Who is the strongest man in the world?
Have you have ever heard of the famous wrestler from ancient Greece “Milo,” who took a baby calf and started carrying it uphill daily? As the calf grew into a matured bull, Milo’s strength increased accordingly.
As early as the 15th century, there have been strongmen who have exhibited enormous strength beyond regular men’s capability.
However, no sports, such as the World’s Strongest Man, were designated to measure their power level until the modern era.
This article takes a look at the top-24 strongest men ever in the modern era. Satisfy your curiosity with our all-time list.
Table of Contents
The Strongest Men in the World Ever
24. Terry Hollands
Known as Britain’s Strongest Man and England’s Strongest Man, Terry Hollands (born June 6, 1979) competed in strongman competitions in the United Kingdom.
Furthermore, he is a two-time World’s Strongest Man and the 5th most prolific strongman competitor in history, having competed in 89 international contests over 17 years. Terry is also known for his car-pulling prowess.
He didn’t win World’s Strongest Man (WSM), but the British athlete has a long history of success in this tournament.
Only Hollands has made it to the WSM finals nine times a row.
23. Svend Karlsen
Former powerlifter and IFBB professional bodybuilder Svend Viking Karlsen During competitions, he is well-known for yelling out “Viking Power!” as his signature phrase.
As a powerlifter, Karlsen won several titles and set 3 European records, 30 Norwegian records, and a world record throughout his career.
“Viking Power” is a well-known slogan of Svend Karlsen’s.
He cemented legendary status after he shattered 30 Norwegian powerlifting records.
He took first place in the WSM competition in 2001 after placing in the top three the previous two years.
22. Bruce Wilhelm
Bruce Wilhelm was a weightlifter and former strongman from the United States, born on July 13, 1945.
He has won the World’s Strongest Man competition twice, in 1977 and 1978, and has written numerous articles and books on strength.
He was on the executive board of the United States Olympic Committee.
For eight years, he served on the Athletes Advisory Council, the Sports Medicine Committee, the Substance and Drug Abuse Committee, and the Games Preparation Committee.
It wasn’t long before Wilhelm was crowned the first World’s Strongest Man.
After that, he helped organize and officiate more competitions for several years.
21. Magnus Samuelsson
Actor and former strongman Magnus Samuelsson is a Swede who competed in the 1998 World’s Strongest Man competition in Morocco and won the competition.
After competing in arm wrestling for years, he became one of the world’s top strongmen and was a European Arm Wrestling Champion before becoming a professional bodybuilder.
For 13 years, from 1995 to 2007, Samuelsson set a record for the most appearances in the finals of the World’s Strongest Man competition.
He has also finished in the top five at WSM five times.
20. Jamie Reeves
Jamie Reeves was the Worlds strongest man in 1989.
In the superheavyweight class, he was crowned champion of Yorkshire and the North East of England in 1986.
The National Truck Pulling Championships and the 1986 Midland’s Strongest Man competition were only two of the events he competed in addition to powerlifting.
In 1987, he won the Midland’s Strongest Man competition, in which he had previously finished second (the first of three consecutive wins).
19. Jouko Ahola
On December 1, 1970, in the oldest city in Finland, Hämeenlinna, Jouko Ahola was born.
Jouko was a goalkeeper in Finland’s most popular sport, ice hockey when he was a child. It led Jouko to abandon team sports favoring martial arts like karate and weightlifting as a final goal.
He had a brief but fruitful time in the powerlifting world.
He finished second at the IPF Junior World Championships and was on his way to a similar stratospheric leap in the strongman world.
Jouko Ahola is a two-time World’s Strongest Man, two-time Europe’s Strongest Man, three-time IFSA Champion, and two-time World’s Strongest Team.
18. Geoff Capes
Geoffry Lewis Capes was born in Holbeach, England, as the seventh child of Eileen Capes. He spent most of his childhood here and went to school there.
He used to play basketball, football, and even cross country with the Holbeach Athletics Club in his youth.
In addition, Geoff was an excellent sprinter, clocking in at 23.7 seconds for the 200 meters. On the other hand, Geoff was naturally drawn to the shot put.
One of the most successful English athletes of the 1980s was Geoff Capes, a British cyclist who won two globe titles.
He also competed in Shot Put for England and the United Kingdom, winning three Olympic medals and two Commonwealth Championships.
17. Magnus Ver Magnusson
An impressive body of work results from Magnus Ver Magnusson’s hard work.
