Who are the Top 10 Power Lifter of all time?

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Powerlifting is a weight-classes strength sport and has been an official sport in the Olympic Games since 1986. This sport compromises 3 major compound lifts squat, bench press, and deadlift. 

Powerlifter dates back to ancient Greek times when unbelievable body strength was distinctly valued.

World Strongman event also follows similar powerlifting rules to determine who is the strongest man in the world. 

Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson Carrying A Boulder
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson Carrying A Boulder (Source: GQ)

If you ask anyone in the strength game, many would answer Ed Coan is the greatest powerlifter ever. 

However, to find out who makes it into our list of the top 10 greatest powerlifters of all time, let’s dig into the article without delay.

Let’s look at the top 10 powerlifters of all time;

Name Nationality
1. Ed Coan American
2. Zydrunas Savickas Lithuanian
3. Mark Henry American
4. Bill Kazmaier American
5. Paul Anderson British
6. Brian Shaw American
7. Andy Bolton British
8. Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson Icelandic
9. Mikhail Koklyaev Russain
10. Eddie Hall British

10. Eddie Hall

  • Nationality: British
  • Professional Sports: Strongman
  • Nickname: The Beast
  • Height/Weight: 1.91 m/ 362 lb.

Although Eddie Hall has already retired, he is still popular among fans due to his TV appearances.

Likewise, he became UK’s Strongest Man for 6 consecutive years from 2011 to 2016. Similarly, from 2014 to 2018, he secured the successive titles of Britain’s Strongest Man. 

Hall also has appeared in Europe’s Strongest Man on two occasions finishing second in the 2017 edition, where he also set the world record for Axle press, lifting 216 kg (476 lbs.).

He didn’t qualify for World Strongest Man in 2012 and 2013. However, for the next 4 years, he always finished within the top 10. 

Moreover, in 2017 World Strongest Man Hall claimed his only World Strongest title and decided to retire due to health issues.

eddie hall before his big match against Björnsson
Eddie Hall Before His Big Match Against Björnsson (Source: The US Sun)

Previously, his best finish was in the 2016 edition, where he came third. 

In the same year, at World Deadlifts Championship, he also set a deadlift world record at official events lifting 500 kg (1,102 lbs.). 

After breaking the world record of his rival, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson challenged him to a boxing match. On March 19, 2022, Hall faced Björnsson in a titan weight class boxing match in Dubai.

Hall lost the match by unanimous decision after sustaining bleeding lacerations on the top of both eyes. However, he did knock Björnsson down at the beginning of the second round.

9. Mikhail Koklyaev

  • Nationality: Russian
  • Professional Sports: Strongman, Powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, Boxing
  • Nickname: Misha
  • Height/ Weight: 1.93 m/ 353 lbs.

Mikhail Koklyaev began his professional career as a strongman. He finished third in Arnold Strongman Classic three times and second once. 

Likewise, in ISFA Strongman World Championship, he secured the third position once and the second position twice. 

mihail koklyaev showing his body
Mihail Koklyaev Showing His Body (Source: www.spisok-putina.org)

He is a multiple-time winner of the Strongman Champions League. Altogether he has 7 titles to his name and several podium finishes. 

As a powerlifter, Koklyaev won WPC Raw European Championship in 2012. 

His personal best powerlifting records stand 360kg/ 793.7 lbs. for squat, 230 kg/ 507.1 lbs. for bench press, and 417.5 kg/ 920 lbs. for deadlift totaling over 1,007.5 kg/ 2,221 lbs. 

Later, in 2019 Koklyaev made his professional boxing debut. But he lost the match by TKO to Alexnder Emelianenko. 

8. Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson

  • Nationality: Icelandic
  • Professional Sports: Basketball, Strongman
  • Nickname: The Mountain
  • Height/ Weight: 2.06 m/ 335 lbs.

Most people know Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson from the famous HBO TV series Game of Thrones, where he played Gregor Clegane for 5 seasons.

Moreover, Björnsson is the first to win Arnold Strongman Classic, Europe Strongest Man, and World Strongest Man in the same year in 2018. 

However, before starting his professional acting and strongman career, he was a basketball player.  But at the age of 20, an ankle injury forced him to retire.

In 2010 he started competing in a strongman competition. Later, he won Iceland’s Strongest Man title for 10 consecutive years from 2011 to 2020.

Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, The Mountain
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, The Mountain (Source: The Sun)

Likewise, he is also 4 times Giants live winner and 5 times Europe Strongest Man champion. 

Furthermore, in 2018 Björnsson finally claimed the title of World Strongest Man after finishing third and second 6 times in past years. 

Similarly, he set the world record for elephant bar deadlift, lifting 474kg (1,045 lbs.) at the Arnold Classic in 2019.

Björnsson is also a world deadlift record holder. In 2020, under strongman rules, he deadlifted 501 kg (1,105 lbs.) in his Iceland gym. 

On March 19, 2022, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson defeated Eddie Hall in boxing’s heaviest-ever fight by unanimous decision.

