Men’s Health

10 Strongest Men of All Time

Let’s face it: irrespective of what number of chest exercises or arm workouts you do, you will in all probability by no means be the strongest man on this planet. So, you undoubtably surprise: who is the strongest man on this planet?

Throughout historical past, mankind has been obsessive about bodily strength. Since the times when the legends of Hercules first took form, to the traditional Olympic Games the place wrestling matches had been used to find out the strongest man alive, we now have all the time needed to call a single man above all others. As the centuries wore on, strongman competitions grew extra refined, from the appearance of Highland video games to Olympic weightlifting.

Since 1977, the world’s strongest males have gathered yearly to compete within the World’s Strongest Man competitors (WSM) to find out who’s No. 1, with comparable contests being held by the International Federation of Strength Athletes (IFSA) and on the Arnold Sports Festival.

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Still, with all the assorted methods we’ve devised to find out who’s the strongest of the robust, it appears we’ve managed solely to create factions, every loyal to the highest athletes of their sport or group of selection.

Powerlifting followers would possibly inform you that Ed Coan is, pound for pound, the strongest man who’s ever lived. Or that the far bigger Andy Bolton is the general strongest. Fans of the WSM competitors would possibly level to three-time winner Bill Kazmaier or five-time winner Mariusz Pudzianowski. Every robust man listed above have a respectable declare to being historical past’s strongest man, however actually only one can declare final strength—and we’ve determined who that person is. 

To accomplish that, we consulted with Terry Todd, Ph.D, earlier than he handed away in 2018. Todd wasn’t merely the United States’ first nationwide powerlifting champion in 1964, he was additionally the primary man to complete 1,600, 1,700, 1,800, and 1,900 kilos. Todd was additionally the creator of the Arnold Strongman Classic, some of the famend strength historians on this planet. He was the director of the world’s largest assortment of bodily fitness and strength memorabilia, the Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports on the University of Texas at Austin. We drew upon Todd’s huge assortment and reviewed numerous articles detailing the feats carried out by males of all eras.

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We’d wish to make one factor clear: evaluating athletes whose peaks got here a century aside makes educated hypothesis a should. First, there’s the difficulty of chemical enhancement, one thing clearly not out there to a Louis Uni. Second, Todd identified that in the course of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, strength athletes didn’t a lot train as give performances on an irregular foundation. The strength they displayed for gawking crowds was uncooked and untrained—and it was their performances that made them stronger, nothing systematic. In this gentle, we tried to acknowledge not simply recorded strength however potential strength as effectively. Call it a metaphysical leveling of the enjoying area.

Without additional ado, we imagine this record to be essentially the most definitive of its variety.

The 10 Strongest Men within the World

1. Zydrunas Savickas – Powerlifter, Strongman


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  • BORN: Lithuania, 1975
  • HEIGHT: 6’3″
  • WEIGHT: 400 lbs.

In our opinion, Zydrunas Savickas the strongest man of all time. You simply can’t argue with these numbers: Savickas has gained the Arnold Strongman Classic seven occasions (2003–08, 2014), which is taken into account a more true take a look at of pure strength than the better-known WSM competitors. In 2005, he broke three world data en path to victory on the IFSA Strongman World Championship. The following yr he once more took high honors.

Savickas positioned second on the WSM competitors in 2002, 2003, and 2004, normally dominating the occasions that concerned pure strength whereas not doing as effectively in people who required pace and agility. In 2009, he broke the streak by profitable the WSM—an accomplishment he’d repeat in 2010, 2012, and 2014. In ’14, Savickas additionally set a brand new world document with a 500-pound log carry to enrich his different spectacular totals: a uncooked squat of 880 kilos, a 900-pound deadlift, and a 629-pound bench.

2. Mark Henry – Weightlifter, Powerlifter, Strongman, Wrestler


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  • BORN: USA, 1971
  • HEIGHT: 6’4″
  • WEIGHT: 412 lbs.

Henry holds the distinctive distinction of being the one man ever to carry each the U.S. weightlifting and powerlifting superheavyweight championship titles on the identical time. Despite his unbelievable feats, Todd believes that Henry has shops of untapped potential that we by no means received to see as he pursued a profession in WWE. So in principle not less than, Henry might need been the strongest man in historical past. However, we expect one man has him beat.

3. Bill Kazmaier – Powerlifter, Strongman


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  • BORN: USA, 1953
  • HEIGHT: 6’3″
  • WEIGHT: 330 lbs.

