Powerlifting vs Strongman: 7 Key Differences

Powerlifting vs Strongman: 7 Training Differences & Which to Choose

Deciding the best training method between powerlifting and strongman to achieve the gains you want has become complicated due to the unlimited information available at our fingertips.

It stirs up age-old questions:

  • Who is the strongest?
  • What is the best way to train? 
  • What will get me the most followers?

Ok, not so age-old on that last one. 

Let me introduce you to a wild concept that I learned from my favorite college professor, Dr. Szymanski: 

“It Depends!” 

While initially not satisfying, Dr. Szymanski was wise enough to know that not everything has a clear answer. 

However, to help you better understand what is best for your specific situation, I’ll use my experience training in both styles to simplify, clarify, and share the benefits each training technique offers.

Let’s reach down to your feet, grab your imaginary incontinence underwear, and dawn them with pride with a swift triple extension motion – you are now equipped with nuance! 

With that lovely image burned into your mind, let’s attack the topic with some nuance and, of course, some stereotypes. 

So powerlifting vs. Strongman? Let’s see which one is right for you!

What Is Powerlifting?

Squat, bench, deadlift, then end. You can stop reading now. 

Just kidding. I did promise a bit more nuance than that.

Powerlifting has evolved since its inception in 1964 when the first unofficial championships took place in York, Pennsylvania. And, it became an official sport under the International Powerlifting Federation in 1972.

In the beginning, lifting was performed with no assistive equipment. 

Wrist and knee wraps were allowed – but they were basically ace bandages.

Those poor primitive lifters.

American Don Reinhoudt won the IPF World Championship four times, held the open powerlifting total record (2391lbs) from 1975-2013 and won the 1979 worlds strongest man

Athletes soon discovered they could lift more using multiple layers of wraps.

The use of these layered or thicker wraps eventually evolved into what we now call “equipped powerlifting.” 

Now you can get a host of gear that is engineered to add maximal pounds to your lift:

  • Squat suits 
  • Bench press shirts 
  • Deadlift suits
  • Knee wraps 

Provided you learn how to use them properly.

(Donnie Thompson squatting 1260lbs in multiply squat suit and knee wraps

This actually caused a split in the sport between those who wanted the sport to return to the days of raw lifting (no assisted lifting) and those who wanted to use lifting gear. 

Today, there are tons and tons of federations based on disagreements on what the sport should focus on. 

How Can Powerlifting Benefit You

I built my strength foundation on the squat, bench press, and deadlift. 

I can say that it is a wonderful way to get started on your journey for packing on slabs of meat to your frame, picking things up, and putting them down again. 

Powerlifting as a beginner first isn’t a bad idea, even if your goal is eventually to compete in Strongman. 

In fact, Zydrunas Savickas (the GOAT of Strongman), Magnus Ver Magnusson (four times World’s Strongest Man) and Bill Kazmaier (three times World’s Strongest Man) were world-class powerlifters before ever competing in Strongman.

Žydrūnas Savickas squatting 900+
Magnus Ver Magnusson at the 1996 Worlds Strongest Man
Bill Kazmaier squatting 800+

In your training, I would incorporate other exercises in addition to the big three, such as:

  • Overhead press 
  • Moving events
  • Alternate variations of the Big Three 

That said, developing these basic skills and working on the large muscle groups involved in powerlifting can pay dividends in your strength journey, no matter the sport you eventually want to take part in. 

But more on training later on. 

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What Is Strongman?

Strongman usually consists of 4-8 events inspired by many other strength disciplines and cultures all over the world.

Strongman is the decathlon of strength sports! Okay, so there are not exactly ten events, but strongmen don’t do math.

As you’ll see, powerlifting and Strongman are very different from bodybuilding.

I could expound on the vast history of this sport, but for brevity’s sake, I’ll start with what everyone has heard of, The World’s Strongest Man.

