Interviews

How To Deadlift 400 Pounds at Age 15

Jake Schellenschlager, a young bodybuilder, has the diet, the discipline and deadlift form to set records.

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Jake Schellenschlager: How To Deadlift 400 lbs at Age 15

At 5’7 and 145 lbs, 15-year-old Jake Schellenschlager may seem like he has average physical characteristics. But, the minute you see him you’ll realize that he’s anything but average.

Schellenschlager has been bodybuilding since he was 11, and ever since then he has taken the sport incredibly seriously. For four years, he has stuck to a strict routine and a grueling lifting regiment. Over that span, Schellenschlager increased his max lifts tremendously. Most notably, his max deadlift weight shot up from 175 lbs. (when he was 11) all the way to 400 lbs. But Schellenschlager remains extremely motivated and shows no signs of stopping there.

“I keep lifting to get better and better,” the phenom powerlifter said. “My goal is to keep progressing and to eventually be able to deadlift four times my body weight.”

Though this sounds like a daunting task, Schellenschlager has already made it to a point seemed improbable just a few years ago. So, it’s hard to doubt that he will attain his ultimate goal -- in the mean time, he set a smaller goal: 500 lbs. by the time he turns 17. In fact, Schellenschlager has all the tools he needs to succeed. He already has a sponsor: World Gym, the renowned fitness chain, plus a strong support system. Most specifically, his father, a former bodybuilder and Schellenschlager’s inspiration to begin bodybuilding. Another reason for Schellenschlager’s rise is his meticulous workouts.

Schellenschlager schedules his lifts in an interesting way. Typically, he targets one muscle group (i.e. shoulders, legs, biceps, etc…) per day. This way, he gets as much as possible out of each individual set of muscles. If he notices that some of his muscles are falling behind, he will target two muscle groups per day. “I look in the mirror every day, looking at muscles to see how much progression I can make in one muscle group. If I see one’s not keeping up with all the others – because I like to keep all my muscle groups like the same and everything, the strength and all – I’ll quickly prioritize that muscle group.”

In addition to having an established workout plan, Schellenschlager also has an established diet, loaded with protein that stays consistent throughout the week. “I normally eat egg whites in the morning,” Schellenschlager said. “ For lunch I'll often have grilled chicken. Dinner: I normally have brown rice, steak or chicken. Then, I have egg whites before bed.”

Schellenschlager’s diet consists of so much protein because in his lifts, he breaks down a lot of muscle. As a result, it’s vital for him to have sufficient protein to build his muscles back up. Consequently, he also takes protein powder (with a glass of milk). Specifically, Schellenschlager opts for two scoops of Optimum Nutrition’s Vanilla flavor. He takes the protein twice a day: once after his workout and once before he goes to bed. Although taking protein before he goes to sleep may raise some eyebrows, Schellenschlager maintains, “I think it helps me recover more. [It makes me] feel good.”

Since much of lifting depends on feel, it’s hard to argue with Schellenschlager’s methods. And with his recent success, why would you question anything he is doing, anyway?

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