“Kaz” is taken into account by many to be the strongest of the robust, and it’s exhausting to argue. The winner of the ’80, ’81, and ’82 WSM contests, Kazmaier was barred from competing in 1983 by the occasion’s organizers as a result of it was assumed that as long as he competed, nobody else would ever get the prospect to savor victory. Kaz was the primary man to carry all 5 McGlashen stones, which weigh between 90 and 160 kilograms (about 200 and 350 kilos). His 661-pound bench press stood because the world document for years, and if not for a pec tear shortly thereafter he would have absolutely bested it himself. His 2,425-pound complete, set again in 1981, continues to be the document for uncooked (no bench shirt, no squat swimsuit) powerlifting right this moment.

4. Paul Anderson – Weightlifter, Powerlifter, Showman


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  • LIVED: USA, 1932–1994
  • HEIGHT: 5’9″
  • WEIGHT: 350 lbs.

Paul Anderson’s title would be the most controversial one on this record. Proclaimed by some to be far and away the strongest man who ever lived, he additionally has his share of skeptics. Whether he actually squatted 1,200 kilos is open to debate, however Dr. Todd personally witnessed him squat 700 for eight reps in an exhibition—at a time when the official world document 1RM for the squat was about 700 kilos. Anderson gained an Olympic Gold medal for the U.S. in weightlifting in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956.

5. Vasyl Virastyuk – Strongman


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  • BORN: Ukraine, 1974
  • HEIGHT: 6’3″
  • WEIGHT: 320 lbs.

Virastyuk is the primary person ever to be declared the strongest man alive in each the World’s Strongest Man and IFSA World Championship competitions, profitable in 2004 and 2007, respectively. In truth, he edged out the person who tops this record when he achieved victory on the IFSA contest. Additionally, the Ukrainian strongman took second place on the Arnold Strongman Classic on three events (2005-07). Now 40, Virastyuk has been retired from competitors for a while, however his accomplishments and his legacy dwell on.

6. Louis Uni – Strongman

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  • LIVED: France, 1862-1928
  • HEIGHT: 6’3″
  • WEIGHT: 260 lbs

It’s particularly tough to calculate simply the place Uni, aka Apollon the Mighty, ought to rank among the many all-time greats, as chronicles of his feats are principally florid, noncritical accounts. But he was recognized for his nice grip strength and enormous arms, which rendered him able to lifting bars others couldn’t even match their arms round. Uni was additionally fairly probably the world’s first strength athlete, being a particularly match and agile man who took on all comers in wrestling challenges.

7. Brian Siders – Powerlifter


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  • BORN: USA, 1978
  • HEIGHT: 6’2″
  • WEIGHT: 345 lbs.

Siders belongs on this spectacular record for his total strength–he excels in all three powerlifts with private bests of 1,019 kilos within the squat, 799 kilos on the bench, and a deadlift of 865 kilos for a 2,651-pound complete. His finest uncooked lifts embody 650 kilos on the bench and 840 kilos within the deadlift. Siders takes satisfaction in having achieved the aforementioned feats with out using efficiency enhancement, which means that his strength derives purely from genetic blessings and brutally exhausting work, very like that of the next man…

8. Andy Bolton – Powerlifter


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  • BORN: England, 1970
  • HEIGHT: 6’0″
  • WEIGHT: 350 lbs

Britain’s Andy Bolton is the primary man in historical past to have deadlifted 1,000 kilos. Twice throughout competitors he eclipsed his personal accomplishment with pulls of 1,003 kilos and a then-record 1,008 kilos. Bolton holds the fourth highest squat of all time (1213.63 kilos), and his three-lift complete of 2,806.34 kilos ranks third highest in historical past. He as soon as said his aim was to interrupt the legendary 3,000-pound complete, a feat not even dreamed of by most powerlifters of any period.

9. Leonid Taranenko – Weightlifter


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  • BORN: USSR, 1956
  • HEIGHT: 5’11”
  • WEIGHT: 260 lbs.

Taranenko set the world document in weightlifting for the clear and jerk (266 kilograms, or 58.2 kilos) and complete (475 kilograms, or 1,045 kilos) manner again in 1988—an eon in weightlifting years—and these data nonetheless stand right this moment. Due to restructuring by the International Weightlifting Federation of its weight lessons, Taranenko’s official data not stand, however his lifts have but to be equaled. You know the way exhausting it’s to bench six plates? Imagine lifting it overhead. Now that’s energy!

10. Brian Shaw – Strongman


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  • BORN: USA, 1982
  • HEIGHT: 6’8″
  • WEIGHT: 435 lbs.

Shaw shares one thing in widespread with the legendary Bill Kazmaier—each males have positioned high three on the World’s Strongest Man a complete of 5 occasions. Shaw, a two-time WSM winner (2011, 2013), has posted bests of 972 kilos within the deadlift and 1,122 kilos within the Hummer tire deadlift in competitors (with straps). In the gymnasium, he’s credited with squatting 825 kilos, benching 535 kilos, and deadlifting 985 kilos (with straps).

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