How Strong Are NFL Players?

If you have been watching any football games lately you will have noticed that NFL players are pretty big with many weighing way over 200 pounds. But is all that size just for show or can they produce the horsepower to match their impressive physiques? Let’s find out!

RICHMOND VA, AUGUST 3: Redskins defensive end Stephen Paea, left, and fellow defensive end Corey Crawford work on a drill carrying weights during day 7 of the Washington Redskins summer training camp in Richmond VA, August 3, 2016. (Photo by John McDonnell / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

How Strong Are NFL Players?

NFL players are strong with the average player being able to bench press 350 pounds, squat 520 pounds and deadlift 550 pounds. NFL athletes spend years in the weight room developing their strength and you can witness their power out on the field when they are blocking, tackling and breaking tackles. 

NFL players are some of the strongest athletes in the world thanks to their impressive size and their dedication to strength training. Most NFL players start weight training when they reach their early teens so by the time they reach the NFL many have spent 10 years or more lifting weights.

With the average NFL player standing at 6ft 2 and weighing 245 pounds even if they never lifted weights in their life many would be able to out lift regular Joes who hit the gym a couple times of week.

But when you combine that impressive size with spending years training under world class strength coaches it is no wonder that NFL players end up developing elite strength.

While it can’t be disputed that NFL players are incredibly strong and are much stronger than most athletes they are not the strongest athletes. There are a number of athletes who can out perform NFL players in the gym, they include:

  • Throwers (Discuss, Shot Put, Hammer Throw) – Throwers are some of the biggest and most explosive athletes on the planet. These incredible athletes can lift astounding weights that put many NFL athletes to shame.
  • Olympic Weightlifters – It is no surprise that athletes who spend all day lifting weights can out perform NFL players in the gym. But what may surprise you is that some female olympic weightlifters can outperform NFL players such as Tatiana Kashirina who has clean and jerked 190kg (420 pounds) which not many NFL players could do.
  • Powerlifters – Again it is expected that professional weightlifting athletes who specialize in the bench press, squat and deadlift can hit bigger numbers than NFL players who have to split their time between playing football and the weight room.
  • Strongmen – Strongmen tend to be much bigger than the average NFL player and also dedicate much more time to lifting weights which results in them being able to squat, bench and dead lift more than the average NFL athlete

How Much Can NFL Players Squat?

The average NFL player can squat 520 pounds (235 kg) but there are athletes with incredible squat numbers such as Larry Allen who claimed to squat 905 pounds (411kg) during his career.

The squat is one of the most popular exercises for NFL players as it engages multiple large muscles including the quads, hamstrings, back and core. The squat is a great exercise that helps NFL players build muscle and increase their overall strength. The squat has the added benefit of increasing an NFL player’s on field speed which they can use to catch the ball, sprint down the field, sack the quarterback and make interceptions.

NFL player squat numbers can vary greatly with the average kicker squatting in the 300 pound range while the average linemen can stand up easily with 600 pounds plus! The average NFL player should be able to comfortable squat 500 pounds.

How Much Can NFL Players Deadlift?

The average NFL player can deadlift 550 pounds. The average kicker can deadlift 350 pounds while linemen can pick up 660 pounds. 

NFL players don’t deadlift nearly as much as you think and when they do they rarely max out. This is because even though the deadlift is an amazing exercise to develop strength and build muscle in your back there is a considerable injury risk. To reduce the injury risk NFL players will often lift lighter weights or do power cleans.

Even though NFL players rarely max out their deadlift they are still very strong with the average NFL athlete being able to deadlift over 500 pounds and many linemen have deadlifted over 700 pounds!

How Much Can NFL Players Bench Press?

The average NFL player can bench press 350 pounds. The average kicker can bench press 250 pounds while linemen can throw around 450 pounds. 

NFL players love the bench press! At every NFL weight room facility you will find players hitting the bench press in an effort to grow their upper bodies. The bench press is a great way to grow your chest, shoulders and triceps.

As NFL players spend a lot of time bench pressing they can put up some pretty impressive numbers with the average NFL athlete being able to comfortably bench 350 pounds. The strongest bench pressers in the NFL are linemen with many being capable of benching 500 pounds or more!

Do You Have To Be Strong To Be In The NFL?

NFL players have to be strong so they can generate enough power to effectively block, make tackles and break tackles. If NFL players are not strong enough they will struggle to generate enough force to be effective on the field.
In a contact sport like football a player’s effectiveness is directly related to how much power they can generate. Just think about it could you tackle an NFL running back sprinting at you at full speed? Probably not because not only do you lack the tackling technique but you lack the physical strength to stop a sprinting NFL running back and bring them to the ground.
If you tried to tackle an NFL running back you would most likely bounce off them and go flying to the ground as the running back continues sprinting to the goal line.
It isn’t just tackling where NFL players need to be strong, it is essentially all aspects of the game. A quarterback needs to be strong to throw the ball fast and far, a linemen needs to be strong push past the offensive line and a running back needs to be strong to bounce of tacklers and keep running.

Who Is The Strongest NFL Player Ever?

The strongest NFL player ever is Larry Allen who played for the Dallas Cowboys and the San Franciso 49ers. Larry Allen, standing at 6ft 3 and weighing 335 pounds bench pressed 705 pounds (320 pounds) and squatted 905 pounds (411 kg).
There have been a lot of physical specimens in the NFL but none have been as strong as legendary NFL linemen, Larry Allen. Larry Allen’s gym lifts were so impressive that he could have been a professional powerlifter in his spare time while competing in the NFL!
To put in perspective how impressive Larry Allen’s 905 pound squat is, the current heaviest squat of all time is 1080 pounds by professional powerlifter Ray Williams which is just 175 pounds more than Allen lifted who was balancing his squat workouts with his NFL career!

Wrapping Things Up

NFL players are incredibly strong with the average NFL athlete being able to bench press 350 pounds, squat 520 pounds and deadlift 550 pounds. NFL players use this impressive strength to make bone crushing tackles, break through the defense and sprint up the field at blistering speed!

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