Dealing with People Who "Know Someone Bigger/Stronger" Than You

Any of you guys ever run into somebody who always knows somebody that’s bigger or stronger than you? The old I know a guy who’s your size maybe even bigger Or the old I used to lift that weight when I was your age? I keep to myself and I don’t draw attention to myself but I seem to attract these people who have to say this stuff to me for some reason. Or there’s this guy on YouTube doing this and that, I know some of you have to get this too.

Tell them about the time you met the president (seriously: did you know < your favourite president > lifts? Yeah! we talked about it when I met him at a dinner…)

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Mike Francois had a story about waiting in line at a supermarket, and an older gentleman behind him takes a look and offers up “yeah, my son works out,… he’s about your size.”

Now, if you don’t know who Mike Francois is, or how impressive he was at his peak (Top Olympia contender, beat Flex Wheeler at the Ironman etc etc), let me just say that you’d be hard pressed to find anyone as impressive at Mike lest you happen to be in a room of only Yates, Levrone, El Sonbaty, and maybe a handful of other men on the entire planet)

I will say that I personally don’t maintain the size I used to when I was competing, but I routinely get to hear from co-workers after seeing my older pics how their husbands look just like I did, but “just not as cut…”

Obviously I run the risk of tooting my own horn here, or engaging in the “the older I get, the better I was” game, but in hindsight, because I could never be objective when I was in the midst of it, I was a pretty big, thick dude for just 5’8, and it took years of training and tons of knowledge and attention to detail to reach that point. And no, your husband who likes to lift, doesn’t look anywhere close to what I did, but I’ll never say that aloud, because it’s just a dick move, and entirely unnecessary if you plan to have a decent working relationship with anyone else.



I like to join in the game, turn the tables and get these types of people all worked up.

Whatever they say to top me, I just come back with, “Well, he ain’t as ____ as my cousin.”. Strong, fast, rich, whatever.


Oh yeah Mike Francois was awesome! Haha some people Inguess

Had a guy tell me his son is as big as me maybe a little bit bigger and went on to tell me and the other guys how impressive he was. Listening to him his son weighs 50 lbs less than me and is two inches taller. I guess some people just always have something to say lol.

I’m with you there though about not saying anything back. I just laughed and respectfully went about my business.

I tell them that’s awesome and leave it at that.

There’s nothing to deal with.


How much ya bench bro?

1000 lbs

Well I knew a guy… oh nevermind

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I think this kind of thing is usually harmless. These people are usually just trying to find a way to relate to you. You can usually tell pretty quickly if someone is being a dick or not when they say stuff like this. If my asshole detector doesn’t immediately go off, I usually start asking questions.

“Wow, your son is huge? That’s awesome! Does he compete? Where does he train? Do you have any pictures or videos of him lifting?”

Especially when someone brings up their kid, it just means they want to brag about them to someone that might appreciate it. I’ll indulge that every time because I’m a parent also. I know how strong that urge can be, and how satisfying it is when someone else takes an interest.

I’m also older though, so I’ve had years of experience dealing with this. It used to bother me, but I just don’t have the energy to be bothered now. I’d rather try to turn it into a pleasant interaction if possible.


Steel, well said. I respect that.

I actually know a guy who thinks it’s more harmless than you do.

For reals though very good post. I agree with it.


I am sure he is not as humble as I am though.


This made me laugh, thanks man

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that phrase, but it’s a thing

Yeah this belongs on the “words of wisdom” thread.

“Its not hard mate. I’m a 35 year old balding fat man with a gammy shoulder and a bad back.”


This for me too. They say you’re only a couple of handshakes away from knowing pretty much everyone in the world, so I generally assume they really do know someone bigger / stronger / leaner than me.

Unless they were to get really specific, “I know someone that competes locally that weighs the same as you and deadlifts more than you” they are probably right.

I missed this. Have some high school buddies that get together to talk about the good old days. One talks about how good he was and what he did often. Then he goes to take a piss and we all laugh because he was an average player who apparently forgot we played football with him.


Naah, I’m a 320lb Gorilla!

It’s probably just me, but if I begin to really rationalize this concept, it absolutely irritates the fuck out of me.

I automatically group that into the “one-upping” category. Especially if i don’t know the person that well, or my own physical feats/accomplishments weren’t brought up by me in the first place.

Usually if I hear “Hey I know so and so, who squats x,y,z amount of weight and she’s half your size!” I either dismiss myself, or if I’ve been caught on a particularly rough day I sometimes say, “And?”.

But most times I’m silent, and usually go about my own business.