The world of powerlifting, weight lifting, and strongmen is an interesting and unique place. While being able to lift ridiculous weights over one’s head isn’t something that most of us are down to chase after, plenty of strongmen all over the world are constantly battling it out to become the very best. The following 10 strongest men in the world are some of the greatest strongmen who ever lived and all of them set impressive records while they were doing their thing. Some are retired while some are still at it, but all of them definitely deserve a big shout out, which we plan to give them today.
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Number 10. Louis Uni
Louis Uni was a French strongman who toured in the late 1800s. He lived between 1862 and 1928, going by the moniker ‘Apollon the Mighty’. That’s quite a bold nickname to give yourself, but Uni managed to earn it by the end of his career and he was especially well known for his grip strength. He actually did so well for himself that the street he grew up on in Marsillargues now bears his name, being called Boulevard Louis Uni. He ran away from home at the age of 14 to join a travelling Italian circus, but was eventually found and returned home. After pleading with his parents to let him leave home to travel the world, they let him leave home in order to focus on his career. He began his career as a strongman and wrestler in 1889 at a wrestling competition in Bordeaux. He took to lifting weights almost immediately and knew right away that he was going to be a strongman. One of his big claims to fame was lifting a 166 kilo barbell, dubbed ‘Apollon’s Wheels’, that had two railway car wheels on each side. Uni eventually ended his career when he injured himself while holding two motorcars at bay with his outstretched hands.
Number 9. Brian Shaw
Brian Shaw was already at the top of his game when he won the 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016 World’s Strongest Man competitions. When he pulled off his big wins, however, he ensured that his name would be remembered for a long time to come. He’s also the first person to win the Arnold Strongman Classic and the World’ Strongest Man competitions in the very same calendar year. He pulled off the feat in 2011 and then managed to repeat his accomplishment in 2015. Shaw began his life trying his hand at basketball, a sport which he excelled at. He went to Black Hills State University on a full basketball scholarship. During this time, he found himself hitting the weight room on a regular basis and eventually dropped basketball to focus on weightlifting full-time. He entered the Denver Strongest Man contest in October 2005 with no formal training and seven months later he had made it as a pro. Since then, he’s been picking up one title after another and he’s set a bunch of big records. He is active on YouTube, operating the channel SHAWSTRENGTH, which is packed with training and challenge videos designed to inspire the next generation of strongmen.
Number 8. Vasyl Virastyuk
A Ukranian and former strongman, Vasyl Virastyuk comes from a family that’s known for producing ridiculously strong people, as evidenced by his brother Roman, who’s an accomplished shot putter himself. Vasyl finished third in the first World’s Strongest Man competition that he entered in 2003 before heading back the next year, winning the 2004 World’s Strongest Man title. He managed to best the two men who had beaten him the year before, proving that he wasn’t to be taken lightly. At this point, strongman competitions were split between the IFSA strongman title and the Met-Rx World’s Strongest Man title. Virastyuk continued to compete in both competitions as other strongmen chose to settle with one or the other, eventually becoming the first athlete in history to win both a World’s Strongest Man title and an IFSA world title in the same year. Unfortunately, a lifetime of lifting ridiculously heavy weights eventually took a toll on his body and Vasyl was forced to step down from competing on a regular basis due to injuries. Still, he has plenty of big wins under his belt and will go down in history as one of the greatest strongmen of all time.
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