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Ever wondered who dominates the iron temple in the realm of powerlifting?

From earth-shattering deadlifts to monstrous squats, these 15 colossuses push the limits of human strength.

Strap in as we spotlight the Herculean heroes of powerlifting, one legend at a time.

Best Powerlifters:

  1. Ed Coan
  2. Bill Kazmaier
  3. Dan Green
  4. Benedikt MagnΓΊsson
  5. Hafthor Bjornsson
  6. Ray Williams
  7. Brian Siders
  8. Kirk Karwoski
  9. Andy Bolton
  10. Jennifer Thompson
  11. Kimberly Walford
  12. Marianna Gasparyan
  13. JΓ³n PΓ‘ll Sigmarsson
  14. Stefi Cohen
  15. Blaine Sumner

#1 Ed Coan

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: July 24, 1963
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: Multiple world records across four weight classes, 1984 Senior National Powerlifting Championship, over 70 world records throughout his career

Often referred to as “the greatest powerlifter of all time,” Ed Coan dominated the sport with his exceptional technique and strength. His meticulous attention to form, combined with a strategic approach to training and competing, set a new standard in powerlifting.

Coan’s legacy is not just in the records he set but in the generation of lifters he inspired. Despite facing a suspension due to drug test failure in 1996, his impact remains undiminished, and he continues to be a respected figure in the powerlifting community. Coan’s coaching and educational contributions to the sport have helped elevate the standards of training and competition.

#2 Bill Kazmaier

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: December 30, 1953
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter / Strongman
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: 3Γ— World’s Strongest Man (1980, 1981, 1982), Multiple powerlifting world records, IPF World Powerlifting Championships winner

Bill Kazmaier, known as “Kaz,” is an icon in the realms of powerlifting and strongman competitions. His brute strength and intensity in competition made him a feared and admired athlete. Known for several world records in powerlifting, Kazmaier was a dominant force in both disciplines.

His contribution to strength sports extends beyond his competition years, as he has been involved in promoting events and mentoring athletes. Outside of strength sports, Kazmaier has made appearances in professional wrestling and television, bringing the appeal of strength athletics to a broader audience.

#3 Dan Green

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: December 1, 1982
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: All-time world records in both the 220lb and 242lb weight classes, Multiple-time Boss of Bosses champion

Dan Green, also known as “The Boss,” is recognized for his balanced combination of size, strength, and technique. His comprehensive approach to training and competing has led to numerous records and has made him a prominent figure in modern powerlifting.

Green’s influence in the community transcends his lifting achievements as he is also a coach and gym owner, fostering a new generation of powerlifters. Despite recovering from significant injuries, Green has shown resiliency, returning to top-level competition which exemplifies his dedication to the sport.

#4 Benedikt MagnΓΊsson

  • 🌍 Nationality: Icelandic
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: June 4, 1983
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter / Strongman
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: Former deadlift world record holder (460.4 kg), Iceland’s Strongest Man

Benedikt MagnΓΊsson, commonly known as “Benni,” is famed for his extraordinary deadlifting prowess. His intense focus and explosive pulling style propelled him to the top, making him one of the most celebrated deadlifters in powerlifting history.

Outside the competitive arena, MagnΓΊsson’s charismatic personality and willingness to share knowledge have contributed to the growth of strength sports in Iceland and beyond. His deadlift tutorial videos and public appearances exemplify his passion for the discipline and his desire to educate others.

#5 Hafthor Bjornsson

  • 🌍 Nationality: Icelandic
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: November 26, 1988
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Strongman / Powerlifter / Actor
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: World’s Strongest Man (2018), multiple Arnold Strongman Classic wins, successful transition to professional boxing

Hafthor Bjornsson, also known as “Thor” and famous for portraying “The Mountain” on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” is a force to be reckoned with in both strength sports and entertainment. His exceptional strength, towering presence, and athletic versatility have earned him a prestigious place in strongman history.

