Bodybuilder turned powerlifter Kyle Kirvay is a machine in the gym. A unique feature of Kirvay’s training is his implementation of 20-rep sets on both upper and lower body exercises. The combination of high reps and heavy weight he loads on the barbell can sometimes lead to him losing count, like when he squatted 495 pounds for 22 reps.
Don’t neglect the 20 rep sets!
However, sometimes Kirvay stops at rep 20, as he did on April 5, 2022, when he shoulder pressed 225 pounds with speed. Check out the video below, courtesy of Kirvay’s Instagram page, where he casually dons his cap after moving the loaded barbell at a quick clip:
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All of Kirvay’s 20 shoulder presses saw his elbows break parallel with his shoulders on the descent. His positioning in the rack is very upright, placing more of the load on his front delts. Had he shifted backward slightly, as is often seen in heavy shoulder presses, some of the load would move to the upper chest. Kirvay’s set is likely better classified as strict shoulder presses.
It was not until the 16th rep that Kirvay had to slow down slightly, presumably to catch his breath. It ultimately did not determine his ability to finish the set nor stop him from standing up immediately when he was done.
For context as to how heavy these reps were, world-record-holding powerlifter Larry Wheels has previously shoulder pressed 140-pound dumbbells for 17 reps. Granted, it’s not a direct comparison as dumbbells and barbells require different stability requirements, and Wheels form involved a further lean, but it still conveys the company Kirvay keeps with his weight choices.
According to Open Powerlifting, Kirvay has only competed in one sanctioned meet—the 2022 United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) Battle at Atilis. He set New Jersey state records in all three lifts and total in the 140-kilogram class and a national bench press record of 275 kilograms (606 pounds). Given how heavy Kirvay is pressing in the gym, it’s possible when he steps into the competition limelight next, he could eclipse that record handily.
Featured image: @kylekirvay on Instagram