The brainchild of Scots, David Webster and Douglas Edmunds, the entertainment program The World’s Strongest Men started in 1977.

The goal was to answer the question proposed by the show’s title.

They invited athletes from existing disciplines, including American football, powerlifting, track and field, and even bodybuilding!

These men never trained for the events concocted by Webster and Edmunds.

They just showed up and lifted all the things! 

The first World’s Strongest Man events were:

strongman barrle lift

1. Barrel lift: Press the heaviest keg/barrel over your head.

strongman steel bar bend

2. Steel bar bend: Bend a steel bar using any means possible.

strongman wrist roller

3. Wrist roller: Roll a stack of plates to the top of a rig as quickly as possible.

strongman wheelbarrow race

4. Wheelbarrow race.

strongman tire toss

5. Tire toss (tyre toss for you Brits): Like discuss…but a tire!

strongman tram pull

6. Tram pull: Strap yourself to a 6000lb tram and run/crawl to the finish line.

strongman car deadlift

7. Car Deadlift: Pick up a car by the bumper…no bar…no handles.

strongman girl squat

8. Girl Squat: Squat a bar connected to a cage on each side with girls in them…what part of “girl squat” did you not understand?

strongman fridge race

9. Fridge race: Run with a refrigerator strapped to your back; American-sized fridges btw, not those adorable European ones. 

strongman tug-of-war

10. Tug-of-war.

The winner of the inaugural WSM was American Bruce Wilhelm. And the sport (really an entertainment program at the outset) only grew from there.

Today, there are four major competitions per year, including The World’s Strongest Man. And a whole host of athletes train for strongman competitions full-time! 

In the U.S. alone, there are opportunities for even novice athletes to compete in strongman events in every single state at least once a year. Typically, you can find specific events and their rules three or four months prior in order to adequately train. 

Although your typical commercial gym may not have the necessary equipment to prepare for a strongman event, lots of local gyms these days do. Also, keep in mind that Magnus ver Magnusson didn’t train with specialized equipment at all to win his four titles.

How Can Strongman Benefit You

I will admit that as a strongman competitor and a massive fan of the sport, I’m a tad biased.

However, I believe that strongman training is the most beneficial way for almost anyone to train – with one serious caveat. 

There is a huge difference between training for health and training for peak performance.

Training for health is about increasing quality of life and remaining strong and functional well into old age.

Training for peak performance, as it relates to strength, means over time, you will get closer and closer to your genetic potential. 

The closer you get to that ceiling, the more and more stress and training stimulus is needed. This leads to a higher risk of injury and damage to joints, tendons, ligaments, etc. 

Training for peak performance isn’t about getting or being healthy, it’s about reaching your body’ maximum performance potential. To achieve this, you must be willing to accept a certain amount of risk in order to continue getting stronger.

Expecting to get stronger without risking injury is like wanting to get massive returns on your stock investments with a guarantee that you will never lose money.

Strongman training can allow you to do both. And you can get some amazing strength gains over time in addition to other health benefits.

However, you need to train effectively. Peak less often. Pull back on training loads when your body is asking you to. And take care of the other facets of your health like nutrition, cardiovascular fitness, sleep, etc.

Powerlifting vs Strongman: 7 Key Differences

1. Predictability vs Adaptability

The most obvious difference between the two sports is the different tests of strength. 

In powerlifting, each federation has its own rule book, which goes into eye-watering details about the rules of each lift. 

Absolutely no question is left unanswered, and you are expected to know these rules when you step on the platform. 

The only difference between any given set of powerlifting comps are the judges and their enforcement of these rules. 

Thankfully, once you have a few comps under your belt, there are really no surprises. You can focus on just lifting the weight. 

In Strongman, there are no rule books. No two competitions are the same. 

Most comps have 5 events, and it’s up to the promoter what those events are. 

I run sanctioned competitions myself and can LITERALLY choose whatever I want for the events. Below is a short list of typical Strongman categories and the different variations a promoter can choose from.

