Brad Castleberry, if you have been around fitness for any amount of time you have likely heard of him, especially if you are on social media where his videos are prevalent and often receive quite a large reaction.
He is a very strong guy, no one can deny that. He lifts some impressive weights and regularly posts it on his Instagram, Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.
As you are going to find out Brad is not a popular guy, not even close. In fact, we believe he is the most hated man in fitness and it’s not even much of a contest.
Who is Brad Castleberry?
Born in 1985, he grew up with a father and grandfather who both loved the gym so the gym life was instilled in him at a young age. He would train in his friends garage to start and had his first gym membership at age 16, by 19 years old he was on the stage in his first bodybuilding competition. According to Castleberry he went pro by the age of 20 and did a few competitions but he soon realized bodybuilding wasn’t for him. He then made his move to playing a couple years of football at a junior college while never having played it in high school.
In his own bio he claims he went to 2 NFL combines but we couldn’t find any proof of that anywhere, plus wouldn’t you just go to one combine. Who goes twice?
He also says he did the NFL combines before even participating in junior college football. Something just doesn’t add up there, I think he might be using the term NFL combine very loosely.
We looked back at his college stats and he played in a total of 4 games in his career, all of which was in 2010. He looks to have played fullback and some special teams. He had 4 receptions for a total of 5 yards or 2.5 yards per reception, one reception was for a touchdown. He also had 2 tackles.
You can see the stats for yourself here. Not the kind of numbers that get you an NFL combine invite and Palomar Community College isn’t exactly an NFL football factory either.
Since college he has been focused mainly on weightlifting and social media. He also started his own supplement called Castleberry Nutrition that sells a few workout supplements and also training programs.
As for family life, he has a son and a daughter but does not appear to be married. He is from San Diego, California.
Why is Brad Castleberry So Hated?
Now it is time to get down to the meat and potatoes of this article. Let’s cover the hate Brad gets and why he gets it.
If you look at his Instagram you will see he has an 726K followers, that seems impressive and is way more than most people have. When you actually look at the comments though you will soon realize that more than half (much more) are there to hate on him and call him names.
We took a look at his Instagram and it was brutal. Here is one of Castleberry’s recent videos he posted. Have a look at it and we will discuss.
I BROKE ANOTHER WORLD RECORD!! 🏆🇺🇸🌎 I need to get some HEAVIER girls in this. This is TOO easy!! 💥Tag someone that can do half the amount of weights that I just did. I’ll still be surprised and congratulate you personally if anyone has me at 50% of what I did. Big Thanks to my #SUPERFANS (@danielleeells) and (@madddireich)for looking good while I KILL it like the #Savage Lion that I am. #BeHumble #WorldRecord! #Olympics #TeamUSA 🇺🇸🏆🙏🏼 #sandiego #castleberrynutrition
There are many things to point out about this video. First off let’s take a look at the description, shall we? Saying he “BROKE ANOTHER WORLD RECORD!!” yet he doesn’t tell us what the record is. He just says that it was easy and then he walks around the gym shirtless and uses the hashtag #behumble. This right here encompasses a lot of that people hate about Brad Castleberry. Bragging about how strong he is, lying about world records, feeling the need to be shirtless and then using the #behumble at the end. Posts like this tend to piss people off. The funny part is he has posted videos of himself doing more weight than that on the legs press so I am really not sure why this is supposed be some sort of record. Unless those girls weigh more than 225lbs each that isn’t even a PR for him.
The world record thing really has to rub some people the wrong way, particularly guys that are working their butts off to set real world records at real lifting competitions not just posting a video on social media and saying it’s the world record with absolutely no proof. This is not the only time he has done it either, it happens frequently.
Now let’s take a look at the comments he gets. Below is a screen cap of a very small portion of the comments. The hate is real. We didn’t have to look hard for this either, this was literally the first video we looked at and some of the first comments we came across. As you can see many are not happy with Brad, now you know why we titled the article the way we did, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Here is one more of his Instagram posts and then we will move on.
Here he is doing some shrugs. The range of motion is sub-par as you can see but notice he has 9 plates on each side of the bar. 9 plates is the maximum the bar will hold with clamps at the very end, make a mental note of that, it will be important later in this article.
His other social media is basically the same as this whether on Facebook or his YouTube channel, there are a lot of people that support him and his impressive lifts, there are a lot of haters also.
Brad Castleberry Gets Called Out, a Lot
As you can imagine there are a lot of strongmen and powerlifters out there that are not too happy with his claims of how strong he is and breaking world records left and right, not to mention his poor from and strong spots he receives.
He gets called out quite frequently for him to actually go to a powerlifting or strongman competition and prove himself. He has never responded to any of these and blocks the people calling him out so that can’t do it again, at least not on his own page. Below is a video of power lifter Greek Goliath calling him out. He makes a good case that while Castleberry is strong it is not world record type strength he claims it is.
Below we have a screencap of how he was called out on Instagram from the bodybuilding.com forums.
