The 10 Strongest NFL Players Of All Time - The Barbell (2023)

larry allen/ YouTube

Updated September 6, 2022

Power and football have been together for a long time.Half a century after weight training became a key ingredient to success on the gridiron, legends of the weight room abound. So trying to find the top 10 NFL players of all time is fraught with issues, from how eras change to how numbers grow over time, to the fact that high squats and bench presses assisted banking are often considered good. Then there's the whole question, pound for pound strong or just strong. We have ordered everything. We only prioritize strong lifts, with a few minor exceptions, and verifiable lifts, preferably on video or in powerlifting or strongman events. Strong just means eight of the big 10 were or are in the middle of the trenches: shooting guards on offense and tackles on defense. What follows are our top 10 NFL players of all time, in alphabetical order, and 6 other honorable mentions.

larry allen

6'3", 325, Guardia, 1994-07

it is appropriatelarry allenhe is number 1 alphabetically because, with the possible exception of Terry Long, he is the strongest NFL player of all time. When he left college in 1994, he had more than 500 on the bench. And when he mastered his offensive position for the Dallas Cowboys in 1998, he could do over 600 bench presses and 800 squats. There's video of him in the Cowboys weight room, bench press 635, then 675, then 705. The spotter behind him has his hands on the bar the entire time and is clearly helping him get through the middle in the last two lifts. On the other hand, he only wears a cropped T-shirt and shorts. So we can't give him the 675 or the 705, but what could he have done in top condition if he was training solely for powerlifting? (For context: Only seven men in history have officially benched 700 pounds or more raw, without a bench jersey, and when Allen retired from the NFL, the record was 715.)

Witnesses also say that he did 900 squats, probably in shorts and a T-shirt; and while we don't know how far he's sunk, all the numbers seem possible for Larry Allen. At the 2006 Pro Bowl Skills Challenge, Allen easily won the bench press at age 35, did 43 reps at 225 pounds, and won the NFL's Strongest Man title, as if there were no question about that. Larry Allen, a seven-time first-team All Pro and 11-time Pro Bowler, was elected to the Football Hall of Fame.


6'1", 330, defensive tackle, 2016-present

(Video) 10 STRONGEST Players In NFL History

The 10 Strongest NFL Players Of All Time - The Barbell (1)

A defensive tackle with the Cincinnati Bengals and currently with the Los Vegas Raiders,Andreas Billingshe set the Texas High School weightlifting record and broke a standard set 22 years earlier by strength legend Mark Henry. Billings did 805 squats, 500 bench presses, and 705 deadlifts, for a total of 2010, and again he was still in high school. He completed a 350 in five repetitions when he was just 18 years old. Billing has been Rankingas the strongest player in college football. The Cleveland Browns' D-Line coach went even further, saying, "He's the strongest guy I've ever seen in my life."


6'3", 254, Tight end, 2006-2019

The 10 Strongest NFL Players Of All Time - The Barbell (2)

vernon davis, who played for the 49ers, Broncos and Redskins for 14 years and won a Super Bowl ring, wasn't just pound-for-pound strong. He was also strong in every way. In college in Maryland, he lifted 460 pounds and squatted 685 pounds. He does 355 power cleans for three reps. At the NFL Combine, Davis not only ran 4.38 40, but also made 225 33 times off the bench. That's the speed of a great wide receiver and the high rep power of a top defensive lineman (compared to JJ Watt's 34 reps,aaron donaldgot 35), but Vernon Davis weighed in at 254 pounds. hard ending. And in addition to his speed, strength, and athleticism, he had the lean physique of a bodybuilder.


6', 240, lateral, 2002-17

considered too smalljames harrison, who played all but one of his 13 full seasons with the Steelers, was sacked three times in his rookie year and released by the Ravens in his sophomore year. But back to the Steelers, his ethics in the weight room made him an All-Pro and Defensive Player of the Year at age 30. A 2017 workout video from when Harrison was 39 recounted some of his incredible feats in the weight room: including 675 pounds. Hip kicks, 315 lbs. Hang cleans, 315 lbs. reverse lunges, 405 lbs. scale presses and 225 lb. Overhead triceps extensions, all for three or more repetitions. He made 1800 lbs. The sled pushes across the field grass, which is like pushing five or six O-Linemen.

(Video) Strongest NFL Players of All Time

Even in retirement and in his 40s, he posted videos of himself making 500 or more on the bench. "Nobody works harder than James," the Steelers' conditioning coordinator said of the once "too little" Harrison. "He is one of the most powerful players in the NFL, and much of the credit can be attributed to his legendary training program."