Deadlift: For max weight, max reps, or even a medley of different variations such as barbell from the floor, elevated deadlift, axle deadlift, farmers handle deadlift, silver dollar deadlift, etc.

Overhead press: For max weight, max reps, or even a medley of different variations such as barbell clean and press or out of the rack, log press, circus dumbbell, yoke press, keg press, block press, Viking press, etc.

Moving events: The most common are yoke, sandbag, frame, farmers, Zercher, keg, and many more, but often two or more combined!

Vehicle pulls: During these events, you are either seated and pulling while facing the vehicle or facing away from the vehicle while attached to it via a harness and pulling on a rope in front.

Throwing events: Inspired by the highland games, you will often see an event where you have to throw objects such as sandbags, small kegs, or kettlebells over a bar overhead and sometimes for max distance. 

I could seriously keep going! 

I’ve been competing in strongman competitions for 7 years, and no two comps have been alike. 

There are three main benefits to the variety of strongman events:

  • The first benefit is it makes you a more adaptive and resilient athlete. No matter how much equipment you have access to, it will likely be different from the equipment you will encounter at a competition. 
  • The second benefit is that it keeps your training and your body fresh. Since the events for each comp change, so will your training. The variety you need is baked into the cake. The variety of exercise you do helps prevent overuse injuries that occur by taxing the same movement chains all year.
  • Finally, the third benefit of variety is it can produce more personal records!

One of the most exciting parts of training long-term is smashing personal records, and Strongman provides dozens of lifts to improve on and more records to chase after.

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2. Dressage vs Rodeo 

Powerlifting is like Dressage. You know, where rich folk put on tuxedos and ride around on a horse that just got a mani-pedi? 

Jokes aside, it’s actually impressive to watch. 

The fine-tuned and polished movements and the sophistication of the rules-based lifts make it an impressive sport to behold and compete in. 

Powerlifters are chasing after perfection.

Powerlifting (sophisticated)

Strongman, however, is like a rodeo. 

Rules include: stay on the bull…the end. 

Despite growing up in a redneck town in southeast Texas, I don’t know if that’s the only rule, but it is the exact opposite of the sophistication and polished look of powerlifting.

To better explain, I’ll give an example of each. 

In powerlifting, my experience is in USAPL, the premier powerlifting federation in America with the strictest rule set. 

In the raw division, for example (meaning no supportive equipment like squat suits), all athletes must wear a tight-fitting singlet, with no exceptions. 

When it’s your turn, you must wait until the judge says, “The bar is loaded.” 

Then, you must remove your wrist wrap thumb loop from your thumb before stepping on the platform…seriously. 

Next is one of the craziest rules. Once the bar is on the way up, any downward motion means you’re disqualified from the lift. 

That’s right; if you are about to lock out an all-time personal best on the deadlift and straining every fiber of your being, and the bar slightly dips down before you eventually finish, it does not count. 

These strict rules came from the understandable motivation to make the sport legitimate and to reduce the likelihood of giving away sloppy lifts. 

While I appreciate this, nothing is more frustrating than successfully finishing a lift and having it immediately taken away from you. It’s a bit like handing a baby a popsicle and slapping it out of their hand right before they take the first taste.

In Strongman, as I’ve noted, there are very few rules, and they vary from comp to comp.

The rules tend to be more simple. On deadlift and overhead press events, you will wait for a down command to show you have control of the weight at the top.

On farmers and yoke carries, implements cannot slide across the line. 

I’ll admit, there are some arbitrary rules within the sport that apply to all strongman comps.

For example, there is no sumo deadlift and no jerking under the bar on Viking press, but that’s a rabbit hole for another day. 

Since the rules are different from comp to comp, you typically get a list of the specific rules for the comp ahead of time. 

This means if it’s not in the rules, go for it! 

Strongman is about knowing if you can lift the thing or not. We don’t care if it was pretty on the way up.

