When I first walked through the doors of Westside Barbell, I had no idea that this unassuming gym in Columbus, Ohio, would become the crucible where I would forge my path to becoming a 15-time world record holder in the bench press and how it would ultimately change my life. This journey was not just about lifting weights; it was a profound experience that taught me invaluable lessons about perseverance, dedication, teamwork, discipline, and camaraderie. These are lessons that I have carried into every aspect of my life, helping me understand how to be a professional at everything I do and someone who continually strives to be better every day.

The Beginnings

My introduction to Westside Barbell was both frightening and exhilarating. At the tender age of 14, I walked through those hallowed doors, feeling a mix of awe and trepidation. Surrounded by towering figures, the epitome of physical power, I felt a surge of adrenaline and a pang of fear. These lifters were not just strong; they embodied an unwavering dedication and a relentless pursuit of excellence that was palpable in the very air of the gym.

It quickly became clear that physical strength alone was insufficient to succeed in this environment. The true essence of Westside Barbell went beyond lifting heavy weights. It demanded an unbreakable mental fortitude, an iron will to endure the grueling training sessions, and the ability to push through pain and exhaustion. The atmosphere was charged with intensity, a testament to the collective spirit of individuals who never settled for mediocrity.

Every day at Westside Barbell was a test of resilience. The unorthodox training methodologies, pioneered by the legendary Louie Simmons, were as mentally challenging as they were physically demanding. These methods, which revolutionized the world of strength training, required a deep understanding and unwavering commitment. I had to learn to embrace the grind, to thrive under pressure, and to cultivate a mindset that refused to acknowledge limits.

In those early days, I realized that the path to greatness at Westside Barbell would not be a smooth, well-paved road. It was a proving ground where only those who could withstand the heat would emerge stronger, both in body and mind. The lessons I learned within those walls extended far beyond lifting; they forged a resilience that would serve me in every aspect of life.


The journey to breaking world records was marked with countless challenges, each serving as a test of my resolve and determination. There were days when the weights felt impossibly heavy, and I questioned whether my body could bear the strain. Injuries seemed insurmountable at times, forcing me to confront physical limitations and fears of long-term setbacks. Progress was often painfully slow, with weeks, months, and sometimes years passing without any noticeable improvement. During these grueling times, I learned the true meaning of perseverance.

Pushing through setbacks and continuing to train despite the odds taught me that success is often just on the other side of the struggle. Every time I faced a challenge, whether it was a plateau in my lifting or a debilitating injury, I reminded myself that perseverance is not just about enduring hardship but also about finding ways to thrive in the face of adversity. It meant staying focused on my goals, even when the path forward seemed unclear or overwhelmingly difficult. It meant adapting my training, finding new strategies, and constantly pushing my limits, no matter how daunting the obstacles appeared.

This lesson of perseverance has been invaluable in my professional life, where challenges are inevitable, and persistence is key to overcoming them. In my career, I have encountered numerous obstacles—tight deadlines, complex projects, and unforeseen setbacks—that have tested my patience and resolve. The same grit and determination I developed in the gym have helped me tackle these professional challenges head-on. I have learned to approach problems with a solutions-oriented mindset, to remain calm under pressure, and to keep pushing forward, even when success seems out of reach.

Moreover, the journey taught me that perseverance is not a solitary endeavor; it often requires a support system. At Westside Barbell, I had mentors, coaches, and fellow lifters who provided encouragement and guidance. They reminded me that setbacks are a natural part of any ambitious journey and that true strength lies in the ability to rise after every fall. This sense of community and shared struggle reinforced the importance of resilience and collective effort, lessons that have been equally applicable in my professional collaborations and team dynamics.

In essence, the trials I faced on the path to breaking world records were more than just physical tests; they were profound lessons in resilience, adaptability, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. These experiences have shaped my approach to life, teaching me that while challenges are inevitable, perseverance is the key to unlocking new levels of success and personal growth. The ability to push through, to keep striving despite the odds, has become a defining trait, enabling me to achieve my goals and inspire others to do the same.


Dedication to the craft was another cornerstone of my success. Training at Westside Barbell required an unwavering commitment and a relentless drive to push beyond the limits of what was thought possible. The routines were grueling and designed to test both physical endurance and mental resilience. Every session was a battle, with the expectations set sky-high and the standards unforgiving. This environment left no room for half-hearted efforts or excuses; it was a place where only total dedication could thrive.

But it was this very dedication that separated the champions from the rest. True dedication meant embracing sacrifices. It meant missing holidays and family gatherings and forgoing social events and work functions, all in the pursuit of strength and perfection. It often meant force-feeding myself to meet nutritional demands, pushing past the comfort of eating only when hungry to ensure my body had the fuel it needed to build muscle and recover. Each of these sacrifices, while challenging, was a necessary step on the path to greatness.


This relentless commitment did not just stay confined within the walls of Westside Barbell; it spilled over into every facet of my life. The discipline I cultivated through years of rigorous training taught me the profound importance of dedication in achieving any personal or professional goal. In my career, this same unwavering commitment has driven me to excel, pushing through obstacles and setbacks with the same tenacity I learned under the barbell. In my personal life, it has taught me the value of persistence, the power of setting high standards for myself, and the importance of making sacrifices to achieve long-term success.

The lessons of dedication and commitment ingrained at Westside Barbell have become vital to my identity. They have shaped my approach to challenges, instilling a mindset that refuses to quit in the face of adversity. Whether I am striving to hit a new personal best in the gym or tackling a complex project at work, the principles of dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence guide my every move. This mindset has become a defining trait, enabling me to achieve goals that once seemed out of reach and continuously set higher benchmarks for myself.