Bjornsson’s transition from strongman to boxing and his public weight loss journey showcase his adaptability and commitment to personal health. Beyond athletics, his acting career and engaging social media presence have made him a popular figure worldwide, bringing greater attention to the sport of strongman.

#6 Ray Williams

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: September 15, 1986
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: First person to squat over 1,000lbs raw in competition, Multiple IPF World Champion

Ray Williams is a remarkable powerlifter, particularly noted for breaking the 1,000lb squat barrier without the use of supportive suits. His raw strength and imposing size have made him one of the most awe-inspiring lifters in the heavyweight division.

Williams not only dominates on the competitive platform but also serves as a high school football coach, contributing to the development of young athletes. His down-to-earth personality and accessibility help foster an inclusive and motivational environment within the powerlifting community.

#7 Brian Siders

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: September 11, 1978
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: Multiple IPF World Champion, Known for his skilled total in the superheavyweight class

Brian Siders is acclaimed for his competitive consistency and impressive totals in the superheavyweight class. His proficiency in all three lifts – squat, bench press, and deadlift – has made him a formidable competitor on the international stage.

Siders’ role as a trailblazer in the superheavyweight category has inspired countless lifters to pursue greatness. Although not as widely known outside the powerlifting sphere, his achievements within the community are deeply respected, and he continues to be celebrated for his contributions to the sport’s history.

#8 Kirk Karwoski

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: September 6, 1966
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: 7-time IPF World Champion, known for his intense training style and competitive mindset

Kirk Karwoski, nicknamed “Captain Kirk,” is revered for his intensity and mental toughness in the sport of powerlifting. His relentless training ethic and strict adherence to technique have led him to numerous victories on the world stage.

Karwoski’s contributions to the sport go beyond his accolades; his training methodologies and motivational approach have had a lasting influence on future generations of lifters. His exceptional career and dedication to powerlifting have made him an icon and an embodiment of what it means to have a true champion spirit.

#9 Andy Bolton

  • 🌍 Nationality: British
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: January 22, 1970
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: First man to deadlift 1000 pounds, multiple powerlifting world records, Arnold Strongman Classic winner

Andy Bolton set a historic benchmark in strength sports, being the very first to break the 1000-pound deadlift barrier. His combination of meticulous training and explosive power established him as a model for aspiring powerlifters worldwide. Bolton’s contributions to the sport extended through instructional books and seminars, sharing his knowledge and techniques with others.

Despite battling numerous injuries, he exemplified resilience by continually competing and setting new records. Off the platform, his approachable nature and eagerness to promote the sport have forged a profound connection with the community, cementing his legacy as a powerlifting legend and a mentor.

#10 Jennifer Thompson

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: June 27, 1973
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: Multiple-time IPF World Champion, holding bench press world records, USAPL National Champion

Renowned for her exceptional bench press prowess, Jennifer Thompson consistently dominates her competition with her strict technique and unwavering focus. Her achievements in the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) set a standard for female strength athletes and pushed the boundaries of what is considered possible.

Thompson has been a leading figure in popularizing powerlifting among women, advocating for fairness and equity in the sport. Her role as an educator off the platform complements her athletic career, as she balances both with a grace that embodies the spirit of modern athleticism while inspiring the next generation of lifters.

#11 Kimberly Walford

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: November 9, 1978
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: 5-time IPF World Champion, multiple world records, USAPL National Champion

Kimberly Walford is often recognized as one of the most remarkable deadlifters in the history of women’s powerlifting. Her dynamic deadlift technique and unwavering competitive spirit define her place atop the sport’s pantheon.

Walford’s influence extends beyond her world records; she serves as an inspiration for female athletes and an advocate for drug-free lifting. “The Deadlift Queen” continues to contribute to the growth of powerlifting through coaching, promoting a positive image of strength sports, and demonstrating longevity in a highly demanding discipline.

