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Angus MacAskill was a notable strongman.
The Great Gama, a strongman from India

In the 19th century, the term strongman referred lớn an exhibitor of strength or similar circus performers who performed feats of strength. Today, strength athletics, also known as strongman competitions, are composed of a variety of events in which competitors have lớn move the highest weights possible, the winner being the one having the highest tally across all events.[1]


In the first half of the 20th century, strongmen would perform various feats of strength such as the bent press (not lớn be confused with the bench press, which did not exist at the time), supporting large amounts of weight held overhead at arm's length, steel bending, chain breaking, etc. They needed lớn have large amounts of wrist, hand, and tendon strength for these feats, as well as prodigious oblique strength.

In the late 20th century the term strongman evolved lớn describe one who competes in strength athletics – a more modern eclectic strength competition in which competitors display their raw functional strength through exercises such as lifting rocks, toting refrigerators, pulling trains, towing an eighteen-wheel truck behind them, etc. The most famous competitions of this type are the World's Strongest Man, the Europe's Strongest Man, the Arnold Strongman Classic, the Strongman Champions League, the World's Ultimate Strongman, the Rogue Invitational and the Giants Live tour, and more than thở trăng tròn countries also hold national-level competitions as well.[2]

Many sports-specific training facilities have begun lớn incorporate movements associated with strongman competitions into their general training schemes, albeit with lighter weights used, e.g. tyre flips, sled drags, object loading or carrying, log pressing, farmer's walks and sánh on.


Training for strongman involves building overall strength in the thể hình and training with competition implements lớn gain familiarity. In the thể hình, it is necessary lớn train the entire toàn thân for strength, especially with variants of the squat, deadlift, and overhead press. Also important is explosive power, developed by weightlifting-style lifts, and cardiovascular conditioning. Grip strength must also be developed.

Although you can tự general strength training, at a typical thể hình, training with a strongman regimen requires equipment not typically found in a thể hình. Some equipment used in a strongman competition would have lớn be found custom-made or at a strongman thể hình. Some of these equipment includes natural stones, tree trunk logs, farmers walk frames, yokes, kegs and various sorts of vehicles.

Another part of a strongman's training is its intense diet regime. The biggest strongman competitors would need lớn ingest around 8,000 - 10,000 calories a day.


Brian Shaw performing the deadlift at the 2017 Arnold Strongman Classic

Though competitive strongman events are ever changing, there are a number of staples that frequently appear on the international stage,[3] including:

Incorrect usage[edit]

Strongman is often incorrectly used lớn describe a person who does weightlifting or bodybuilding. Due lớn the circus and entertainment background, nineteenth-century bodybuilders were expected lớn mingle with the crowd during intermission and perform strength feats lượt thích thẻ tearing, nail bending, etc. lớn demonstrate strength as well as symmetry and size. Also, many strongmen sold photos of themselves nude or near-nude, flexing and posing. Although, what they considered the epitome of male beauty was different from modern ideals – particularly the very low emphasis on chest size, and great emphasis on oblique size, and symmetry as evidenced by photos of Eugen Sandow.

Notable strongmen[edit]

Traditional Strongmen[edit]

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The Strongmen are listed according lớn the chronological order of their birth.

Modern Strongmen[edit]

The following 74 strongmen have reached the podium (1st, 2nd or 3rd place) of World's Strongest Man since 1977 and/or World Muscle Power Classic from 1985 lớn 2004 and/or Arnold Strongman Classic since 2002. They are listed according lớn the chronological order of their podium appearance.

24 of them have won the World's Strongest Man (WSM), 11 have won the World Muscle Power Classic (WMPC) and 9 have won the Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC).

7 men have won both WSM & WMPC (Kazmaier, Capes, Sigmarsson, Reeves, Magnússon, Ahola, Karlsen). 5 men have won both WSM & ASC (Savickas, Shaw, Björnsson, Licis, Hooper).

Additionally, following 48 strongmen have reached either 4th or 5th places of World's Strongest Man and/or World Muscle Power Classic and/or Arnold Strongman Classic:

Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbu, Jon Kolb, Gus Rethwisch, Bishop Dolegiewicz, Jerry Hannan, Craig Wolfley, Ernie Hackett, Hamish Davidson, Rudolph Kuester, George Hechter, Dan Markovic, Jean-Pierre Brulois, Tom Hawk, László Fekete, Adrian Smith, Berend Veneberg, Heinz Ollesch, Pieter de Bruyn, Martin Muhr, Wayne Price, Nathan Jones, Bill Lyndon, Johnny Perry, Brian Bell, Arvydas Pintinas, Andy Bolton, Steve Kirit, Bill Pittuck, Sami Heinonen, Jarek Dymek, Brian Schoonveld, Odd Haugen, Brian Siders, Benedikt Magnússon, Mark Felix, Tarmo Mitt, Vidas Blekaitis, Stefán Sölvi Pétursson, Laurence Shahlaei, Krzysztof Radzikowski, Dimitar Savatinov, Konstantine Janashia, Matjaz Belsak, Rob Kearney, Trey Mitchell, Thomas Evans and Evan Singleton.

