Strength Expert Who Deadlifted 1000 lbs Three Times Talks Performance Enhancement

Chris Duffin is an inventor, thought leader, and serial entrepreneur in Health and Fitness. He has Co-Founded multiple prominent brands. He is the Chief Visionary Officer of Kabuki Strength.

He has lifted 1000 pounds for reps in different ways. Chris is one of the strongest pound-for-pound humans in the world. He has been the ONLY person to Squat and Deadlift over 1000lbs for reps holding the Guinness World Record on the Sumo Deadlift.

He has an MBA and Engineering in his background. He spent nearly two decades running or turning around manufacturing companies in Aerospace, Automotive, Hi-Tech, and Heavy Equipment fields. Now retired from competing, he is known for his industry-changing innovations and education in the strength and clinical worlds. He’s a leading speaker on topics related to strength, human movement, rehab, mindset, goal setting, leadership, and motivation.

On the Lex Fridman podcase, Duffin talked about steroids, performance enhancement and food.

Duffin does not like the term and concept of diet. He prefers gain weight by eating more and losing weight by eating less. He says you need to modify your behavior and lifestyle to lower or increase your food intake.

One of his colleagues, Daniel Debrocke, has a detailed article about preventing weight regain after a diet.

Duffin observes that there is a mishmash of contradictory laws and rules around performance enhancement substances. There are many differences from country to country.

Athletes and steroids have been closely studied, so it is clear that using steroids can provide about a 10% increase in strength versus not using steroids. You would likely gain muscle mass and this would move you up a weight class.

SOURCES- Duffin, Kabuki Strength, Lex Fridman
Written By Brian Wang,

29 thoughts on “Strength Expert Who Deadlifted 1000 lbs Three Times Talks Performance Enhancement”

  1. Yes, we know a lot more about dog and cat nutrition than human nutrition. Pet owners want to give their pets the best, and the companies that make the food fund studies to see what is best and redesign their food to be better than the others. A well cared for cat can live 18+ years; double what would be typical in the wild.
    Human food makers seem to only be intrested in making the food tasty, and if possible, addictive. We only live a couple years longer than wild.
    Nutritionists mostly want to say something new and sell a book. And each has their set of wonky beliefs that they exaggerate the studies supporting and trivialize those studies debunking. I have been called out on low AGE diet ideas, but I think the evidence is decent. Everything else, I suggest is very strongly rooted in the science.
    They know AGEs are bad, especially glucosepane which the body has no mechanism for removal, thus it accumulates. The grey area is, how much is absorbed into the body through the food we eat vs created within the body. I try to reduce it both by taking supplements that interfere with AGE formation and adjusting my diet to minimize AGE intake.
    If we develop something that can remove glucosepane, that low AGE diet would be generally unnecessary. And companies have developed things but, so far, they are no shows in the supplement market. Probably because they would be concidered drugs…if they can't find some edible organism that produces it.

  2. Compelling paper.
    Though, I am not convinced that the optimum nutrient requirements, in quality, type, and quantity; are similar for resistance training near-athletes with some kind of cardio background (over an extended and mostly-unbroken pattern, but still with Real Jobs) -to- typical semi-sedentary citizens in rich countries. Also, the spirit of this paper appears to include for a range including simple diets in developing countries.

    Of course, It's certainly hard to find scientific literature on optimizing health rather than just 'staying healthy' – very conceptually different.

  3. mmm…the 80s. so much fad, but also so much on over-turning traditional notions of diet from 60s and before – – meat at every meal. starches for as far as the eye can see. So Many Preservatives. We're better off – in theory.

  4. I had a look at the site. Looks good on the surface. And the categorization on the strategy page looks good. But, drilling down, there is a lot that is dubious, other obvious things are missing.
    It advocates high fat. But we know from quality studies that there is an optimal balance of macronutrents for longevity…and high fat does not have good results.
    Hmm. Now I am seeing a lot more fad stuff that is detrimental on that "Forever Healthy" site.
    This is not a good source of info.
    The anti-gluten, anti-dairy, pro-pink salt ,pro-coconut oil stuff is all terrible.
    People who eat dairy, especially yogurt, live longer. Butter is bad. Hard cheeses are bad. The rest is pretty good. I would not whip cream and ice cream is dubious (Though, admittedly, I have no data on ice cream. As the mixing of carbohydrates fats and protein is at lower speed and temp…it may be just fine. Most of the time when these things are blended large amounts of AGEs are formed that are detrimental to health and longevity). The lactose intolerant can benefit eating some kinds of yogurt with low lactose, most of this though is off the menu. You have to deal with the realities of your genetics.
    In fact, it is very good to get yourself sequenced and then upload your genome at Promethease and determine what things you are most at risk for and deal with those. Focusing on your hair regrowth, when your arteries are going to fail in 5 years, is not a good strategy.

  5. As an incel I started strength training and dieting about 12 years ago. I also did deadlifts. I quickly gained 10 kg of muscle mass, but I also had a slipped disc, or prolapse, from deadlifting. Now, 12 years later I can still feel back pain once in a while. I never lost the muscle gains, but I am still incel.

  6. They come along to late – need the pre-gerentologists, more specific than your MD but focused on mitigating 'ageing issues' before they manifest.

  7. also – pharmaceuticals and latest devices and quality clinic/ rehabs are scarce, slow, and expensive.

  8. Agreed. Hard enough to evaluate the credibility, experience, and moral compass of the so-called 'official experts': PhDs, accredited and licensed professionals, and senior industry practitioners…

    That being said: disenfranchised and impressionable mobs tend to form and vent at a common cause, likely started and reinforced by 'a first-among- many Talking-Head'. Amazing how the original message tends to bend with the popular attention it receives – a co-parasitical evolution of frothy 'crazy'.

