Doyle Kenady weighed 305 pounds of, as you can see, grizzled muscle. Dr. Fred Hatfield (AKA Dr. Squat) pays tribute to Doyle (he gives him the honor of Dr. Deadlift) in this excellent article written in Powerlifting USA (November, 1986). The world record at the time was Bill Kazmaier’s 886. This may not seem like much nowadays since the 1,000 pound barrier has been breached and there are amazing deadlifters like Andy Bolton, Benedikt Magnusson, and Konstantin Konstantinovs. Yet it was still the world record, and Kazmaier was a powerlifting phenom before he transitioned to a career in strongman competitions.
Kenady’s performance in this meet is amazing. I’ll let Dr. Squat give you the recap:
Doyle’s lift will take a special place in the history of great lifts because he did his record buster after massive attempts in the squat and bench press only minutes before. His deadlift was done under the most trying of circumstances possible, under near crippling conditions of fatigue.
Moreover, it was his third attempt that cracked the 900 pound barrier. Imagine! Two attempts in the squat, one of which was over 900 pounds; three attempts in the bench press, all over 500 pounds; then two attempts over 830 pounds in the deadlift before pulling the heaviest, official record breaking deadlift of mankind to an erect standing position.
Hatfield also recounts how Doyle called for a 4th attempt (allowed after setting a world record) and got it to just above his knees despite having to follow his own attempt. I’m sitting here in disbelief; breaking past 900 pounds — when it has never been done before — to set the world record without taking token squat and bench attempts is amazing. No wonder they called this guy “Sasquatch” and “Grizzly Bear” — two of the most bad ass nicknames ever.
Kenady was an amazing athlete, yes, but I want to point out that all of the people that met him or knew him said that he was a very laid back guy. He was kind, supportive, and helpful. Humble and amiable. Kenady had the look of a bad ass but was a genuine nice guy; what a man should be. In a time where athletes trash talk each other and want attention, I look up to Kenady for his “old school” personality. I look up to him as an athlete as well as a man; he is the epitome of a 70’s Big attitude.
Edit: Doyle is no longer living; apparently he died of heart disease. His training consisted of the three big lifts without much assistance work, and his schedule had more rest days than training days. Read Dr. Hatfield’s article and he tells a story of training with Kenady a few weeks before the meet — Doyle pulled 895 for a triple!