International Accolades[edit]

  • Below table summarizes the 50 most decorated strongmen in modern history with the most number of international wins (1st places) in their careers.[4]
  • No. of total career competitions against the No. of wins (1st places only, open category only).
# Name Nationality Active Competitions Wins Win % Notable Accolades[a]
1 Žydrūnas Savickas Lithuania Lithuania 1996–2022 153 84 54.90% Multiple times World Champion
2 Mariusz Pudzianowski Poland Poland 2000–2009 61 43 70.49% Multiple times World Champion
3 Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson Iceland Iceland 2010–2020 65 30 46.15% Multiple times World Champion
4 Brian Shaw United States United States 2007–2023 65 27 41.54% Multiple times World Champion
5 Krzysztof Radzikowski Poland Poland 2005–2019 112 23 20.53% Strongman Champions League
6 Aivars Šmaukstelis Latvia Latvia 2014– 63 22 34.92% Strongman Champions League
7 Ervin Katona Serbia Serbia 2003–2015 99 17 17.17% Strongman Champions League
8 Hugo Girard Canada Canada 1998–2008 37 15 40.54% World Muscle Power Classic
9 Dainis Zageris Latvia Latvia 2009–2022 87 15 17.24% Strongman Champions League
10 Jón Páll Sigmarsson Iceland Iceland 1982–1992 29 13 44.82% Multiple times World Champion
11 Magnús Ver Magnússon Iceland Iceland 1987–2005 48 12 25.00% Multiple times World Champion
12 Magnus Samuelsson Sweden Sweden 1995–2008 63 12 19.05% World's Strongest Man
13 Jouko Ahola Finland Finland 1994–2002 22 11 50.00% Multiple times World Champion
14 Riku Kiri Finland Finland 1987–1999 25 11 44.00% World Strongman Challenge
15 Oleksii Novikov Ukraine Ukraine 2016– 37 11 29.73% World's Strongest Man
16 Mikhail Koklyaev Russia Russia 2005–2014 50 11 22.00% Strongman Champions League
17 Mateusz Kieliszkowski Poland Poland 2014– 41 10 24.39% World's Ultimate Strongman
18 Matjaz Belsak Slovenia Slovenia 2014–2020 60 10 16.67% Arnold Strongman Classic Europe
19 JF Caron Canada Canada 2007–2022 72 10 13.89% North America's Strongest Man
20 Geoff Capes United Kingdom Great Britain 1979–1988 20 9 45.00% Multiple times World Champion
21 Bill Kazmaier United States United States 1979–1990 18 8 44.44% Multiple times World Champion
22 Derek Poundstone United States United States 2006–2017 22 8 36.36% Arnold Strongman Classic
23 Martins Licis United States United States 2015– 23 8 34.78% Multiple times World Champion
24 Vytautas Lalas Lithuania Lithuania 2007–2018 30 8 26.67% Arnold Strongman Classic
25 Janne Virtanen Finland Finland 1998–2009 50 8 16.00% World's Strongest Man
26 Laurence Shahlaei United Kingdom Great Britain 2007–2021 55 8 14.55% Europe's Strongest Man
27 Kelvin de Ruiter Netherlands Netherlands 2011– 34 7 20.59% Strongman Champions League
28 Travis Ortmayer United States United States 2005– 51 7 13.72% Strongman Champions League
29 Svend Karlsen Norway Norway 1996–2006 64 7 10.94% Multiple times World Champion
30 Manfred Hoeberl Austria Austria 1990–1996 18 6 33.33% World Muscle Power Classic
31 Vasyl Virastyuk Ukraine Ukraine 2002–2008 28 6 21.43% World's Strongest Man
32 Andrus Murumets Estonia Estonia 2003–2009 40 6 15.00% Strongman Champions League
33 Mitchell Hooper Canada Canada 2022– 12 5 41.67% Multiple times World Champion
34 Flemming Rasmussen Denmark Denmark 1995–2001 19 5 26.32% World's Strongest Viking
35 Mykhailo Starov Ukraine Ukraine 2004–2006 24 5 20.83% World Strongman Cup
36 Mikhail Shivlyakov Russia Russia 2011–2021 44 5 11.36% Arnold Strongman Classic South America
36 Stojan Todorchev Bulgaria Bulgaria 2005–2017 44 5 11.36% World Strongman Cup
37 Raivis Vidzis Latvia Latvia 2002–2009 45 5 11.11% World Strongman Cup
38 Jarek Dymek Poland Poland 2000–2010 46 5 10.87% Europe's Strongest Man
39 Pavlo Kordiyaka Ukraine Ukraine 2017– 15 4 26.67% Europe's Strongest Man
40 Evan Singleton United States United States 2018– 20 4 20.00% Giants Live Strongman Classic
41 Trey Mitchell United States United States 2016– 22 4 18.18% Shaw Classic
42 Glenn Ross Northern Ireland Northern Ireland 1997–2011 33 4 12.12% World Strongman Cup
43 Jamie Reeves United Kingdom Great Britain 1988–1999 38 4 10.52% Multiple times World Champion
44 Rauno Heinla Estonia Estonia 2009– 51 4 7.84% Strongman Champions League
45 Terry Hollands United Kingdom Great Britain 2005–2021 92 4 4.35% Strongman Champions League
46 Janne Hartikainen Finland Finland 2004–2009 4 3 75.00% U105 Strongman World Championships
47 Oskar Ziółkowski Poland Poland 2020– 5 3 60.00% Strongman Champions League
48 Andrew Clayton United States United States 2014–2022 7 3 42.85% U105 Official Strongman Games
49 Mike Jenkins United States United States 2010–2013 9 3 33.33% Arnold Strongman Classic
50 Tom Magee Canada Canada 1982–1990 12 3 25.00% Défi Mark Ten International

- As at 21 August 2023

See also[edit]

  • List of strongmen
  • List of strongman competitions
  • Grip strength
  • Lifting stone
  • Power training
  • Strength training
  • Strongwoman
  • World Strongman Federation
  • World Strongman Cup Federation
  • Highland games (Scottish heritage)
  • History of physical training and fitness



External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has truyền thông related lớn Strongmen.

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  • United States All Round Weightlifting Association
  • Oldtime Strongman
  • Old-School Strongmen – slideshow by Life magazine
  • Oldtime Strongmen List
  • World Strongman Federation