    …though, ironically working out is often a good stress relief…

  9. "However, it is very bad on the disks in your back, to do this showy nonsense, because that weight really is on your spine."

    That's why you grunt. When you pressurize your torso you can divert a lot of the load off of your spine. Doesn't help your shoulders any, of course.

  10. Well, it gets worse: for a lot of people nowadays, a thought leader is anyone yelling enough about something in social networks and resonating with some mob's shared delusions.

    No credentials, no background, just popularity.

    We live in an age of charlatans and we're paying the price. No offense to this guy in particular BTW, I don't know him at all.

  11. No doubt about it Chris Duffin is very strong and knows what he is doing when it comes to lifting. But the lifts shown here are more about exhibition and would not qualify for a good lift in any powerlifting competition.

    Some issues on the 2 (& 1/2!) rep 1000 lb deadlift . . .

    1) He's using a specialized bar that allows you to lift more. The bend is so extreme that at the bottom, the initial pull off the floor, you aren't lifting the entire weight. Instead, the load progressively increases giving an advantage of several inches before you are under full load. Some organizations allow these bars in competition and some don't. Personally I think they are bullshit.

    2) Grip aids like straps are not allowed in competition powerlifting.

    3) Sumo deadlift, which Chris uses here, is controversial because it decreases the range of motion compared to conventional deadlift. It has been legal in most organizations in the past, though that appears to be changing as some have changed their rules to disallow it.

    4) The 2nd rep is right out. Wouldn't count anywhere. He doesn't come remotely close to setting the weight fully on the ground.

    Some issues with the squat . . .

    1) Depth. Depth is pretty squirrely between organizations. Some organizations are much more generous in that they tend to allow not quite full depth squats. These squats would count in some, not in others.

    2) He's using a specialized bar that is not allowed in any competition.

  12. The definition is worse:
    "…Thought leadership is influencing a narrative by understanding what needs to be done. A Thought Leader can be recognized as an authority in a specific field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded; it can be an expert, a historical figure, or a 'wise person' with worldly impact…"
    Unfortunately, made a distinguished list of Forbes "…corporate America's most insufferable buzzwords and cliches…"

  13. Gerentologists 'say' they are pro-active and into preventative medicine/ therapies, but the reality isn't as clear cut.

  14. Quite remarkable to find a product that appears to show positive results over such a duration. Sources such as Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition seem to consistently provide studies that investigate an enormous range of products with very specific results in numerous apparently-unrelated scenarios – sedentary youths, competitive athletes, middle aged joint injuries, aged runners, pregnancy, etc. Difficult to find a common theme of 'sports health in resistance training'. Recently: collagen derivatives. Previously: glutamine, etc. Alternatively: various extracts such as tumeric and pine bark…. ho-hum.
    Simply: If I can minimize my soreness and maintain my routine, i'm ahead.
    Good browse resource, though overwhelming:

  15. interesting thoughts on calorie intake above though…
    if you 'perform better' through massive protein intake, how is that consistent with reducing calories and possibly even periodic fasting as a fundamental component of increased 'health span'? These ideas appear to bump. If we theorize that maximum health (whatever that means) comes from essential nutrient intake, effective usage of that energy in body actions, and then disposal of all unneeded toxins… then how do we optimize? Do we Eat to the Body (health) We Want – more is bigger, is better? Probably need to know what the 'ideal' muscle proportion is (how is the muscle as organ is most effective (not just pretty)), how to maintain it (reasonable exercise protocol), and then eat 'just enough' (calorie reduce and/or fasting) to achieve that. Seems like there should be a weekly guide to achieve that somewhere.

  16. Agreed. …and you don't have to be good at free weights or pursue bulk.
    Though, way easier to hurt yourself than improve yourself — gym coach to start you off… better than bow flex/ body flex or that other 1980s home workout nonsense. Even Richard Simmons has better value.

  17. Strength training is a crucial and under-appreciated lifestyle choice. It is easy to dismiss such enthusiasts as gym-rat meat-heads, etc. I would posit that of the varying exercise types – cardio-based, flexibility-based, coordination/skill-type, etc., that it is 'as important' as part of an 'increased health-span' plan – pehaps even comparable to diet and air quality. As an endocrine organ, your skeletal muscle contributes significantly to All Things Hormone- such as: Metabolism, Growth/ Development, Emotional resilience, Fertility, Sleep, Blood work data, etc. That's why much more 'everyday' knowledge and planning should be distributed on its effective inclusion in the life of those people who care about themselves.
    So, should Arnold Schwarznegger be your role model, god, grand savior, and favourite Influencer? Yes. yes, he should (at least after the drug days).

  18. Too much bar bend. When it bends like that, you are not lifting the full weight until it leaves the ground, at which time, you are already nearly vertical.
    People have lifted several thousand pounds when they only have to straighten a bit. The mechanical advantage is much more favorable. A few decades ago there were 2 strongmen who lifted a bus from above. Just an inch or two. They lifted it with their shoulders against pads.
    In effect, it is only an illusion that he is lifting it off the ground. It is more like he is lifting it off a chair or a rack.
    The strongman competitions also play around with this, a bit (they like big truck tires because the bar is higher), but this instance is pretty egregious.
    However, it is very bad on the disks in your back, to do this showy nonsense, because that weight really is on your spine. And dislocating a shoulder is very possible, as well. And that could be very ugly with that much weight.
    The squat looks pretty good. Of course, we have no way to verify what was on the bar.

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