You can also find other times he has been called out, sources say he was offered $10,000 to prove himself, but he has yet to do so. If he hasn’t yet he probably never will.
Does Brad Castleberry Use Fake Weights?
This is another thing a lot of people will bring up, they think Castleberry somehow has fake weights that he mixes in with the real weights in order to make it look like he is lifting more weight than he actually is.
Believe it or not there actually are fake plates out there but all the fake plates we could find were the regular rounded plates and Castleberry almost always uses the hex type plates (except for the video below). We were unable to find fake hex plates anywhere. He could cut some fakes plates out of Styrofoam and paint them black but it would be pretty tough to make those look legit.
There are some YouTube videos out there that try and make the case that he must use fake plates, let’s look at one of those below.
While he does make a good point about how easily the weights shift you do have to take in to account that Brad Castleberry is very strong and that he can likely shift the weight easier than most people. One thing to note though is that in this video he does use the round plates rather than the hex plates he usually uses and round fake plates can easily be bought online so it is possible and does make you think. Other videos out there have also tried to make the case that he uses fake weights but they don’t really provide much evidence other than say there is no way Castleberry can lift that much even with sub-par form.
If he were in a garage gym we might be able to take the fake weight idea more seriously. I’m sure the gym he goes to doesn’t provide fake weights and it would be pretty obvious if he were bringing in his own fake 45lb plates in his gym bag to make his videos. That just doesn’t seem realistic. Plus, I am sure there are plenty of people at his gym that don’t like the guy and if they saw him bringing in fake plates someone would get it on video with their iPhone and out him.
Our verdict: The weights are probably real.
Brad Castleberry Uses Photoshop?
People have also claimed that he uses Photoshop in some of his pictures. While the fake weights accusation seems to be unlikely the Photoshop claims are a bit more real. Let’s take a look at this picture he posted on his Instagram of himself doing some shrugs.
If you count the number of plates on each side you will notice there are 10 plates per side. The funny thing is we already discussed earlier that nine plates is the absolute most that the bars will hold with a clamp, and if there is no clamp the weights would have fallen off then ends as soon as he lifted it. Also, if he were really shrugging 10 plates he would post a video rather than a photo.
Check out this video below from his Instagram of him shrugging 9 plates from a side view. At the end of the video you can clearly see the clip is at the end of the bar and there is no way you could fit another plate on there with a clip.
This leads us to believe he took the pic of himself shrugging 9 plates and added a plate to the end with Photoshop.
Why would he do that? We have no idea. It seems like a lot of bother to go through just to add one plate to the bar and most people probably wouldn’t even notice.
Where You Have to Give Castleberry Credit
I don’t think there is anyone out there that would deny Castleberry is strong, really strong. Even if he were using fake plates which we don’t believe he is he is still lifting a ton of weight. I don’t think anyone would deny that.
He also has to have some of the thickest skin of all time. This guy gets so much hate it’s unreal and he just keeps posting his videos knowing he will get hated on. Maybe he is just trolling and doesn’t mind but that is a heck of a lot of hate to take even for a troll.
He must be doing something right. He does have over 726K Instagram fans and not all of them are haters, plus he has started Castleberry Nutrition and is selling supplements, workouts and apparel. We aren’t sure how successful the company is but at least he probably isn’t living in his mom’s basement.
Why Do People Hate Him So Much? Let’s Summarize
When it comes to Brad Castleberry there isn’t just one reason why people can’t stand this guy. It is a lot of little things that add up to him being a person that people like to hate on.
These things are:
- He isn’t humble at all, using the hashtag #behumble does not make you humble. Arrogance is not cool and it will get you haters quickly.
- The flexing after each lift. This also goes toward not being humble. It’s another thing that turns people off, adding the “light weight” comment with the flex doesn’t work for Castleberry the way it did for Ronnie Coleman either.
- The need he has to go shirtless all the time. I am not sure what gym allows that but I would not want to use the equipment after him even if he wiped it down. Plus, the fact that any shirtless guy in the gym is lame, I don’t care how big or ripped you are.
- He has bad form and a poor range of motion. One major pet peeve of weightlifters is someone with bad form or ROM, particularly when the person with bad form thinks they are great and claims to be “breaking records” that’s just not a good look.
- They question if he is natural. I don’t think it takes a rocket surgeon to figure out if he is or isn’t though.
- Jealousy. It has to be stated some people are likely jealous of his strength, he is a beast as much as people hate to admit it.
- They consider him not legitimate. While he does lift a lot of weight most of it is with poor form and range of motion and many question his use of fake plates. To these people he will never be legit until he proves himself in a real competition. Until then he is just a social media personality performing invalid lifts and bragging about it.
Brad Castleberry is the most hated man in fitness and now you know why. One thing no one can deny is that he is strong, stronger than most. What many people question though is how legitimate is he. That is something many people would like an answer to, but something Castleberry seems content to leave it unanswered.