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Dr. Fred Hatfield Dies

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By: Scott Welch 


The bodybuilding and powerlifting community has lost one of the true pioneers of the scientific approach to training and nutrition. Dr. Fred Hatfield has lost a lengthy battle with cancer at age 75 but he will be forever immortalized in the minds of those he touched throughout his career in the iron game. Known by many as “Dr. Squat”, at age 45 Fred Hatfield became the first man to squat over 1,000 pounds, wrote over 60 books on training and nutrition, earned a Master’s degree and a PhD and was the co-founder of the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) which is a certification for personal trainers! This academic and in-the-gym experience made Hatfield one of the foremost thought leaders in performance enhancement in bodybuilding history. Fred Hatfield’s training principles on power, explosiveness, adaptation, and recovery formed the foundation of much of the current training methods employed by today’s top strength coaches. Over his career Hatfield trained many bodybuilding legends including Rich Gaspari, Lee Haney, Eddie Robinson, Lee Labrada, Mike Quinn, and Tom Platz.  

Working with Vince McMahon

During the 90s, Vince McMahon of the WWE decided to launch a bodybuilding federation called World Bodybuilding Federation (WBF), start a bodybuilding magazine called “Bodybuilding Lifestyles” and a supplement company called ICOPRO (which stood for "Integrated Conditioning Program"). The three entities were a major threat to Ben & Joe Weider who were running the IFBB, Weider Nutrition (which included several massive supplement companies) and their magazine and fitness equipment divisions. They hired Dr.Fred Hatfield to formulate the ICOPRO supplements and marketed them heavily on television and at live WWE events. The formulas were years ahead of their time but a series of events led to Vince McMahon exiting the bodybuilding and sports supplement business to preserve his wrestling empire. 

Academic Background

Hatfield earned his Bachelor of Science degree in health, physical education and recreation. He then attended the University of Illinois, where he earned his Master's degree in the social sciences of sport. He went on to earn his PhD in psychology, sociology and motor learning from Temple University.

Best Lifts

  • Squat 1,014 pounds
  • Bench Press 523 Pounds
  • Deadlift 766 pounds
  • Snatch 275 pounds
  • Clean & Jerk 369 pounds

    Battling Cancer

    In 2012, Fred Hatfield was diagnosed with cancer and given 3 months to live. Instead of accepting this prognosis, he searched for anything that could extend his life. Fred started researching the benefits of a ketogenic diet for cancer treatment and it wasn't long before he was following a full on keto diet which he believed extended his life significantly.

    We are saddened by the loss of Dr. Squat but we're grateful to him for making the bodybuilding and powerlifting world a better place before he left us.