Let's suppose that you have 2 male humans who are physically fit. One is 500lbs and the other is 300lbs.

Are there some physiological forms that would allow the 300 lb man to be stronger than the 500 lb man?

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    Bodyfat percentage is an interesting consideration here. Ronnie Coleman was once 300 lbs with a very low bodyfat percentage. You're going to be hard pressed to find 500 lb people with low bodyfat percentages. It's just extra weight. While Ronnie wasn't known for his feats of strength, he was no pushover when it came to strength. Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 1:06
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    @JustSnilloc that's just not true. Ronnie Coleman was strong as hell. Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 7:37
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    @DennisHaarbrink - I didn't say he wasn't? Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


Yes. Strength is specific to the measurement being performed, so it's possible that the lighter athlete could just be more trained in the specific movement being performed. For example, a 300lb professional arm wrestler would probably beat a 500lb strongman in an arm wrestling contest.

Even when both are trained in strength test being performed, it's possible for the lighter person to be stronger. As an example, the USPA squat record in the 140kg/308.5lb weight class is 412.5kg, held by Dennis Cornelius, whereas strongman Glenn Ross only has a squat record of 400kg at a bodyweight of 547lb. So in that case, the lighter athlete can out-squat the heavier.

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    I'd like to add strength is measured in different ways, so an endurance athlete could pick up more weight with a 30 rep scheme than a powerlifter, but with a 1-2 rep scheme a powerlifter could lift more
    – user32213
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 18:38
  • @AceCabbie good point. Here's an example of that: youtube.com/watch?v=4VO7VMmSHCo Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 23:51

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