Kenneth P. Snell

World Champion Powerlifter

Strength and Fitness Consultant

"Perfect Specimen"

Men's Journal
October 1999
This past spring at the Southeastern Powerlifting Championships, Ken Snell, then 40, benched pressed 235 pounds, dead-lifted 455 and squatted 400, for a combined total of 1090 pounds. Snell weighted 113 pounds at the time. No Masters lifted had ever hoisted that much in that weight class at any power-lifting meet.

Snell's entry into the record books owes a large debt to bullies. After relentless victimization as a teenager because of his size, Snell started lifting with a small corps of guys in a high-school weight-lifting club, who has recruited him to represent them in the lightest weight class at competitions.

"Our workout facility was a 7-foot-by-12-foot structure we called 'the shack', which was located in one guy's backyard," recalls Snell, now a strength consultant at the All American Gym in Lakeland, Florida. "We paid his father $3 a month to cover the cost of electricity. We made our bench press in the metal shop."

Snell won his first competition and was immediately hooked on weight training. He placed third in the teen nationals in 1975 and went on to win the event in 1977 and '78. Bully problem solved.

Two decades later, Snell continues to compete in powerlifting. His regimen has remained remarkably consistent, and it has always emphasized quality over quantity. He works out only three times a week, for 45 to 60 minutes per session. "A lot of people think you have to be in the gym five times a week, two hours a day," says Snell. "That's not true. The important thing is intensity and organization."


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