The downside to the relaxed atmosphere has its own frustrations.

Judges can be too relaxed and give athletes down commands on deadlifts and overhead presses that aren’t locked out at the top. 

3. Strength vs Endurance 

At the end of the day, both strongman and powerlifting are strength sports, but there are a few differences in physical demands between them. 

Powerlifting gives you three attempts on the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

If you go 9/9, you are only doing 9 heavy reps. This means the only physical demand is muscular strength – defined as maximum load for 1 rep. 

Additionally, there’s a certain build that is ideal for powerlifting:

  • Shorter legs, which help your squat.
  • Long-ish arms, which help your deadlift (but not too long as to hinder your bench press).

There are plenty of exceptions to this. However, with only three lifts, if one of them is disadvantaged by your limb lengths, you can’t do much to make up for that elsewhere.

Strongman is a totally different story. 

The ideal body type for a strongman is Tom Stoltman from Scotland, who is 6’8” with a super long wingspan, hence the nickname “The Albatross.” Or Hafthor Bjornson, who is 6’9” and also has long arms. 

These features are ideal for wrapping your arms around large stones, bags, and other objects because lots of things have to be lifted up to platforms that are at a fixed height. 

Longer legs also mean fewer steps for carrying events. 

Mass moves mass, so being heavier is a helpful trait as well. 

Now, what does that mean for us regular folk whose ancestors aren’t Greek gods? 

There are plenty of great pro strongmen who are between 5’11” and 6’3”. The benefit of having 5+ events is that if you are disadvantaged in one event, you can make up points in events you are better at. 

To do well, you don’t even have to win all the individual events. You can still win competitions if you don’t lose too many points.

Mitch Hooper (6’3”) won the Arnold Strongman Classic. This is one of the heaviest and most prestigious comps in the pro circuit. He won overall without winning a single event. 

His placings per event were 3rd, tied for 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, and 3rd!

If you are not a genetic lottery winner, don’t fret. Strongman can still be for you!

The question still remains: how is strongman different from powerlifting in regards to strength and endurance? Powerlifting is clearly about muscular strength.

But is Strongman about pure strength or endurance? 

Well, it’s time once again to reach down and grab your big boy pantaloons because…it depends!

Each strongman comp is so different even the pros have to alter their training to suit each one. 

To better understand if strongman is about strength or endurance, Let’s compare two legendary athletes in the sport: Marius Pudzianowski from Poland and Zydrunas Savickas (Big Z) from Lithuania. 

mariusz pudzianowski strongman
Big Z Zydrunas Savickas Strongman

This is the abridged version. For you strongman history nerds out there, I’m leaving out lots of details, so calm down. 

Marius won at the World’s Strongest Man 2002 and 2003, and Big Z placed second. However, at the Arnold Strongman Classic 2003, 2004, and 2006, Big Z won, and Marius placed 4th, 5th, and 6th.

What???

How did this happen?

Firstly, let’s get one thing straight. Both athletes were supremely strong and had great endurance.

All the contests were heavy enough to make your eyes water. But if you look closer, the Arnold Strongman Classic often has one or two events for max weight rather than reps.

It’s so heavy that the winner often gets 3-5 reps rather than the 10-15 reps you might see at WSM. And for moving events it’s often for 10-15 feet with massive loads rather than 60-120 feet with lighter loads like WSM.

In a nutshell, WSM historically has rewarded athletes who were both strong as well as fast and fit. The Arnold Strongman Classic was the brainchild of powerlifting legend Dr. Terry Todd, who wanted to reward one thing and one thing only: strength.

So is Strongman geared for strength or endurance? IT DEPENDS!

The difference between powerlifting and strongman is both require strength, but strongman sometimes requires a bit more fitness and speed.

4. Backpack vs. 50lb Suitcase

I’ve been pretty harsh on powerlifting thus far, but here is a category where it gets a clear W. 

