Many consider Doug Hepburn one of the strongest men to have ever lived. Due to bullying at a young age of 15, Hepburn took up weightlifting as getting strong would silence the bullies. The reasons he was a victim of bullying were not in his control, so he decided to improve upon what was in his control. Born in Canada in 1926, Hepburn moved to the USA while still a child. His foot deformity and visual distortion (cross-eyes) contributed to the bullying, coupled with the fact that he was new in the US, as a Canadian.
The progress Hepburn had with the weights was fast. In just three years, from 15 to 18, he managed to increase his lifts tremendously. A 140 lb (63.5 kg) curl, a 260 lb (118 kg) bench press and a 340 lb (154.5 kg) squat are far from small weights for an 18 year old.
By the age of 22, Hepburn had already started competing in weightlifting. A 345 lb (157 kg) press got him the title of U.S. Open 1947 winner. In Stockholm, 1953, his weightlifting total was a tremendous 1030 lb (468 kg). The total included the following weights of 368.5-297-363 in pounds or 167.5-135-165 in kilograms. Just a year later, Hepburn won the heavyweight division of the British Empire Games in his hometown of Vancouver.
During his weightlifting career, Doug Hepburn performed as a strongman as well, multiple times per week. We shall go over this most interesting part later. After the successes with weightlifting, he turned to wrestling. Hepburn disliked wrestling because it was “violence for the sake of violence”. Injuring others provided him with more pain than receiving injuries, which is why the he discontinued the career only eight months in.
Finally, we arrive at the strongman-part of Hepburn’s life. During his preparations for the weightlifting competitions, he performed in shows doing both the regular and some unconventional feats of strength. Some of the staples were crushing cans and ripping license plates. Besides these, Hepburn did the regular and well-known lifts such as the deadlift and the squat.
However, he is most famous for his strength on the bench press. Doug Hepburn was the first person to ever bench press 400, 450 and 500 lb (182, 204.5 and 227 kg). All of the three records were done in the short span of only three years. Nonetheless, Hepburn had more inside of him. His top bench press ended up being 580 lb or 263.5 kg. To this day, very few have been able to outmatch Hepburn’s amount of strength, and exceptionally few drug tested individuals.
Doug Hepburn passed away in the year of 2000, due to a perforated ulcer, which is a condition in which the ulcer usually burns through the stomach wall. Hepburn has left the world with a legacy and an important message. A person that truly is strong needs not hurt others to prove it.
His most impressive strength feats include:
- Bench Press: 580 lb (263.5 kg)
- Squat: 800 lb (363.5 kg)
- Deadlift: 800 lb (363.5 kg)
- Curl (strict): 260 lb (118 kg)
- Push-Pin Press: 500 lb (227 kg)
- Overhead Press: 371 lb (168.5 kg)
- One Arm OHP: 200 lb (91 kg)
- Crucifix Hold: 110 lb (50 kg) (Per Arm)