Part 1 | Part 2
Name: CT Fletcher
Born: June 8, 1960
Location: Long Beach, CA
Occupation: Trainer, YouTube badass
Long before CT Fletcher was the louder-than-life "Superman of Compton," he was just your average, everyday behemoth—maybe one of a handful of the strongest men on earth on any given day during the 1990s and 2000s. Look around online and you can still find him, surprisingly calm and soft-spoken as he asks if his belly is hanging out before banging out rep after plate-rattling rep. "The hardest part is the sit-up afterward," he jokes.
Of course, the "CT motherfuckin' Fletcher" you know and love was in there as well, raging and roaring backstage before doing battle with the great pressers of his day. The records that resulted have become an inextricable part of his persona: a precise blend of "drill sergeant, preacher, and raving lunatic," capable of commanding any weight to move and muscle to grow.
In part one of an exclusive interview, Fletcher gives us the inside scoop on his heaviest lifts, his legendary diet, and the first time he felt like he was "king of the jungle."
You've trained for just raw strength, reps, and "sidewalk-cracking" size, and been successful at all three. What accomplishments are you proudest of?
One of the things I'm proudest of is a failed attempt with 705 pounds in my last competition. It was raw and drug-free, and I'm proud of that because it was the biggest stage with the best bench pressers in the world, all gathered together for an invitation-only contest. I showed up, and instead of going for a safe amount that I know I could do, I called for what then was the world record.
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For the biggest crowd I had ever bench-pressed in front of, I gave it my all. I didn't fuckin' half-step. I went balls out and pushed as fuckin' hard as I could. I was unsuccessful in my attempt, but I gave it one hell of a run. To me, that is my best lift.
And did you just go back to work at the post office the next day like nothing happened?
Well, sort of. I first started having heart problems when I was training for that contest—that the doctors told me about anyway. They told me that my heart was enlarged—they actually told me the day before that competition. I told them what I was going to try to do, and they said the strain of that much weight could cause my aortic valve to rupture. They said: "No repairing it. If it ruptures, you are going to die. And are you still planning on competing?"
They thought I was crazy, but I thought that was a crazy question for them to ask me. They were looking at me like, "Do you understand what we're telling you, Mr. Fletcher? You can die!" And I'm like, "Fuck yeah, I understand, but what better way to die than to fuckin' be on the bench press in the biggest contest of my life, going for the most weight I ever went for? Am I going to compete? Are you out of your fuckin' mind? Of course I'm gonna compete!"
I'm gonna compete!"
After the lift, did you feel incredible relief simply for not dying?
Oh no, no, no. I didn't give a fuck. I really, sincerely did not give a fuck whether I died or not, making that attempt. What I felt relief in was that I didn't shirk from the pressure of the moment. It was a tremendous amount of pressure being on that stage against the best in the world. I could have cowered, I could have backed down, but what I felt good about was that I did not. I faced the moment, I stared it down and I gave it my fuckin' all, so I felt great.
Another of your most famous lifts is a 225-pound strict curl that, as far as I can tell, is still a record by a fair margin.
Yeah, you know things have changed, because in strict curl competitions these days there is no wall involved in the competition. In my day, a strict curl, you had to have your head, back, and butt up against a wall in order to make the curl. It's a lot harder to curl 225 pounds standing up against a wall than it is just to curl 225 pounds. I can fuckin' curl 225 pounds without a wall now, and I'm an old washed-up has-been motherfucker.
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So are you going to show everybody how it's done and defend your record?
I'm gonna god-damn sure try. Just like the 705, I'll be giving it my fuckin' best, that's for sure.
You often refer to a moment when you were in the hospital after your surgery, and a doctor who knew who you were said, "What happened to you?" How did you find your way out of the pit?
I knew where I came from, and I knew the feeling of being king of the beasts. I knew the feeling of being the baddest man, when I felt that nobody on the planet was stronger than me. I just had to go in search of that feeling. I knew what it felt like, so I just had to try to turn back the hands of time and show him that I'm still CT motherfuckin' Fletcher. I may look fucked-up now, but I'll be back!
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Do you remember the first time you felt that nobody on the planet was stronger than you?
Oh, yes. I remember the workout. I was training for a bench-press competition and I was doing board presses. I started out with 600 pounds and did that easily. Put a 650 next, did that easily, and put a 705-pound board press and did that pretty easily. I knew I had room left, and my training partner was saying, "Hey man, let's just see how far you can go!"
I said, "I really don't want to know how much I can do, because right now I'm feeling like my limit is limitless. I don't have a motherfuckin' limit. And I like the way this feels, so I'm just gonna walk the fuck out the gym right now and go get me a couple double cheeseburgers."
Speaking of food, your old diet is legendary. Hundreds of desiccated liver tablets, raw eggs, cheeseburgers every day. How is it different now?
Oh yeah, it's totally different but all of that stuff is very, very true. I would get a dozen raw eggs and a hundred, two hundred desiccated liver pills because that's what they told you in the fuckin' books. I always believed excess was better, so I always overdid it. If this guy was eating 10 raw eggs then I had to eat 12 or 15. This motherfucker was not going to out-eat me! So I would eat all that semi-healthy shit, and then I would go to McDonalds and eat all the fucked-up shit too.
So are you a three-squares-a-day, steamed vegetables kind of guy now?
Yes, very much so. When I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, I'm on a good diet. Spinach is my favorite green, and sweet potato is my favorite carb, and some type of fish. I eat fish three times a day with spinach and sweet potatoes. I don't mind eating the same fuckin' thing every day; it don't bother me at all.
Stay tuned for the second half of this interview, where CT talks about his roots and his rise to fame. If you just came here because you want to train some MF arms with CT as your guide, check out CT Fletcher's Armed Warfare Workout.