6'2, 260, Guardia/Tackle, 1969-81

The 10 Strongest NFL Players Of All Time - The Barbell (3)

offensive linemanJon KolbHe played all 13 of his NFL seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers, including on four Super Bowl-winning teams. He is often referred to as the strongest player of his time.supposedly manned about 700. The earliestThe World's strongest man.The competitions were gatherings of athletes from different sports performing bizarre feats of strength for the CBS cameras. In the NFL off-season, Kolb finished fourth in the WSM in both 1978 and 1979. Both times, the only three men to beat him were either powerlifters or heavier powerlifters. In his final NFL season, the year he turned 34, he won the Strongest Man in Football award (CBS's WSM for NFL players). Kolb was later a strength and conditioning coach for the Steelers.


5'11", 275, Guardia, 1984-91

The 10 Strongest NFL Players Of All Time - The Barbell (4)

Of a size less than 160 lbs.,terry langHe only played high school football half a season. After that, in the Army Special Forces, he became a training fiend, grabbing 100 pounds. and gained 405 lbs. bench press Despite his lack of experience (and his size), colleges took an interest in his strength after his two years in service. While he was learning soccer at East Carolina, his coaching numbers continued to increase. To prove his strength to NFL teams, Long attended his first and only weightlifting meet in 1983 at age 23 and just 300 pounds.

HePayseems mythical: 837.7 in the squats, 501.5 in the bench press and, almost a world record, 865.3 in the deadlift. The legendarybill kazmaierhe won the super heavy class of the World Powerlifting Championships that year at age 29 and with a combined weight of 2149.5 lbs. Long, a 23-year-old rookie, clocked in at 2204.5, 55 lbs. more than Kaz! Long had 900 squats and 565 bench presses in training, and probably would have broken world records in powerlifting if he hadn't been drafted by the NFL. He played for the Steelers for eight years before a career-ending steroid injury. He tragically took his own life in 2005 at the age of 45. Terry Long might also be the strongest college football player of all time, despite weighing in at 50 pounds. less than Larry Allen, the greatest NFL player of all time.

(Video) Scariest NFL Players Part 1


6'1", 300, defensive tackles, 2011-17

The 10 Strongest NFL Players Of All Time - The Barbell (5)

tongoEsteban Paia, who played for the Bears, Redskins, Browns and Cowboys, is on this list for a reason: He holds the NFL combined record 225-pound bench press.49 times in 2011. No one who later played in the NFL completed more than 45 before or since. (justin ernestoHe had 51 reps in 1999, but went undrafted and never played in an NFL game.) The 225 bench for guys who can do 25+ reps is not an ideal test of upper body strength. It's like measuring running speed in a 800 meter race. But as long as the NFL considers it their powerlifting go-to, we applaud Paea's highly reputable brand.


6'3", 310, Guardia, 2004-13

The 10 Strongest NFL Players Of All Time - The Barbell (6)

chris snowHe played all 10 seasons for the New York Giants, including on two Super Bowl-winning teams, and made the Pro Bowl four times. He also did a magazine cover. In May 2010, Snee adorned herselfUS PowerliftingMagazine called The Strongest Man in the NFL. The article describes the training and diet that increased his bench press to a remarkable 615 pounds. Other lifts included 425 lbs. Seated Barbell Front Press, 515 lbs. Incline presses for repetitions and squats over 600 pounds. for 3-5 repetitions. In retirement, Snee has lost nearly 100 pounds.


6'2", 330, defensive tackle, 2004-13

(Video) Strongest NFL Player James Harrison does 605 top Bench Press(James Harrison workout Routine)

The 10 Strongest NFL Players Of All Time - The Barbell (7)

grew up in samoaisac sopoagatrained by lifting logs and sacks of coconuts and throwing stones at the coconuts high up in the palm trees. At the University of Hawaii he did 500 bench presses and over 700 squats. And at the NFL Combine, he benched 42 reps at 225 pounds, only quitting because he thought that was the record (for years he only counted players who played in the NFL). His college coach said he did 48 reps in practice.

Sopoaga played 10 years in the NFL, nine with the 49ers, and teammate Vernon Davis said he wasone of the two strongest footballersever seen (the other was Trent Williams). Witnesses claimed that he could throw a soccer ball 85 meters high, which would be a world record. His strength was so legendary that some feats seem absurd, but what we do know for sure is that all that log-lifting and stone-throwing helped make Isaac Sopoaga one of the greatest soccer players of all time.