7. Andy Bolton

  • Nationality: British
  • Professional Sports: Strongman, Powerlifting
  • Nickname: Unavailable
  • Height/ Weight: 1.83 m/ 350 lbs.

Andy Boltman began the powerlifter journey at the age of 20 years in 1991. He first competed at a local powerlifting contest known as BAWLA Yorkshire Junior Championship. 

Andy Bolton During Powerlifting Training
Andy Bolton During Powerlifting Training (Source: Issuu)

Later, he started competing in World Powerlifting Congress events. As a result, he is 3 times WPC Powerlifting champion and holds a few WPC world records.

His total of 1273 kg/ 2806 lbs. and squat of 550.5 kg/1213 lbs. are WPC records yet to be broken. Moreover, his total squat records stand third and fourth in the respective category.  

Furthermore, Boltman is 15 times British Powerlifting champion and 7 times WPO world champion. 

He is also named in the Guinness Book of World Records for becoming the first powerlifter to lift over 1000 lbs.

Likewise, he is a previous world deadlift record holder lifting 457.5 kg/ 1008.6 lbs.

Competing in strongman competitions, he secures his best position in the 2002 Arnold Strongman Classic, finishing fifth. 

In the Giants Strongman podcast on April 26, 2022, he confessed that he pulled 301 kg with a dialysis line in his chest. 

6. Brian Shaw

  • Nationality: American
  • Professional Sports: Strongman
  • Nickname: Gigantor
  • Height/ Weight: 2.03 m/ 439 lbs.

Brian Shaw fell in love with strength after graduating from college. Before, he was a college basketball player.

He began his professional strongman journey began competing in the 2005 Denver Strongest Man competition. 

Moreover, he competed in the tournament without any formal training. Later, within seven months, Shaw was among the professional strongman athletes. 

He competed in his first World Strongest Man contest in 2008. Since then, he has been to a record 13 finals, winning four times.

Brian Shaw
Brian Shaw (Source: History Channel)

Likewise, he has finished in other podium positions 6 times and recorded the top 5 placings 12 times.  Shaw is also a record holder for most consecutive WSM appearances, with 14 to his name.

He is also a world record holder of a little bighorn handle lifting 108kg (238 lbs.). In addition, in 2021, World Strongest Man, he set a key toss world record, tossing over 7.75 meters. 

Furthermore, Shaw has won 3 Arnold Strongman Classic and 6 Strongman Super Series titles. 

In preparation for the 2022 Shaw Classic, he did a 2000 lbs. car leg press. 

Shaw decided to take a rest from competitions and announced that he would not be participating in The 2022 Rogue Invitational. He made this announcement via YouTube video on August 30, 2022.

5. Paul Anderson

  • Nationality: American
  • Professional Sports: Olympic weightlifting/ Strongman/ Powerlifting
  • Nickname: Unavailable
  • Height/ Weight: 1.79 m/ 360 lbs.

Paul Anderson is a genuine hero in the world of strength professionals. Anderson started lifting weights when he joined Furman University, the football team.

Paul Anderson During His Weightlifting Session
Paul Anderson During His Powerlifting Session (Source: Sites at Penn State)

Later, at the age of 20, he participated in his first-ever powerlifting competition, breaking the official 30 years old squat record of squatting 650 lbs. 

In 1955 he became World Champion and also set a two-world record. The first one is for 184.9 kg/ 407.7 lbs. bench press and 512.3 kg/ 1,129.5 lbs. total weight. 

Next year, in the Melbourne Olympics, Anderson won a 90+ kg weight division, weightlifting gold medal. He is also a 1955 and 1956 U.S. WEIGHTLIFTING champion. 

In 1957, Anderson registered his name in the Guinness Book of World Records after back lifting 2,840 kg/ 6,270 lbs. It has been cited as “The greatest lift completed by humans.”

As a powerlifter, he created 18 American and 8 World Records. Moreover, he retired undefeated. 

4. Bill Kazmaier

  • Nationality: American
  • Professional Sports: Wrestling/ Strongman/ Powerlifting
  • Nickname: Unavailable
  • Height/ Weight: 1.88 m/ 326 lbs.

Bill Kazmaier is one of the greatest in the field of strength competitions. Moreover, he dropped out of college to focus on becoming a powerlifter.

At the age of 25, Kazmaier set a bench press world record, lifting 663 lbs. while winning the 1979 IDF World Powerlifting Championship. He won the title again in 1983 with a total of 2292 lbs. 

He secured the third position during his first World Strongest Man contest in 1979. Later, he went on to win 3 consecutive titles from 1980 to 1982. 

He retired with many records, but most of them are already broken.

Bill Kazmaier In His Youth
Bill Kazmaier In His Youth (Source: Pinterest)

As a powerlifter, he is a former IDF SHW class world record holder in the bench press and deadlift, lifting 300 kg/ 661.4 lbs. and 402 kg/ 886.7 lbs.

Likewise, some of  Kazemaier WSM feats include car deadlift (1159 kg/ 2555 lbs.), cement block lift (440 kg/ 969 lbs.), Silber dollar deadlift (478.5 kg/ 1055 lbs.), and Hungarian farm cart deadlift (510 kg/ 1124 lbs.). 