Despite being out of the running for nearly three decades, K.O. has been carrying the weight of the competition on his huge back and reputation.
Like his compatriot Jon Pall Sigmarsson, Magnusson was the recipient of four World Sports Merit Awards. In 1997, he was forced to quit after failing to reach the tournament finals.
16. Patrik Baboumian
Patrik Baboumian, a vegan strongman, sets a new world record at the Harbourfront Centre by carrying 555 kilograms over a distance of 10 meters.
Baboumian, a former bodybuilder who is half-Armenian and half-German, was born in Iran.
German “Strongest Man” and log lift world record holder, as well as Germany’s “Strongest Man” (165 kg). Moreover, the 34-year-old is a vegan food icon.
15. Brian Siders
Siders is on this list because of his overall strength, which includes 799 pounds on the bench, personal bests of 1,019 pounds in the squat, and 865 pounds in the deadlift for a total of 2,651 pounds.
He can bench press 650 pounds, and he can deadlift 840 pounds.
Siders takes great pleasure in that he could accomplish the previous exploits without the aid of performance-enhancing substances.
14. Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson became “The World’s Strongest Man” in 1957 after he lifted 6,270 pounds in a backlift. “Greatest Lift” was the Guinness Book of World Records entry.
Using a back lift (weight lifted from trestles), a person has ever lifted 6,270 lbs. by 364- lb.
13. Leonid Taraneko
Born in Malaryta, Byelorussian SSR, he rose to prominence as a Wight Lifter in the Soviet Union.
There are various weightlifting records to Leonid Taraneko’s name.
During the 1988 tournament, his 266 kg clean and jerk was the heaviest lift. Due to weight restrictions, this record is no longer a World Record. However, this lift has yet to be matched.
At the Olympic Games, the World Weightlifting Championships, the European Weighlifting Championships, the USSR Weightlifting Championships, the Summer Spartakiad of the Soviet Union, and the Cup of the Soviet Union, Leonid Taraneko won numerous gold medals.
In Wightliofiting Competitions, he has set multiple personal records.
12. Robert Oberst
Robert Oberst is a strongman (professional) from the U.S. He won the “Pro Card” winner of the Dallas Europa Amateur Strongman Competition in 2021.
Two years apart, he finished as a finalist in the World’s Strongest Man contests in 2013. He was a bouncer at a nightclub in his younger years.
His friends at the gym encouraged him to go into Strongman competitions. In addition to having “the strongest shoulders in the world,”
11. Mark Henry
In our list of the world’s strongest men, former professional wrestler and American powerlifter Mark Henry ranks first. This professional wrestler has been a two-time world champion in WWE.
In addition, he competed in the Olympics twice, in 1992 and 1996, and took home three medals from the Pan American Games in 1995: silver, gold, and bronze, respectively.
Several Strongman and powerlifting Competition records are held by Mark Henry.
Mark was born in Texas in the year 1971.
He won both the U.S. Weightlifting and Powerlifting Heavyweight Championships. A year later, in 2002, he won the Arnold Strongman Classic.
He made history when he did a one-hand clean and push press with the liftable Thomas Inch Dumbell.
10. Louis Uni “Apollon the Mighty”
Louis of French nationality was famous for his grip strength and was the most powerful man alive in the late 80s. He was a showman who often once entertained onlookers with his tremendous strength ability.
Louis Uni took part in the 1889 Greco-Roman wrestling competition and quickly lifted 118-kilo train-car wheels like nothing.
In 1892, he lifted 115-kilogram double barbell, at a point holding up the barbell with a single hand.
There was nobody like him in his era, and he achieved tons of accomplishments.
9. Vasyl Virastyuk
Vasyl Virastyuk was the face of all muscular men all over the globe when he won the 2004 World’s Strongest Man title.
A few years down the line, he defeated Zydrunas Savickas, a two-time IFSA World Champion, to become the first athlete to win the World’s Strongest Man title and the IFSA World title.
He was no doubt a strongman who didn’t hesitate to showcase his strength at the slightest opportunity.
8. Mariusz Pudzianowski “Dominator”
On our list of the strongest man ever is Mariusz Pudzianowski of Polish descent. He is the only man alive to have won the World’s Strongest Man competition a record five times.
His first attempt at the WSM title wasn’t so bad as he finished fourth. He didn’t return to the game the following year as he was serving a 19-month prison sentence.
