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This lift was done with no straps, no belt and using a double overhand grip making the lift much tougher. Paul Anderson was one of the strongest lifters of all time. RIP Paul Anderson (1932 - 1994). When I made the video I honestly thought Anderson was lifting 825 lbs on the last pull. However...Due to an eye-witness at the above event, it was probably 735 lbs to be precise.

Keith Greenan has stated the following:


"This was done in Tampa Florida in 1965. Harry Smith put on the meet. I was there and he was trying to break Terry Todd's Deadlift record of 730 pounds with a lift of 735 lbs but used a clean grip and the bar rolled out of his hands. If he used a Deadlift grip he could have held, it was not even a hook grip. He squatted 930 lbs going deep with no knee wraps and gym shorts easily." ~ Keith Greenan


From Brad Reid...


"I saw Anderson lift several times just a few years after this event. I think Keith's accounting of the event is correct, that the bar is around 735 lbs. for that final miss. Those are likely the old fat York Barbell 45 pound plates used back then. It looks like Anderson begins at 405, then 495, then 585 . . . adding a 45 pounder to each end of the bar for each single, and building up to some lift completed in the 600s for a good lift, then his missed final attempt. Yes, he broke it off the ground with ease, then the grip failed on his left hand. There were always two accounts of Anderson's "relatively" low deadlift compared to his prodigious squat: One was that he didn't want to exceed or take the limelight away from his friend and deadlift specialist, Bob Peoples; the other was that his hands were too small to hold on to the bar as he got above 700+ pounds. I always believed the latter. Again, no to anything above the 735 range as I don't think the bar, without using 100 pound plates, could hold more with 45s." ~ Brad Reid

Strongman Paul Anderson Deadlifting 700 lbs


From DaveConleyPortfolio...


"Brad, I remember reading that Todd had a significant edge in hand strength over Anderson, being able to squeeze a heavy duty gripper six times that Paul couldn't manage once. I think that was from Larry Pacifico in the foreword to one of Todd's books. I wish there was footage of the Doc in his prime." ~ DaveConleyPortfolio

* The book may be the following: "Inside Powerlifting" (1978) by Terry Todd.

Inside Powerlifting by Terry Todd


From Brad Reid...


"I saw Dr. Todd lift once, too, in addition to Anderson. Terry competed at a Senior Nationals in Dallas one year. He was quite a lifter, much taller than Anderson. Speaking of Anderson and his lifts, Todd once was quoted or otherwise told the story about telling Paul Anderson that every time someone raises the world record, say, in the bench press, that he couldn't forever claim higher and higher personal bests that exceeded the new records. In early articles, Anderson was described as having a relatively weak bench press. When he was close to his top form in the press, he was bench pressing 415 for a few sets of 2 or 3 reps as I recall. Having a bench press not much higher than one's Olympic Press was not all that uncommon. Big George "Ernie" Pickett was at or near 460 lbs. in the press and lifted just a bit more in meets around the same time in the BP. Personally, I always thought Doug Hepburn was a better pure presser than Anderson. Hepburn's 370 or so press was pure "military" style where as Anderson used a more aggressive back bend. Finally, Anderson rarely did a BP in public. I recall one photo of him bench pressing 455 lbs. He was, to be sure, a very powerful and explosive athlete." ~ Brad Reid

Doug Hepburn 370 lbs Clean & Press


Paul Anderson Pressing Style (in comparison to Doug Hepburn)

* Interesting reading: Strongman Paul Anderson Push Pressing 625 lbs back in 1955!

The following info is from Jerry Byfield...


"I saw Paul deadlift 630 lbs without a warmup in Texas, back in the 1960's. Absolutely amazing! He was just standing there talking and went over and picked it up. I think he did a double. He also squatted 700 lbs without a warmup that day." ~ Jerry Byfield

The Back - Arms - Neck of Strongman Paul Anderson

From Terry Bader...


"The late Terry Todd told a story about a Russian light heavyweight attacking Anderson after his famous lifting achievements at the 1955 event in Russia.  He was foolish enough to try to choke big Paul's 24 inch neck.  Anderson threw the guy off the wall and the other Russians apologized." ~ Terry Bader


I believe Anderson claimed a 1000 lbs Deadlift using straps but I'm not 100% sure that's correct or if Anderson really did claim that.

Anyone have any facts / stories to share on Strongman Paul Anderson? Please add your comments below.

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