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Fake Weights in the Fitness Industry

Recently I’ve posted two videos on the subject of fake weights that have gone massively viral. One video on Instagram model Gracyanne Barbosa who posted a video squatting 10 plates for 10 reps. And another video on Brad Castleberry and Instagram fitness personality who posted a 675lb x 2 bench press video.

Both videos have been shared on countless websites all over the world including Maxim, Men’s Health, and Reddit to name a few. So essentially the issue here is Instagram stars allegedly using fake plates in their lifting videos to generate more likes and more views, making them more famous. But why do I think these plates are fake?

Brad Castleberry:

  1. At around 250lbs bodyweight he claims to bench 675lbs. The world record for benchpress in the 242lb weight class is 603lbs, held by Jeremy Hoornstra. If Brad were 25lbs heavier the record for the 275lb weight class is 675lbs, also held by Jeremy Hoornstra.
  2. Brad refuses to do a meet despite the fact he boasts a world record bench press for reps in the gym.
  3. Brad did this lift with no wraps, no belt, no chalk, no smelling salt and only one spotter. The powerlifter that holds these records Jeremy Hoornstra uses 3 spotters minimum, uses wraps, and a belt, and occasionally smelling salts and chalk.
  4. The bench press world record is held by someone who is known as a “bench specialist” in the powerlifting community. Meaning he competes in meets where he only does bench press and not all three lifts (Squat, Bench, Deadlift) which saves more energy for the bench. But Brad also claims a near 900lb Squat and 800lb+ Deadlift which makes his numbers extremely unrealistic.
  5. Brad has been challenged and called out, even offered $10,000 to prove his lifts, and he never accepts these offers.

Gracyanne Barbosa:

  1. Gracyanne corrected me on instagram and says the 10 plates were not 45lb plates, which would have made the total weight 495lbs. But were in fact 33lb plates, which made the squat 375lbs. Which she completed for 10 reps.
  2. Let’s assume Gracyanne weighs under 165lbs. (Probably closer to 135lbs). The women’s world record for the 165lb weight class is a 496lb squat held by Kristy Hawkins. If we go down a weightclass the womens world record for the squat in the 148lb weight class is 450lbs held by Rheta West. So therefore it is unrealistic for her to be squatting nearly 400lbs effortlessly for sets of 10 at her bodyweight.
  3. Like Brad, she also does not compete in powerlifting despite apparently having world record potential.
  4. The video of Gracyanne squatting shows no clamps on the weights, no belt, no markings on the plates, and absolutely no look of strain or effort on her face. If you watch any real female powerlifter squatting heavy weights they will be turning red, have veins popping out, and shaking with every rep. Gracyanne does them effortlessly.
  5. Like Bradley she only uses one spotter. Real female powerlifters use a minimum of 3.

Of course everything I’ve said here is all speculation. I don’t claim to know for sure that they are using fake plates, but considering all of these factors I think it is highly likely that they are. And I’ve posted the evidence for you to consider.

Here are the links to both videos:

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