Came 2002, he won his first World’s Strongest Man title.
He defended the title in 2003 in engaging style as he had won the title with an event to go and recorded the total highest point ever in the history of the competition.
More intriguing was the fact that he finished the top three in every event in that tournament. He defended his title convincingly.
In 2004, Pudzianowski was surprisingly beaten to third place in the World’s Strongest Man competition. The Dominator is currently a mixed martial artist.
However, in 2005 he regained his title and defended it successfully the following two years.
7. Julius Maddox “Irregular Strength”
The fantastic story of an American powerlifter in 2019, from addiction to a famous, is one to reckon.
In August 2019, Julius Maddox, popularly known as “Irregular Strength,” achieved the first of his feat as he pressed 739.6 pounds without a belt, thus beating the 738.5 Ib record of Krill Sarychev.
Further, November of that same year, he surpassed his world record as he pressed 744.1 pounds again.
In March 2020, Maddox performed the unimaginable as he set the world bench record, lifting 770 pounds at the Arnold Sports Classic.
6. Eddie Hall “The Beast”
The English five-times Strongest Man champion, shot to the spotlight when he emerged winner of the 2017 World’s Strongest Man competition.
One of the main highlights of his career is his distinguished world record in deadlift after he lifted 500 kg back in 2016. Several athletes later tried to surpass or achieve Eddie’s record.
However, all failed until Hafpor Bjornsson came to the scene and broke the record in 2020. He as well won the UK Strongest Man title six times.
Hall deserves a spot among the strongest men in modern history.
5. Andy Bolton
Andy Bolton is majorly known for being the first man to deadlift over a thousand pounds in a powerlifting competition.
The English powerlifter had first engaged in his debut powerlifting competition at the age of 21.
He participated in the 2002 Arnold Strongman Classic and came fifth place.
His squats are incredible as well; he holds the current World Power Lifting Organization record hitting an impressive 1,213 Ib lift.
4. Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson “Thor”
Bjornsson is widely known for his character role as Ser Gregor “The Mountain” in the famous series, Game of thrones. However, when he is not acting, he is a strongman.
In 2015, at the World’s Strongest Viking competition in Norway, Bjornsson broke a 1,000-year-old record after carrying a 10-meter-long log, i.e., 1,430 Ib for five steps.
He participated in the 2018 World Strongest Man competition and became the champion, becoming the first Icelander to clinch the title since 1996.
In addition, he emerged winner of Europe’s Strongest Man five times and won his third Arnold Strongman Classic champion earlier this year, becoming the first to win the ASC three consecutive times.
He is also the first person to have won Europe’s Strongest Man, Arnold Strongman Classic, and Europe’s Strongest Man in a single calendar year.
3. Bill Kazmaier “Kaz”
Bill, one of the strongest men alive today, is an American former powerlifting world champion. He was a notable and feared figure in strength competitions in the 1970s–1980s.
Kaz set several strongman records, including being the first person to lift five McGlashen stones that weigh 250-300Ib a piece.
He won the World’s Strongest Man competition thrice and excelled in feats of strength of famous fellow strong men in the modern era in his time.
Bill Kazmaier was known for his claim to be “the strongest man who ever lived.”
He is undoubtedly one of the strongest men on earth ever to live.
2. Brian Shaw “Gigantor”
Shaw undoubtedly holds a place amongst the strongest men in the world.
He is a four-time champion of the World’s Strongest Man. Brian Shaw also won the Arnold Strongman Classic three times and once lifted 903Ib squat and 1,025Ib deadlift.
He also won the Giants Live twice and the Strongman Super Series three times.
1. Zydrunas Savickas “Big Z”
Zydrunas Savickas is unsurprisingly the number one strongest man on the planet ever, with numbers of tournaments won than one can remember or count.
Back in 1998, Savickas won his first Lithuania Strongest Man contest. In 2001, he was severely injured during competition and was off all strength exhibiting games for about nine months.
Many sports pundits thought his career to be over, due to the detrimental effect of the injuries. However, he reappeared on the scene in 2002, winning the Lithuania Strongest Man contest a second time, the beginning of his victory ramp.
Savickas went on winning the World Strongest Man competition in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014.
In the Arnold Strongman Classic, he won six consecutive times, emerged the winner of Europe’s Strongest Man three times, and the list goes on.
One could write a whole bible on the achievement and feats of Savickas. He is truly the strongest man in the modern era.
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