24 years old

From Akron, Ohio & Pittsburgh, PA

Raw Full Meet Lifter

I would say my powerlifting journey began in the spring of 2015 with the first time I squatted 315 in the gym which was enough to break the current Ohio state record.  Up until that point I never really had an interest or any knowledge about powerlifting and was more concerned with my performance in my chosen sports (wrestling and baseball).  However, my gym-mentor Joe finally wore me down and convinced me to give it a try because of my unusually high strength to size ratio.



Flash forward to April 16th, 2016 when I competed in my first competition: The Battle of the Great Lakes.

There I broke the Ohio state records in all 4 categories, learned a lot, met Gary, and officially got bit by “the iron bug.”



Outside of powerlifting, I earned my Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and am now attending Chatham University pursuing a Master’s in Counseling Psychology.  I also have spent the last 5 years of my life as a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and perhaps my favorite, strength and conditioning coach to high school and collegiate athletes and teams.



Huge shoutout and thank you to both Gary and Marisa.

Without Gary, I wouldn’t be who I am today and he is truly one of the greatest and most genuine people

I have had the good fortune to know.

Current Records and accomplishments:

Current Records (all in the 132lb/60kg class):

Drug tested world junior men’s squat (418.8) and deadlift (501.5)

Drug tested national junior men’s squat and deadlift

Drug tested Ohio state open men’s squat and deadlift

Drug tested Ohio state junior men’s squat, deadlift, and total

Non-tested Ohio state open men’s squat and deadlift

Non-tested Ohio state junior men’s squat, deadlift, and total

Won raw open men’s gold and raw junior’s silver medals at 2018 Drug Tested IPL World Championships

Befriending Gary and Marisa and all the other wonderful people in the powerlifting community


Best Training Lifts

Squat: 435 Bench Press: 205 Deadlift: 535 Total: 1175

Training advice:

Train responsibly and intelligently.

Progress and greatness are achieved over time.

Ed Coan is the greatest powerlifter of all time not only because he was strong and set records,

but also because he did so for many years.

My personal quote I live by is “Strength is never a weakness” -Mark Bell

"When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe,


© 2023 by Gary "BIG K" Kanaga.