Skip to main content

The City Journals

Lifting to overcome and setting records along the way

Nov 22, 2021 02:29PM ● By Greg James

Kearns junior Xaden Hampton deadlifted 550 pounds and hopes to set a world record. (Photo courtesy of Clerice Hampton.)

By Greg James |  [email protected] 

Overcoming difficult situations and setting goals has become important to Xaden Hampton, a junior on the Kearns High powerlifting club.

The current 16-year-old deadlift world record is 639 pounds. Hampton lifted 550 pounds recently in his quest to overcome his demons.

“I got started after I saw strongmen on the internet,” he said. “I thought it looked fun, and I wanted to be like that one day.  thought it was possible, and I asked my mom for a weight set for Christmas.”

Hampton has spent most of his life overcoming obstacles. As an elementary student, he was so upset with a teacher he punched the school door and broke his hand. He lost his great-grandmother and has been fatherless most of his life. After a couple of years in counseling, he has begun to understand and progress on his own path.

“I tell him to follow his dreams,” Xaden’s mom Clerice Hampton said. “He makes me proud. He has overcome things as a 16-year-old. That most don’t. He was diagnosed with [Oppositional Defiant Disorder].”

ODD is defined as a childhood mental disease that includes anger, irritability, arguing and vindictiveness toward authority figures. 

“Some of this stuff was too much for his little mind to handle,” Clerice said. “He was not a bad kid, but he did not want to follow directions. We got him some help. Football coaches from schools all over have tried to get him to play and he tried his ninth grade year. He did not like it. It did not excite him one bit.”

Hampton took weight training in the ninth grade; it was the class he excelled at.

“His coaches in lifting have helped him discover a love for this sport,” Clerice said.

“I look up my coaches because they ask me to follow them,” Hampton said.

Powerlifting became a passion for Hampton by studying and watching it on the internet.

As part of the Kearns High powerlifting club, he trains with as many as five other student-athletes regularly and plans to compete in the future.

Lifting is more than lifting the weight off the ground.

“Moving the weight is important, but is is also a mental type thing,” Hampton said. “I have to get past the mental barriers to get past the physical ones.” 

Recently, Clerice purchased items front the clothing line of Brian Shaw, the winner of four World’s Strongest Man competitions and Hampton’s hero. She included in the order a note to Shaw about the impact he had made in her son’s life. 

“I ordered a hoodie and thanked him for being a role model to my son,” Clerice said. “[Shaw] hand-wrote a note to Xaden encouraging him to keep it up.” 

His role model writing a personal message gave him the motivation to continue. 

Hampton competes in the deadlift and recently set a personal best of 550pounds. His bench-press best is 225, and his back squat is 370 pounds.

Training for lifting competitions includes more than just moving weight. 

“We work on strengthening our cores, legs and shoulders,” Hampton said. “I do lots of shoulder raises, lunges and other exercises, but preparing mentally is just as important. Usually, the day before a big lift I go over my process and think of things that will help me get the weight off the ground. Some lifters think about their ex or whatever it is to help them focus. It gives me a reason in my head to get the weight off the floor.”

Hampton hopes to compete in strong man competitions in the future.