Furthermore, Kazemaier competed for multiple wrestling promotions companies. Moreover, his biggest exposure came in WCW’s debut in 1991. 

He appeared in Giants Live Strongman on April 12, 2022. He also appeared in a podcast, “Mr. Universe Meets,” with Mr. Universe, Stuart Garrington, on November 2, 2022.

3. Mark Henry

  • Nationality: American
  • Professional Sports: Wrestling/ Strongman/ Powerlifting
  • Nickname: Sexual Chocolate/ The King of the Jungle
  • Height/ Weight: 1.91 m/ 360 lbs.

Mark Henry, aka Sexual Chocolate, is probably the most famous name on the list. He is a popular name in the World Wrestling Entertainment world.

He is two time WWE champion and a one-time world-heavy weight champion. Moreover, in 2018 he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. 

Mark Henry, WWE Superstar
Mark Henry, WWE Superstar (Source: Connecticut Post)

Talking of his powerlifting career, he is the 1995 WDFPF world champion and 1995 and 1997 USA National champion. 

Henry’s performed the biggest raw powerlifting ever by a drug-tested powerlifter and second in history, a total of 1,060 kg/ 2,336.9 lbs.

On two occasions, he has also represented the USA at the Olympics in weightlifting. Furthermore, in 2002 he won Arnold Strongman Classic scoring 25 points. 

Learn More About Mark And His WWE Career>>

2. Zydrunas Savickas

  • Nationality: Lithuanian
  • Professional Sports: Strongman/ Powerlifting
  • Nickname: Big Z
  • Height/ Weight: 1.91 m/ 375 lbs.

Zydrunas Savickas is often regarded as the greatest strength athlete ever to live. He broke all Lithuanian powerlifting records just at the age of 17.

The titles won by him are just incredible. For instance, he is 16 time Lithuanian Strongest Man. Likewise, he is 4 times World Strongest Man and has finished second place 6 times. 

Similarly, Savickas was recorded 8 times as an Arnold Strongman Classic winner. Likewise, he has 3  Europe Strongest Man, 2 ISFA Strongman, and 2 overall Strongman Championships to his name. 

His squat 410kg (900 lbs.), bench press 250 kg (550 lbs.), and deadlift lift 360 kg (790 lbs.) is the national record. 

Zydrunas Savickas In His Gym
Powerlifter, Zydrunas Savickas, In His Gym (Source: Twitter)

Furthermore, he also holds several strongman records. In 2015 he lifted 238 kg/ 503 lbs. log. 

In 2010, he completed 8 clean reps of Apollon Axle Press weighing 166 kg/ 366 lbs. Previously he also held records for hummer tire deadlifts, metal block press, atlas stone, and giant barbell deadlifts.

On July 24, 2010, the powerlifter married his longtime girlfriend, Jurgita Savickiene. However, they got separated in June 2021.

Zydrunas married for a 2nd time to Brigita Lacyte on October 12, 2022.

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1. Ed Coan

  • Nationality: American
  • Professional Sports: Powerlifting
  • Nickname: Ed
  • Height/ Weight: 1.68 m/ 198.5 lbs.

Although many legendary names pop up in the strength world, one name arguably stands above all: Ed Coan.

Ed Coan During The World Championships 2014
Ed Coan During The World Championships 2014 (Source: YouTube)

Nobody dominated the powerlifting as he did, setting up 71 official ad 30 unofficial records in his professional career.

Moreover, he is among the athletes who accepted doping as part of powerlifting. Likewise, he is the lightest powerlifter to cross a total of 2,400 lbs.

Similarly, Coan’s total of 2,463 pounds ranks highest in all-time total records. His personal best record stands as squat (462 kg/ 1019 lbs.), bench press (265 kg/ 584 lbs.), and deadlift (409 kg/ 901 lbs.).

During his professional career, he claimed 7 USPF senior national championships and 6 IPF World Championships. 

Even serving a lifetime ban due to doping Coan is still considered a powerlifting legend. He was also inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. 

Ed gave a workshop on Advanced Powerlifting at EliteFTS SWIS Symposium 2022 on October 29.

Recently, he started working with Marek Health which he announced through an Instagram post on November 26, 2022.


Whether you are interested in powerlifting or not, you must have seen these athletes on TV or social media. 

Many people may be confused about why bodybuilders are not listed. It’s because powerlifting is a way different sport.  

Here Is The List Of the 15 Greatest Female Body Builders>>

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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  1. Who wrote this? Listing guys as one of the top 10 powerlifters of all time who have never even competed in powerlifting is, well, ridiculous. All are definitely strong guys, but if they have never competed in powerlifting, like Brian Shaw, Thor, and Eddie Hall, they certainly shouldn’t be on the list. Probably should consider Mike Bridges, who dominated powerlifting before Ed Coan, and I’m pretty sure Bridges was never defeated in a competition (Coan got beat once early in his career). And not knowing that Bill Kazmaier’s nickname was (and is) Kaz shows the writer is probably young and didn’t even try.


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