6'1, 280, Guardia, 1966-81

The 10 Strongest NFL Players Of All Time - The Barbell (8)

young bob, who played 16 seasons for 5 NFL teams, had his prime with the Cardinals in the late 1970s, including two Pro Bowls and one All-Pro season. A keen powerlifter when he wasn't the norm for football, Young is the older brother of the powerlifting legend.doug jung. Bob Young is said to have deadlifted over 800 pounds. and he squats 550 lbs. for 22 reps, which is incredible now, let alone then. (This was the era of steroids in football, and Bob Young was an approved user.)

In the 1977 NFL offseason, Young entered the NFLfirst strongest man in the worldand finished second to powerlifter Bruce Wilhelm, who outclassed him by more than 50 pounds. He won the squat event (with girls in cages for weights!). In the 1979 World's Strongest Man, he finished fifth (just behind Jon Kolb). And in 1980, the year he turned 38, he was still runner-up in soccer's Strongest Man category. Bob Young died of a heart attack in 1995 at the age of 52.

6 honorable mentions

• Three incredibly strong pound-for-pound running backs: Chicago Bear Hall of FamerWALTER PAYTON, who could reportedly deadlift 625, tripled his body weight of 208;JERICK MCKINNON, who currently plays for the Kansas City Chiefs and is on the bench225 for 32 repsat the 2014 NFL Combine weighing in at just 209; and current Cleveland BrownNICK CHUBB, which was squatting around 230 to 675 (even without a belt).VideoI am May 2022.

(Video) Strongest Man Competition (2006) | NFL Pro Bowl Skills Challenge

• Two other offensive linemen for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s and 1980s: GuardSTEVE COURSON, who reportedly benched 605, and the Hall of Fame Centermike Webster, who benched 15 reps with 350, en route to winning Football's Strongest Man in 1980.

• Current New York Jets centerCONNOR MCGOVERN(not the Cowboy Guard of the same name) who reportedly weighed 690 lbs. for 5 reps in college and who demonstrated his Olympic weightlifting prowess at a fitness festival in 2018 by breaking 310 and 375 clean and jerking.

See also:Combined NFL Bench Press RecordsYTop 10 NBA Players of All Time


Who is the strongest NFL player of all time? ›

Allen is regarded as one of the NFL's physically strongest players ever while also capable of using his speed against defenders.
Larry Allen.
No. 73, 71
Born:November 27, 1971 Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:325 lb (147 kg)
Career information
18 more rows

Who has the strongest bench press in the NFL? ›

Justin Ernest, Eastern Kentucky, DT: In 1999, Ernest completed 51 bench press reps of 225 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine, which remains the most of all time.

Who is the fittest NFL player? ›

THE fittest guy in the NFL is not a quarterback, cornerback or running back — he's a punter. Yes a punter. Steve Weatherford is the punter for the New York Giants and he's ripped, seriously ripped. Weatherford is almost as famous for his toned abs, bulging biceps and perfect pecs as he is for his exploits on the field.

What NFL player hits the hardest? ›

Steve Atwater put all of his strength against the 260-pound beast of a man across from him. Not only was he one of the hardest NFL hitters ever, but also one of the surest tacklers as he has racked up over 1000 tackles in his career.

Who benches 500 pounds in the NFL? ›

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald reveals that he bench presses a whopping 500 pounds and he lives by the wise words of his father.

Who is the fastest NFL player ever? ›

Bob Hayes

Bob Hayes is the fastest player in NFL history. At the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Hayes won the 100 meter and broke the existing World Record with a time of 10.06 seconds. He also won a second gold medal in the 4 x 100 meter relay, which also produced a new World Record (39.06 seconds).

What is the strongest bench ever recorded? ›

Jimmy Kolb Sets New Equipped Bench Press All-Time World Record ​With 1,320LBS.

Who is the strongest person in football? ›

Kenyan Victor Wanyama is the highest-ranking top-level player in our list and also, interestingly, the highest-ranking non-Nigerian. Well over six-feet tall and the width of your average two-door fridge-freezer combo, he is one of a new breed of mobile but immensely powerful midfield players in the Premier League.


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2. Stephen Paea Breaks Bench Press Record with 49 Reps! | 2011 NFL Combine
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5. The Strongest Man in the NFL(James Harrison) #pittsburgsteelers #jamesharrison #jamesharrisonworkout
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6. Nick Chubb with the Calves of Hercules 😳| Squatting 675 Pounds


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