Ray Williams

Meet the world’s top raw superheavyweight powerlifter.  He is a lifter of titanic proportions on the platform.  Off the platform you will find a humble, friendly and often shy, family man.

Not so long ago, a 1000 pound raw squat was unheard of in IPF competition.  However, Ray Williams pulled off the first-ever 1000-plus-pound raw squat lift in history, putting up 456 kilograms (exactly 1,005.3 pounds) at the 2016 USA Powerlifting Raw Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia.

This year at the IPF World Classic Championship, Ray put a staggering 1090kg total on the board to become the strongest, drug-free, SHW raw lifter in the world.

Ray has BIG numbers: 470kg squat, 242.5kg bench press, 377.5kg deadlift.

We feel honored that Ray found the time to give us some of this time for this interview.

Where did you grow up?

Demopolis Alabama

How did you get into powerlifting?

A Facebook benching competition between me and my brother

How old were you at your first meet?


What do you remember most about your first meet?

I was mad that there was no definitive winner I had no way of knowing where I stood as far a numbers.

How long have you been an active powerlifter?

Since October 8th 2012

What is your personal best squat, bench and deadlift?

Squat 1052, Bench 545, Deadlift 864

How many records do you hold now?

World Total, World Squat, World Deadlift.

What is your favorite lift and why?

Squat, because I workout alone it makes you have the mentality “Squat or Die!!”

How many hours a week do you train?

At least 20 depending on the time of year it is.

What are your squat volumes per week?

No more than 5 reps a set because the type of weight I am doing; it would be impossible to recover from anything higher.

What are your deadlift volumes per week?

I treat deadlift just like squat

If you had to choose one exercise for squat, besides back squat, what would it be?

I have no idea because I do not do any other types of squats but back squat.

What is your favorite rehab protocol?

Leg extensions, hamstring curls

Do you train with a partner?

No I do not

Where do you train?

Either the fitness center at my college or PowerZone gym

Do you follow a specific training method/regime?

Whatever my coach Matt Gary send me I do it.

Are you a trainer or coach?

No but I do advise people from time to time

Do you do other sports besides powerlifting?

Im thinking about competing independently as a shotput thrower

Do you follow a specific diet?

Get as many calories as I can

What is your opinion on cardio?

As a SHW it is important because you are bigger and have to eat a lot more to train as hard as we do.  So one must take care of their heart by doing some kind of cardio.

What is your greatest powerlifting achievement so far, in your opinion?

Winning best open team at IPF Worlds for the past few years.

What do you find the most challenging/difficult in your training?

Do the preventive maintenance work to stay healthy because when you are hurt you make it a priority, but when you are healthy you don’t pay much attention to it.

How soon before a meet, do you begin preparing?

About a week out I start preparing myself for what is to come.

How do you choose an opening attempt weight?

Matt Gary and I talk about how training went and he normally comes up with openers and closers for me

What are your powerlifting goals?

To be an IPF Hall of Famer

What tips do you have for first time lifters?

1)      Listen to your body

2)      Know that powerlifting is not one size fits all… you have to find what works for you

3)      HAVE FUN….