Jake Schellenschlager first caught the attention of the media around the world in 2013 with a deadlift record of 300 pounds (more than double his body weight at the age of 13), a feat that earned him the nickname The Wonder Kid. Along with Muscle and Fitness, he has been featured in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and a variety of news shows around the world.

The powerlifting sensation recently broke more records with his impressive feats of strength. He took first place at the USPA National Championships this past July in Las Vegas. The total of all 3 lifts was 808 lbs, which was a new American record. He ended with a 340lb deadlift, 215lb bench, and 253lb squat.

Jake is currently a member of World Gym Glen Burnie in Maryland where he first caught the workout “bug” with his dad. He now trains under the guidance of Mike Sarni, a veteran trainer at his gym.

Jake bench press at gym

At last year’s 2013 IPA Strength Spectacular, Jake broke four world records for his age division, and recently won first place at the 2014 USPA Eastern Regional Powerlifting Open where he also set four new U.S. records for his age and weight class.

Not only has Jake excelled in powerlifting, but he is making his mark on the bodybuilding world as well. In May 2014, Jake took first place in his class at the Musclemania Championships in Maryland. Jake’s next competition is the International Powerlifting Association’s World Championships this November. One of his short-term goals is to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Check out one of his record breaking lifts on the next page, as well as a Q&A with the man himself.

M&F: What inspired you to start lifting?

JS: Every day, I would watch my dad work out in the basement. Eventually I got tired of watching, and decided I wanted to be the world’s strongest kid— and the only way I would be able to do that was to start now. After a week, I started to see my abs and arms develop. I also cleaned up my diet and soon became stronger with bigger muscles. 

You’ve accomplished some amazing feats as a powerlifter. To what do you attribute your success?

I believe I have been successful thanks to my family’s constant support. I also attribute my success to my dad, and my trainer Mike Sarni, who get me fully prepared for all competitions.

What’s your typical diet each day? 

I eat bananas in the morning before school. I try to be healthy all day, but school doesn’t have the healthiest meal choices. When I get home, I eat chicken breasts, salmon, and other fish for dinner.  When I get home from the gym, I drink a protein shake. 

Jake - 13-year-old-powerlifter

What’s your next goal in this sport? 

I would like to be squatting 405 lbs by my 16th birthday, and to continue breaking world records.

What advice do you for someone who wants to take up the sport of powerlifitng?

I would say make sure your form is good because without good form it can cause serious injuries. 

Who are some pro powerlifters you look up to?

Ronnie Coleman was a bodybuilder, but he trained as a powerlifter so I really look up to him. Also, since I’m into bodybuilding as well as powerlifting, I look up to Arnold Schwarzenegger. To me Arnold was the best of all time.