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You can’t round up every strong man who ever lived and put them in a room and get them to compete for the title of the strongest.
Nor is there any easy means of comparing historical feats to today’s titans.
After all, did Milo of Croton really hold up a collapsing building?
And if he did, how heavy was it?
So, let’s take a look at the men who are the best contenders for the strongest man ever to live, and then, we’ll tell you who we think is strongest.
It’s a toss up.
There’s Samson, of the uncuttable hair.
And Goliath, the giant.
Given that Samson was supposed to be able to pick up a pair of mountains and then crumble them into bits, we’re going to give the title to Samson.
Our apologies are extended to non-Western cultures who probably have their own mythical strongest figures but our research drew a blank on this and the title of the strongest man of the ancient world became a head-to-head between the Greek, Milo of Croton, and the Roman, Maximinus Thrax.
Maximinus was the first Emperor of Rome not to be born a Roman and was known for his “freakish physique” and incredible feats of strength. These included crushing rocks in his bare hands and dragging along heavy wagons by hand.
Sadly, he was a terrible emperor and was assassinated by his own men who couldn’t bear his war-mongering ineptitude a second longer.
Milo of Croton, on the other hand, won ten Olympic wrestling titles and is said to have carried a bull above his head around a stadium, before eating it.
As strength includes mental toughness, Milo wins this bout for saving a building full of people and not being killed by his own people.
This 19th century strongman had no equals.
The French-Candian was documented lifting 18 men on a platform, weighing nearly 2 metric tons, on his back and picking up a 514 lbs. rock from the ground to his shoulders.
Louis Cyr also famously wrestled a giant of 8 feet and 2.5 inches in height and won.
Zydrunas is a Lithuanian Powerlifter who has won the Arnold Strongman Classic seven times.
He’s won the World’s Strongest Man three times and came second three times too.
He has carried out a raw squat of 880 lbs. and a 900 lbs. deadlift too!
There is no doubt that he’s the strongest man alive today!
While, on paper, it’s clearly Samson who is the strongest man ever! Lifting whole mountains is seriously hardcore, we think.
In reality, we’d have to give the title to Zydrunas.
That’s because the world’s strongest man, ever, is likely to be the best trained and nothing can match today’s strength training regimes.
So, if you’d like to get a head start on your own strength training to compete with Zydrunas, check out our guide to strength training here.