If we’re talking about raw powerlifting, you can fit all of the essential gear into a backpack. Even elite raw powerlifters really only need a:

  1. Belt
  2. Squat shoes
  3. Flat shoes 
  4. Wrist wraps 
  5. Knee sleeves
  6. Singlet 

As far as gym requirements, it helps to have powerlifting-style benches and high quality barbells, and calibrated plates.

Honestly, as long as you have a place to train the big three and enough plates, you’re golden! 

Strongman, on the other hand….gulp! 

Now I have the privilege to know 4x WSM legend Magnus Ver Magnusson from Iceland. He came from an era when the sport wasn’t as popular, and there wasn’t nearly as much strongman kit and equipment as there is now. 

You just got as strong as you could and adapted on the fly. 

These days, however, there are fantastic companies like Silverback Gymwear and Cerberus Strength who make all kinds of gear.

The goal is not to have gear for gear’s sake. Rather, strongman athletes invest in this kind of equipment to support their joints and get the most out of their bodies.

And why not!? As a super nerd myself, I’ll buy anything they come out with. 

While most of these things are not by any means a requirement, here’s a list of what’s typically in my gym bag:

  1. Cerberus 13mm Lever Belt
  2. Silverback 9mm Knee Sleeves
  3. Silverback 7mm Elbow Sleeves
  4. Silverback .5 m Wrist Wraps
  5. Squat (olympic lifting) Shoes
  6. Cerberus Atlas Stone Tacky
  7. Silverback Neoprene Shorts
  8. Silverback Figure 8 straps 
  9. Grip Genie Atlas liquid chalk 

Additionally, I have an overflow bag that has equipment I don’t need as often but rotates in and out of my gym bag based on what I’m training for. 

Admittedly ridiculous, but as an athlete with a lot of miles on the clock, my joints aren’t getting any younger, and if I can spend a little bit of money to increase longevity, so be it. 

Despite the mountain of gear you may need/want for a Strongman, take heart! You don’t need to get much to get started, compete, and win.

Many of the strongman greats I’ve mentioned from the ’80s, ’90s, and early ’00s had to make do without specific equipment. 

If you develop your deadlift, overhead press, squat, and the ability to move fast with awkward objects, you can still compete and tell people you train how Magnus Ver Magnuson trained! 

5. Catholic Vs. Protestant

Ok, hear me out! These will be gross generalizations, but they work for the comparison. 

The Catholic Church as a community doesn’t tend to deviate much from its traditional doctrine. When someone says they’re Catholic, you don’t ask them what denomination they are. 

For the most part, catholic mass is catholic mass. 

Then there’s Protestantism. 

As a protestant Christian myself, I can attest to the dozens of denominations. 

There are countless denominations due to things like music choice, preaching style, dress code, service length, and many other secondary doctrinal differences people perceive differently (however, Protestants writ large agree on the foundation tenets of Christianity).

Does this sound familiar? 

You guessed it, powerlifters are protestants, and Strongmen are Catholics. Wow, that’s a sentence I never thought I would type. 

This really has become a problem in the sport of powerlifting. In the United States alone, there are over 50 different federations. That’s a staggering number and it’s all because of the obsession over rules. 

Strongman in the United States has…wait for it…two federations; that’s it!  

One of the core philosophies of the sport is the distinct lack of rules and stipulations of what constitutes a “good lift.” 

Now this comes with its own set of downsides, and sometimes you have world records that were given without strict judging, which is a problem. 

However, since the sport focuses on answering the question “who is the strongest,” rather than “who lifts with the strictest form,” it can grow and grow without splitting over how to judge a good overhead press or deadlift or what equipment is allowed. 

6. Training Differences

When it comes to training for strongman vs. powerlifting, there is a lot of overlap due to the shared goal of maximal strength. 

Transitioning from powerlifting to strongman training shouldn’t be completely foreign. However, there are three important differences. 

