It is widely reported that Paul Anderson lifted 6270lbs in a "backlift", but I have never seen a photo of this event and it seems that perhaps the story is exaggerated. So my question is, what is the greatest weight lifted by a human, for which there is irrefutable evidence - preferably including photos or video.

In response to a comment and to clarify further - I am talking about any style of lift. I do not care about how far the object is lifted off the ground. It could be just 1mm. This does introduce a problem, particularly for bulky objects (like cars) because you have to check very carefully that all four wheels are off the ground at the same time. So the refereeing of the lift must be strict for the record to count. I would expect the heaviest weight lifted to be way way more (2x? 3x?) than simply the world record squat.

  • As previously mentioned, please do not put answers into the question body, you can instead post a self-answer. I am rolling back the body, please use the appropriate parts of the Stack Exchange system to add relevant content.
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 2:51

3 Answers 3


Nick Best / Mike Jenkins - 1150kg with a hip lift. Seen here


The Current Guinness Record for most weight lifted by a human is now held by the two-time Canada’s Strongest Man winner Gregg Ernst. Having already been watched by over 1,000 people lifting two grown oxen, in July 1993, Ernst lifted 2,422.2kg (5340lb), making this officially the world’s heaviest lift.

  • 1
    Welcome to Sports SE. Can you add a source to your answer?
    – alamoot
    Commented Jan 31 at 2:23
  • youtube.com/watch?v=BmnSdrnQLL0 ... seems like the record was lifting cars, not oxen.
    – Mick
    Commented Jan 31 at 9:27

One candidate for the greatest weight ever lifted is this 571.5kg squat by Donnie Thompson.

  • 1
    Community wiki answer as this was taken from the question. If you find a greater lift, please post it as a separate answer and I'll then delete this one.
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 20:26

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