Ronnie Coleman vs. Mariusz Pudzianowski: A Fantasy Strongman Showdown

Bodybuilding and strongman training methodologies vary significantly. The former focuses on building muscle for aesthetics, while the latter focuses on the efficiency of movement patterns and max lifts. Some elite athletes have the potential to cross between these strength sports and excel in both arenas. 

One such athlete is Ronnie Coleman, an eight-time Mr. Olympia champion (1998-2005). His undeniable genetic advantage and chiseled physique earned him eight consecutive Sandow trophies, while his remarkable strength in his prime remains legendary.

On the other end, five-time World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Marius Pudzianowski carried an aesthetic physique that could likely have contended in elite Men’s Open bodybuilding contests if given full focus.

Reigning WSM Mitchell Hooper published a deep dive on his YouTube channel, exploring the hypothetical of a strongman battle between Coleman and Pudzianowski. Check it out below:

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Physical Attributes

Pudzianowski boasts a slight height and weight advantage over Coleman. “Even though Ronnie is under six feet, and we don’t have many WSM winners under six feet, it is possible for him to win the WSM title,” said Hooper.


Coleman and Pudzianowksi competed in 69 professional contests, but their win ratios differ significantly. Coleman emerged victorious in 26 pro shows, whereas Pudzianowski seized gold in 50 contests. 

The Big Three: Comparison

Coleman’s personal best (PB) deadlift is 800 pounds (363 kilograms) double. Pudzianowski’s surpasses Coleman with a 915-pound (415-kilogram) single. 

Coleman squatted 800 pounds (363 kilograms) for a double. Pudzianowski’s outlifts that via his 840-pound (380-kilogram) one-rep max. Hooper admitted:

I could not do that. I could do three or four at 800 pounds without knee wraps and six or seven with knee wraps.

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Coleman boasts a 500-pound (227-kilogram) bench press for five reps. Pudzianowski’s claimed 640-pound (290-kilogram) PB left Hooper astounded and skeptical.

That is insane and would destroy anyone on the pro circuit right now.

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Shoulder Strength Comparison

Coleman’s military press PB is 315 pounds (143 kilograms) for 12 reps. Pudzianowski’s best log lift is 380 pounds (172 kilograms). Hooper opined that Coleman could potentially match this with a single rep and have an overhead pressing advantage.

WSM Event-by-Event Comparison

Hooper’s analysis hinges on comparing Coleman’s best gym lifts and Pudzianowski’s WSM performances in 2002 and 2005. Hooper assumes that Coleman isn’t training specifically for strongman and turns up to the WSM contests in his Mr. Olympia shape.

2002 WSM Events:

Flip & Drag: Pudzianowski won this event. Hooper assumes Coleman could place in the top three based on his brute force and work capacity. 

Farmer’s Walk: Pudzianowski was victorious in a time of 34 seconds. Hooper predicts Coleman could have ranked second based on his deadlift strength and the assumption that arm strength is more important than leg strength in this event. 

Squat & Lift: Coleman is estimated to finish in the top three with eight to 10 reps based on his squatting ability. 

Truck PullColeman’s upper body strength makes him a top contender in this event. Pudzianowski finished second, and Hooper assumes Coleman could take third.

Shield Carry: Coleman is estimated to get six points based on his lunging ability.

Deadlift: Coleman is projected to get 10 reps based on his deadlift strength, earning him a runner-up finish in the event. 

Atlas StonesColeman is unlikely to win the event but is assumed to be able to finish.

Hooper posits that in 2002, Pudzianowski would have likely retained his WSM title, with Coleman trailing behind in a respectable second place.

2005 WSM Events:

Fingal’s Fingers: Coleman is predicted to beat Pudzianowski based on his arm and triceps strength. 

Hercules Hold: Coleman is estimated to finish the event at around 55 seconds, earning eight points.

Fridge Carry: Coleman is expected to be second behind Pudzianowski.

Log Lift: Coleman is predicted to win this event.

Squat Lift: Hooper expects Coleman to be third in this event.

Ding Carry: Coleman is predicted to be second in this event based on his work capacity and conditioning. 

Atlas Stones: Coleman is predicted to finish the event but might not be the fastest. 

Hooper opined that Coleman could have won the 2005 WSM title if he had competed with moderate directed strongman training.

Featured image: @mitchellhooper on Instagram

The post Ronnie Coleman vs. Mariusz Pudzianowski: A Fantasy Strongman Showdown appeared first on BarBend.


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