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Strongest man to have ever lived; Paul Anderson

Updated on March 14, 2015
home made squat equipment
home made squat equipment

Worlds Strongest Man

There may be some people that will disagree with this the title but the facts cannot be denied. Paul Anderson holds the record for the most weight ever lifted by a human being. If you look in the Guinness book, you will see that Paul Anderson lifted 6,270 pounds with his legs and back in 1957. No one has ever, nor will probably ever top that feat. Not only was he amazingly strong, Paul Anderson has influenced many lives and made many peoples lives better.

Growing up

Paul Anderson was born in 1932 in Toccoa Georgia. At age 5 Paul was diagnoses with Bright’s disease. Bright’s disease was what kidney disease used to be called. That term hasn’t been used for quite some time. Paul’s parents were told that he couldn’t play outside and would likely be weak and frail all his life.

Paul’s mom put him on a high protein diet, and made him push himself physically all through his childhood and teens. Paul played football in high school and went to Furman University on a football scholarship. He began experimenting with weightlifting and soon found that he could lift more than anyone else on the team, right from the start.

Paul Anderson left college to pursue weight lifting. He had to make most of his training equipment, because there were no barbells or other equipment that offered enough weight for Paul to train with. He made bars out of tractor axels and wheels, and even used a huge safe on a special leather strap to do squats on a platform in his yard, just to be able to train with enough weight to get stronger.


Amazing Feats of Strength

In 1955 Paul went to the Soviet Union, and won the world weightlifting championships by a huge margin. Paul Anderson was squatting 900 pounds for reps at exhibitions; the world record at the time was in the 650-pound range. Paul later squatted 1160 pounds at muscle beach before credible witnesses, and again before a national TV audience on the Ed Sullivan show. Paul was the first man to ever squat over 700 pounds. He was also the last American to win a gold medal in the super heavyweight division.

The feat he holds the Guinness record for was lifting a table with people sitting on the table. He would get under the table, squat down and lift the table off of the floor with his back and legs.

I was privileged to witness Paul performing one of these lifts. It was in the early 1970’s in Pittsburgh Pa. I was 11 or 12 years old and I went to a Fellowship of Christian athletes meeting with my father. Paul Anderson and Roger Stabach, former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys were at the meeting. I was excited to see Stabach, he was a football superstar. When the meeting was over, I was much more impressed with Paul. Another of Paul’s demonstrations he would do is a one arm overhead press with a 300-pound dumbbell.

Paul Anderson's feats of strength were amazing, his demonstrations were inspiring and watching him do these things made a big impression on me when I was growing up that I will never forget.

Paul Anderson youth home

The message from Paul Anderson Youth Home

We are a Christian ministry who disciples teens through our youth home and equips families nationally through our family STRONG resources and parenting events.


After Paul won the gold medal in 1956 in Melbourne Australia, Paul spent the rest of his life doing demonstrations, and witnessing about Christ, and operating a youth home in Georgia to help young men straiten out their lives and be productive citizens. Read more about the youth home.

Paul’s training methods were very unusual. He would do squats one day, training most of the day. He would do 1 set of 10 reps., then rest for 30 minutes. Do second set, and then rest another 30 minutes. He would do this for hours. Then the next day he would do the same thing with the bench press. Paul also drank about a gallon or milk every day. He was convinced that milk was very important in building muscle.

Paul died in 1994 from Bright’s disease, or Kidney disease as it’s known now. He spent most of the last 30 years of his life running the youth home. His wife still runs the home that helps many young men that are in need of help.

Paul was a man who overcame a major health problem and then went on to live his life to help others overcome major problems in their lives, and he continues to do that to this day with his youth home.

Tribute to Paul Anderson

300 Pound Dumbbell Press


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      Ricky Macie 3 years ago

      Remember Paul Anderson did this before steroids entered the scene. He will always be the worlds strongest man.

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      Andre Hof 4 years ago

      Anyone watched the videos? look at the appalling technique!

      If he would have learned the proper way he could have set even higher records...

    • profile image

      KAY 4 years ago

      I am the stronger man ever!!!!

    • profile image

      mick 4 years ago

      louis cyr was the strongest man ever.

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      Eric 4 years ago

      Paul Anderson was easily the World's strongest man period end of story.

    • spease profile image

      spease 4 years ago from Minneapolis Mn

      Most of the amazing things he did will likely never be equaled.

    • profile image

      rick thompson 4 years ago

      is paul anderson to this day still the worlds strongest man

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      thomas gill 4 years ago

      It's true that God gave Sampson his great strength, no question about it and in all reality Sampson was the strongest man ever to have lived.

    • spease profile image

      spease 4 years ago from Minneapolis Mn

      You are right, Paul was a christian as am I, but Sampson was no ordinary man, he had Gods help to make him stronger than any other man.

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      Shawn 4 years ago

      The Bible is the most reliable book in the history of humanity and the accounts written in it have stood the test of time since the beginning. Know what you're talking about before you claim to know what you're talking about...

      Samson was the most powerful man ever because God gave him supernatural strength. And being the "devout religious man" that Paul Anderson was, he would have also agreed with me.

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      Mike 5 years ago

      If you believe in Fairy tales, then Sampson was stronger than Paul Anderson but if you believe in what's REAL not B.S then you know Paul Anderson was the Worlds Strongest Man.

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      efforgobelt 5 years ago

      My spouse and i employed to obtain high on life however lately We've accumulated the weight.

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      Lumpy 5 years ago

      In the book of Judges chapter 16 verse 3, it is recorded that Sampson picked up the entire city gates, the gates, bar and posts (plus he had to rip them out of the ground) and carried it them up into the hills about 20 miles, and we all know that those gates weighed A LOT more than 6270 pounds, Paul Anderson is the 2nd strongest man to ever live, Sampson certainly does "Take the cake" here, or the "gold medal"!

    • spease profile image

      spease 5 years ago from Minneapolis Mn

      Ok, you got me there.

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      Nick 5 years ago

      Wrong Samson was the strongest person.Paul was the second

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      Nade ATL 5 years ago

      The strongest man in the world that ever lived is hossein rezazadeh from iran with 580 pound clean/jerk,But hats off to paul,He was one of the most natural strong man that ever lived.

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      Illianna 5 years ago

      I don't belive this

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      ghomefitness 7 years ago from Chicago,IL

      This is a very nice tribute hub!