Tribute to Franco Columbu: powerlifter as well as bodybuilder

Tribute to Franco Columbu: powerlifter as well as bodybuilder

Franco Columbu never got the proper and full appreciation or the credit for his training and impressive achievements.  He was overshadowed by Arnold Schwarzenegger for much of his bodybuilding career.  But, Franco was also an accomplished strength and conditioning athlete.  Pound for pound he was one of the strongest men in the world – this is no exaggeration.  With a body weight of 180 pounds, he could bench press 500 pounds.  He was able to squat and also dead lift several hundred pounds.  In one of his books, there is a classic photo of him deadlifting a bar with so many plates on each end that the bar is bowing or bending (see below).  He also claimed to have done the strength training and the body building without the use of anabolic steroids.  I would like to believe that and considering how rigorous and intense his training regimens were, he may be telling the truth.  Lots of male hormone either way!

A 30 second video clip courtesy of YouTube here:

Franco blowing up a hot water bottle (don’t try this at home)

Franco Columbu “The Sardinian Strongman” (about 3 and one half minutes long)

You may want to turn the sound down on this one (it is a bit loud)


Now for six good pics.



This photo (above) of Franco deadlifting is courtesy of  Note the reverse grip of his two hands.  That is the only way to control the heavy bar in a deadlift and prevent it from slipping from your hands.

In this higher quality pic below, he completes the deadlift successfully. Pic is courtesy of



Yet another excruciating deadlift by this very strong and determined man.  Courtesy of



Here (below) is the result of persistent and continued heavy deadlifting and bent over rowing with the bar over time.  Franco lat spread is by kind courtesy of  Full development of the large muscles in the back.



This photo of the benchpress lift is from



Franco benching outside is from



Keep America Strong – Pump Iron!  (Or, if you cannot pump iron, then read science fiction and keep America strong that way.)


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