While strength training might seem like an individual sport, my time at Westside Barbell taught me the critical importance of teamwork and the power of a supportive community. The environment at Westside fostered a unique camaraderie among lifters that was unlike anything I had experienced before. We pushed each other to our limits, celebrated each other's victories with genuine joy, and provided unwavering support during tough times.

This collaborative spirit and mutual respect were palpable every day. Having a team of like-minded individuals who truly understood the grind, the sacrifices, and the dedication required was invaluable. They were invested in my success just as much as I was invested in theirs, creating an atmosphere where everyone could excel.

This sense of teamwork has been crucial in my professional life, helping me to understand the profound value of collaboration and mutual support in achieving collective goals. Working alongside others who share a common purpose has shown me that together, we can achieve far more than we ever could alone.

This lesson has influenced not just my approach to strength training but also my approach to work, relationships, and personal growth, emphasizing the importance of being part of a supportive team in all aspects of life.


Discipline was perhaps the most fundamental lesson I learned at Westside Barbell. Achieving world records and reaching the pinnacle of strength required more than just raw power; it demanded a strict regimen that encompassed every aspect of my life. From meticulously maintaining precise training schedules to rigorously adhering to recovery protocols, discipline was non-negotiable. It meant committing to every aspect of the process with unwavering focus and consistency.

This discipline was about doing what needed to be done, even when I did not feel like it. It meant showing up to train on days when I was exhausted, sore, or mentally drained. It meant sticking to a nutrition plan that was often monotonous and force-feeding myself when necessary to ensure I met my body's demands. No matter how small, every detail was attended to with a disciplined mindset, knowing that each action contributed to the larger goal.

The disciplined approach I developed at Westside Barbell extended far beyond the gym and became a guiding principle in all areas of my life. In my professional career, this discipline translated to consistently meeting deadlines, tackling projects with meticulous attention to detail, and maintaining a high standard of work. It helped me stay organized and efficient, ensuring I could manage multiple responsibilities without compromising quality.

In my personal life, discipline has been equally transformative. It has helped me maintain personal commitments, build strong relationships, and pursue continuous self-improvement. Whether it is setting and achieving personal goals, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, or managing my time effectively, the discipline ingrained in me at Westside has been a cornerstone of my success.

The discipline I cultivated at Westside Barbell has become integral to my identity. It has instilled a deep sense of responsibility and a relentless drive to push through challenges. This disciplined approach has enabled me to navigate obstacles with resilience, stay focused on my objectives, and achieve goals that once seemed unattainable. By embracing discipline in every facet of my life, I have created a foundation for sustained success and continuous growth, embodying the principles I learned in the relentless pursuit of excellence at Westside Barbell.


Lastly, the camaraderie at Westside Barbell was an unexpected but profoundly enriching aspect of my journey. The relationships I built with fellow lifters—Louie Simmons, Dave Tate, Chuck Vogelpohl, Todd Brock, Rob Fusner, and Joe McCoy—were grounded in mutual respect and shared experiences. These connections were more than just friendships; they were forged in the furnace of intense training and the relentless pursuit of greatness. We bonded over our collective dedication to pushing the boundaries of human strength, and through this shared commitment, we experienced extreme levels of success.

The camaraderie we experienced was unique and powerful. It stemmed from the understanding that we were part of something greater than ourselves. Each of us contributed to the environment of excellence that Westside Barbell was known for. This sense of belonging and mutual support created a positive and motivating environment that was instrumental in my achievements. The knowledge that my teammates were counting on me, just as I was counting on them, often pushed me to dig deeper and strive harder.

Lifetime Relationships

This camaraderie has taught me the importance of fostering strong relationships in all areas of life. The principles of mutual respect, shared goals, and unwavering support that I learned at Westside have helped me to be a better friend and colleague. In my professional life, I have found that building and nurturing strong relationships is crucial for success. Whether working on a team project, collaborating on complex tasks, or providing support to a colleague in need, the lessons of camaraderie and teamwork have been invaluable.

Moreover, the bonds I formed at Westside Barbell have shown me the importance of community and the power of a supportive network. These relationships extended beyond the gym, influencing my approach to personal and professional interactions. I have learned that success is not achieved in isolation but through the collective effort and encouragement of a dedicated team. This realization has driven me to create and maintain strong, supportive relationships in all facets of my life, enhancing my ability to work effectively with others and contribute positively to any group I am part of.


Reflecting on my time at Westside Barbell and my journey to becoming a 15-time world record holder in the bench press, I am filled with gratitude for the lessons learned and the people who supported me. Perseverance, dedication, teamwork, discipline, and camaraderie were not just words but the very essence of my success. These principles, forged in the crucible of one of the most demanding training environments, have shaped not only my lifting career but also my approach to life.

For me, Westside Barbell was more than just a gym; it was a place where champions were made, and I am proud to be a part of its legacy. My journey is a testament to the power of hard work, the strength of community, and the unyielding pursuit of greatness. The lessons I learned there have been invaluable, guiding me on how to be a true professional, a teammate, a leader, and someone who strives to improve every day.



Kenny Patterson, from Columbus, Ohio, channeled the loss of his father at 14 into a drive for excellence, shifting his focus from high school football to powerlifting. At 23, he set his first world record in bench pressing, leading to a 19-year career with 15 all-time world records and numerous teenage and junior records. His best lifts included 712 pounds at 275 pounds bodyweight and 716 pounds at 220 pounds.

Kenny also excelled in logistics, starting as an entry-level associate in 1991 and rising to Senior Director of Implementation over 33 years. Now in Goodyear, Arizona, he balances his career with a healthy lifestyle and offers powerlifting mentorship through social media, inspiring future lifters with his dedication.