With the recently televised World’s Strongest Man events, the term ‘strongest to have ever lived’ gets bounced around quite often, however there is one chap that is still, more than 50 years on, considered the strongest man ever!
Amongst STRONG Competition
Thor Bjornson is one of the most exciting up and coming strongmen, having already sealed two 3rd place finishes, and a 2nd in the 2014 World Strongest Man event this guy may have something to say about who is the strongest ever. Few people will deny Mariusz Pudzianowski a claim to this throne, whilst most agree that current, and 4 time champ Zydrunas Savickas is probably the most powerful, and strongest ever. However one man still stands in the way of this, not just for his numbers, but also for the time during which he did it, and in the manner that he did. Paul Anderson is a name many of you might not have heard of, he competed before the inception of the World’s Strongest Man events, and was probably the reason it was started in the first place!
Paul Anderson ‘The Founder’
Born in Georgia, 1932, Anderson decided he wanted to lift heavy things from an early age which led to him making regular trips to the scrap yard in order to find heavy objects. Perhaps one of his most infamous images is him lifting what is likely to be around 1000kg+.
If previous Guinness world records are anything to go by, 1000kg for a back raise (such as that in the above pic) would be child’s play for him. Guinness world records had him down as back lifting 6,270lbs (approx. 3000kg), but it was soon removed because it wasn’t formally adjudicated. However, as Anderson’s career developed it soon became apparent that he was pretty darn strong, maybe the strongest ever… and there was nothing anyone could say or do about it! He set and re-set numerous records, all adjudicated and validated as they were mainly set during World Championships and the Olympics.
How his numbers stack up
It is prudent to remember that this chap was doing all of this several decades ago, so when considering the following numbers, keep this is mind! I will compare Anderson’s numbers with 2 of the other candidates for strongest ever, Savickas and the legendary Mariusz Pudzianowski:
Squat – 428kg
Bench Press – 285.5kg
Deadlift – 410kg
Total – 1,123.5kg
Squat – 400kg
Bench Press – 300kg
Deadlift – 425kg
Total – 1,125kg
Squat – 540kg
Bench Press – 285kg
Deadlift – 370kg
Total – 1,195kg
With everything considered, I think it's fair to say that those numbers stack up quite nicely for Anderson. Yes strength is multi- faceted and World Strongest Man competitions are about more than just pure strength, it's about dynamic strength, power and endurance, how Anderson would have faired in these areas is unknown, but what appears to be clear is that this beast of a man leads the way in terms of brute strength. Incredible!
Spot Me Bro, (2015). Meet the guy they call the strongest man to ever live. Retrieved 21st January, 2015, from http://spotmebro.com/meet-the-guy-they-call-the-strongest-man-to-ever-live/
"Zydrunas Savickas". theworldsstrongestman.com. IMG. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
Mariusz Pudzianowski biography". Pudzianowski official website. Retrieved 2010-05-10.