EXERCISE SELECTION

The most obvious difference between powerlifting and strongman is the type and number of skills that are developed during training. 

Powerlifting only requires that you develop your squat, bench press, and deadlift.

Strongman requires the development of at least 5 exercises at a time for a full comp. 

Before you sign up for a strongman show, look at your weight class and what the weights will be. Sometimes it may be for max weight, but it could be a fixed weight for reps. 

It is important to be realistic and ask yourself if you have enough time to build up to that load. 

It’s also possible that some of the events will be much easier for you, and you can deprioritize them so you can spend more time on events you are lacking in.

SYSTEMIC STRESS MANAGEMENT

Since strongman events have, on average, two more events to train for than powerlifting meets, fatigue management can become a real challenge.

Most of the events you will be training for are highly taxing on your nervous system and if you don’t prioritize recovery, it can be very easy to overtrain and start developing overuse injuries. 

The most obvious way to manage this is to get enough sleep and eat enough food. 

If you’re one of those people who thinks you only need 4 hours of sleep and you don’t enjoy eating, this may not be the sport for you. These are the foundational habits for recovery. 

Secondly, make sure to space out your most taxing events during the week. For example, if day one of your program is heavy deadlifts and posterior chain movements, day two should be upper body so you can recover from your previous workout. 

Organizing your training can be stressful by itself, so if you have never had an online coach to do the thinking for you, hit me up on Instagram @cybernetic_strongman.

TIME MANAGEMENT

The nice thing about training for powerlifting is that setting up your event training is super easy. 

All you need is a squat rack, a bench, and a barbell. 

With strongman training, depending on the gym you have access to, sometimes the most time-consuming part of your training will be setting up and tearing down your equipment. 

It often takes me 2-3 hours to train three events due to the high rest time between sets and set up/tear down. 

Take this into consideration when you are deciding which and how many exercises you want to do per workout. 

A good starting point for beginners is to pick one event per day followed by a foundational compound movement, such as a secondary squat variation followed by high-rep accessory work.

7. Lone wolves vs. pack animals

Another fascinating difference between the two sports is the culture. 

When I decided to make the switch to strongman in 2017, I had spent the last 12 years in powerlifting and was expecting roughly the same experience. 

I was a bit nervous. I was a newbie in a sport for the first time in a long time. However, I was shocked at how welcoming and friendly everyone was. 

This isn’t to say that powerlifters aren’t friendly; trust me, some of my best friends are powerlifters.

This is still a working theory, but I think due to the laid-back nature of the competition structure of Strongman and how niche it still is, you almost instantly feel like a part of the family, even amongst the people you are supposedly competing against. 

I wasn’t expecting that people competing in the same division/weight class would share lifting tips and help out the newbies to make sure they could do their best. 

Believe it or not, the same is true at the top level. 

If you follow any of the pro strongmen and watch enough competitions, you will see these professional athletes looking out for each other. 

For example, on the way to the 2019 World’s Strongest Man, Tom Stoltman’s bag with all of his lifting gear was lost! 

This could have been a disaster for Tom, but all of his fellow competitors opened their gym bags and said he could use whatever fit him. 

Think about that. How often do you see elite professional athletes trying to help out their competition? 

This is par for the course in Strongman. 

There are countless examples of head-to-head events where one athlete finishes first and stays behind to cheer on their competitor or rush onto the platform if someone is hurt.

Returning to powerlifting, I have also seen this camaraderie, especially at smaller competitions in smaller federations. 

The lone wolf comparison comes from bigger federations and higher-level competitions where the stakes are high.

I don’t believe the difference in the sports here is that strongmen are nicer than powerlifters. I think it has more to do with the specific environment and mood created by the federation and promoters. 

Another reason could be that in Strongman, you tend to see a lot of the same people competing, and it’s a lot easier to make friends. Competing can be very stressful, and I think most people’s default in that situation is to keep to themselves rather than meet a bunch of new people.

