T Nation

Determining the World's Strongest


I've seen this particular format a couple of times, and wonder if you guys think the winner could really be called "World's Strongest Man" (assuming all the strongest men competed)?

TrapBar Deadlift: To test legs, hips, lower back, traps and grip

Bench Press: To test chest, shoulder and tricep power

Standing Push Press: To test shoulder girdle strength

Weighted Chin-up: To test upper back and grip strength

The Thomas Inch Dumbell Lift: The ultimate test of grip strength

Would anyone here swap up the format, or add anything here (I mean, if we're really talking world's strongest, shouldn't something like a calf raise be performed? We are talking total body afterall).

By the way, I don't really think the contests on ESPN count, as they're really testing POWER (speed and strength) instead of slow STRENGTH (one rep maximums). And I realize we can't test every bodypart, as I think the teeth-pulls and the like are kind of moronic, if just impressive.



I think the WSM events are much better than the exercises listed. I would say the clean+press is the #1 best test, but technique is a big factor in that so maybe the log clean+press. Add a deadlift event and maybe a dragging event like a chain/anchor drag and that pretty much covers it.

I think it is silly to test strength of individual bodyparts or to try to seperate power or strength endurance from these events too much.


Seems like it's weighted towards upper body strength.


If that were the case, then Jesse Marunde would have won.


Some of the events are testing 1RM ... what about the stone ball lifting onto platform? of course you are fatigued from lifting the smaller ones first, so maybe they should start at the heaviest one.

I don't have a problem with the existing format I think it is very entertaining and inspiring etc...

Teeth pulls have a trick to them, pulling with the roof of your mouth (which is incredibly strong) instead of just your teeth. Many stunts like that have a trick to them.

I wish worlds' strongest had more airplay ... maybe they should have a competition where people send in ideas for events and the best ideas make it in the challenge.


Never in a million years. Bring back the flinstone or silver dollar deadlift. Trapbars = NO. Also to a 1RM

No fancy kevlar suits. Just a t-shirt. Better still topless. To a 1RM.

Yeah. I like the format now. Seems to exploit a lot of guys weaknesses.

NO NO NO NO. Whats there to get exited about here? chin-ups. No.


Well, not really. Many of the top guys could lift it, then it would become a test of grip endurance over strength. Whats wrong with the hercules hold? Millenium dumbell. yeah.

I think they have a good contest already in the Arnold strong man. The events are all big and heavy. As they should be. The WSM sponsored by met-rx is more athletic based which allows guys like pudz to shine. I prefer the Arnold format.


A weighted chin-up wouldn't be as good as the bent-row. One pressing exercise is fine. My picks would be:

Sumo or Conventional Deadlift



Front Squat


farmer's carry with 3/4 full milk cans for distance. Might have to dope the cans with steel show for those big bastards.

barrel lifting for weight

sandbag press for reps

truck pull

these would be my choices


The term World's Strongest Man is bullshit and just causes controversy. With the sports of strongman, weight lifting and olympic lifting you cannot discredit one sport over the other. There all strength and power sports but in different forms.

Not that I know for sure... but the world record holder for the clean and jerk wouldn't be able to squat a world record weight, mariusz pudzinowski probably can't bench 900+ pounds. Calling someone the world strongest man is like trying to pick the hottest girl in the world. Every one has their own opinions.

Its too hard to even pick exercises that they all could perform because some will excel at one exercise and be terrible at others. I don't imagine an olympic weight lifter could out bench an advanced powerlifter. But anyways... thats all I have to say about that. And for the record... its Jessica Simpson.


Just like any other contest, this is only going to test who is the strongest at THOSE events. There is no pefect format to test strength, just alot of good ones.


The format presented by the original poster is very similar to what has already been done by the Atlantis Foundation, the same group that is puttin on the New England Record Breakers meet. It's a pretty good mix.

The problem with determining who is the "strongest" is that strength is only relative to the activity. As the activity changes, so does the kind of strength necessary to excel at it. Many strongman events don't test the ability to express a 1RM. Powerlifting doesn't require you to do more than one rep with a weight.