#12 Marianna Gasparyan

  • 🌍 Nationality: Armenian
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: February 25, 1989
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: Multiple federation records, high Wilks score achievements, and world champion titles

Marianna Gasparyan is lauded for her technical proficiency and the outstanding totals she has amassed in competition, often outlifting athletes in heavier weight classes. Her Wilks score, a measure used to compare the strength of powerlifters despite weight class differences, underscores her extraordinary capabilities.

Gasparyan’s journey to the top of the sport was no easy path, marked by overcoming personal challenges and adversity, which she transformed into motivational fuel. As she continues to excel, her story serves as a powerful example of determination and fortitude in the face of difficulty, elevating her status as a global powerlifting icon.

#13 JΓ³n PΓ‘ll Sigmarsson

  • 🌍 Nationality: Icelandic
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: April 28, 1960
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Strongman, Powerlifter
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: 4-time World’s Strongest Man, European Powerlifting Champion, numerous strength competition titles

JΓ³n PΓ‘ll Sigmarsson, popularly known for his charismatic phrase β€œThere is no reason to be alive if you can’t do deadlift,” was an emblematic figure in strongman and powerlifting. His unparalleled strength, athleticism, and vibrant personality brought entertainment and excitement to the sport, drawing in a broad audience.

Sigmarsson’s untimely death at a young age left a profound impact on the strength community, emphasizing the intense physical demands of the sport. However, his legacy endures, inspiring future competitors and ensuring his everlasting presence as a legend of strength sports. His influence is celebrated each year in Iceland’s Strongest Man, a competition that honors his memory.

#14 Stefi Cohen

  • 🌍 Nationality: Venezuelan
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: January 28, 1992
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter, Strength Coach
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: 25x world record holder, multiple federation titles, 3x Hybrid Showdown Champion

Stefi Cohen is distinguished by her record-breaking achievements in powerlifting, having secured a place in the annals of the sport while competing across several weight classes. Her multifaceted expertise as a strength coach and doctor of physical therapy further legitimizes her approach to training and athletic performance.

Cohen’s influence transcends the sport as she empowers others through educational content, motivational speaking, and advocacy for strength sports. Her entrepreneurial spirit, demonstrated through the co-founding of Hybrid Performance Method, positions her as an innovative leader reshaping the fitness industry’s landscape.

#15 Blaine Sumner

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚ Date of Birth: June 22, 1987
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Position/Role: Powerlifter
  • πŸ† Career Highlights: IPF World Champion, holds the highest raw total in IPF history, multiple world records in squat and bench press

Blaine Sumner, nicknamed “The Vanilla Gorilla,” is renowned for his extraordinary strength, specifically in the squat and bench press disciplines, where he has set multiple world records. His methodical approach to lifting, coupled with his sheer size and strength, has made him one of the most formidable powerlifters on the platform.

Sumner has demonstrated a deep commitment to the sport, constantly pushing its boundaries while maintaining a notable presence as an advocate for clean competition. Outside of powerlifting, he has pursued a career as a petroleum engineer, striking a balance between intense athletic dedication and professional development.

Learn how to stay updated on the sport and these athletes through the best powerlifting podcasts.


Who is the best Powerlifting player of all time?

Ed Coan is often considered the best Powerlifting player of all time. Here’s a link to our article on why we think Ed Coan is the best Powerlifting player of all time. His remarkable achievements and records in different weight classes have set a high bar in the sport.

Who are the top 10 greatest Powerlifting players of all time?

Ed Coan, Bill Kazmaier, Dan Green, Benedikt MagnΓΊsson, Hafthor Bjornsson, Ray Williams, Brian Siders, Kirk Karwoski, Andy Bolton, and Jennifer Thompson are the top 10 greatest Powerlifting players of all time, recognized for their incredible strength and contributions to the sport.

Who is the most famous female Powerlifting player?

Jennifer Thompson is the most famous female Powerlifting player. She is known for her exceptional bench press records and has won multiple IPF World Championships, making an indelible mark in Powerlifting history.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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