So get to know your fellow athletes! It’s easier for everyone in the long run.

How To Select Powerlifting or Strongman Training

This is tough for me. To be honest, it’s like choosing between your favorite kid.

If I had a new client who had never lifted weights before ask me this question, I would say to do both. 

Depending on how new someone is to lifting, my answer is typically powerlifting first, then transition to strongman, and alternate between the two. 

If you build a strong base with the big three power lifts and become accustomed to very strict judging, I believe you have somewhat of an advantage over someone who starts out in strongman first. 

It also helps that in powerlifting, you get to select your weights rather than have them selected for you, which suits beginners better. 

If you try both and like both, keep doing both! 

I think it’s a great idea to alternate between the two until you fall in love with one of them and want to specialize like I have. 

One more tip on powerlifting: spend some time researching the federations and find one that resonates with you and hosts meets where you live.

The USAPL is the premier federation with the highest standards; second to that is probably the USPA. In my opinion, USPA has a more laid-back atmosphere while still being strict. 

Conclusion

Having spent a combined 20 years with my left foot in one camp and my prosthetic in the other, and having coached people in both sports for 9 years, I can’t tell you which sport is the one for you. 

I fell in love with powerlifting in high school, and I am forever grateful that a friend invited me to check it out. 

After losing my right foot in a motorcycle accident at the age of 25, I thought my lifting career was over until another friend invited me to compete in my first strongman comp a year later. It reignited my love of lifting! I am eternally grateful for what Strongman has given me. 

I would be doing you a disservice to convince you to pick one and ignore the other. My best advice is to bring your best to either one you choose. 

Be the competitor that offers equipment to someone who lost their bag. 

Be the athlete that pays forward any advice given to them down to the younger athletes. 

Be the athlete who respects the judges and promoters and thanks them for providing the opportunity to compete. 

Whichever sport you choose, just enjoy the process, make new friends, and leave it better than when you came.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are powerlifters stronger than strongmen?

In a nutshell, no. Strongman wants to see its athletes lift the heaviest thing possible with no limits on how it’s done. Powerlifting wants to see how much you can lift under very strict conditions.

They are testing different things under different conditions.

Why don’t strongmen compete in powerlifting?

Strongmen actually do compete in powerlifting. There are several strongman hall-of-famers who were powerlifters first

One of the best deadlifters of all time is Iceland’s Benedict Magnusson, who is primarily known as a strongman but has also competed in powerlifting. He still holds the raw deadlift world record at 1015lbs

Three times World’s Strongest Man winner Bill Kazmaier Won the prestigious IPF World Championship in 1979 and 1983. He also Squatted 420 kg (930 lb) in powerlifting (single ply), Bench pressed 300 kg (660 lb) raw, and Deadlifted 402 kg (886 lb) raw.

Four-time World’s Strongest Man Jon Pall Sigmarsson of Iceland placed third at the IPF World Championships in 1981 and was the European powerlifting champion in 1983. He also Squatted 365 kg (805 lb) raw, bench-pressed 247.5 kg (546 lb) in an early prototype bench shirt, bench-pressed 235 kg (518 lb) raw, and Deadlifted 370 kg (816 lb) raw.

Four-time World’s Strongest Man Magnus Ver Magnusson of Iceland was the European Powerlifting champion in 1991. He also squatted 400 KG (882 lbs), bench pressed 275 kg (606 lbs), and Deadlifted 370.5 kg (817 lbs) single-ply at the 1991 Icelandic powerlifting championships. Four-time World’s Strongest Man Zydrunas Savickas placed second at the 2000 IPF World Championships and had personal bests of 425.5 kg (938 lb) in the single-ply squat, 265.5 kg (585 lb) in the single-ply bench press, and 400 kg (880 lb) in single ply deadlift. (He went on to lift MUCH bigger numbers than those, however.)

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