a bouncer for nightclubs to make enough money to train during the day.  Most people with years of higher education can’t stomach such humility.  But Kevin understood his goals and didn’t let the opinions of others sway him.

Kevin now is arguably one of the best powerlifters of all-time.  He’s also the founder of Barbell Commission, a fitness lifestyle, and training company.  Had Kevin not listened to his intuition, he wouldn’t have enjoyed such high level of success.

And this is why I brought Kevin on the show – to share his wisdom and inspire you to become your best through the strengths that were given to you.  He’s truly a craftsman in every sense of the word.  And after listening to this interview, you’ll realize that his success was inevitable.

Here you will learn:

02:35 – What is powerlifting
05:40 – Oak’s life in Finance
12:30 – Why bodybuilding helps your powerlifting
13:48 – The first time Oak started lifting
15:15 – Why Oak competes less as he advances
17:00 – When Oak loves competition
18:15 – Why Oak progressed drastically in his early years
20:00 – Oak explains the acceptable and unacceptable ways of missing a lift
21:05 – Why Oak doesn’t wear heel-elevated Olympic shoes
21:57 – What separates good from great
23:30 – Why you should record all your sets
25:15 – The importance of recovery
30:08 – How far away Oak prepares for a competition
30:45 – Oak’s path to a world-record
36:00 – Kevin’s pre-lift routine
42:00 – Why Oak started coaching people
44:00 – Oak’s advice to those that want to start powerlifting
48:18 – How Oak defines success

Follow Kevin

Follow Kevin on Instagram: @OakStrong

On Youtube: PACKED with quality strength content 

Check out his coaching and apparel company Barbell Commission 

Things Mentioned


Kevin Setting a world-record squat of 832 pounds 

Kevin setting a world record at 220 pounds

Body Tempering

Athletic tape – The thing on Kevin’s arm

Quick Insight

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Jonathan Arias

Jonathan interviews talented individuals across a variety skillsets and industries and asks about their backgrounds, processes, and habits. Read his story.

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