National Fitness Hall of Fame Museum & Institute

Educate * Motivate * Inspire

Bill Kazmier

2011 NFHOF Inductee

“World's Strongest Man”

Born: December 30, 1953

Hometown: Auburn, Alabama

Website: 




Standing at 6’3 and ranging from 321-350 lbs, it is no wonder that Bill Kazmaier held the title of World’s Strongest Man three years in a row.  Kazmaier, born December 30, 1953 in Burlington, Wisconsin, is a powerlifter and strongman.

Kaz, as he is more affectionately known, decided to leave school and pursue his dream of becoming the top powerlifter in the world. This did not take long. By 1979, at the young age of 25, he did so by winning the American Powerlifting Championships and the IPF World Championships in the superheavyweight class.

Some of Kaz’s other notable accomplishments include:

  • The first human to bench press over 660 lbs.; he held the world record at 661 lbs. for many years.
  • The first man to lift all five McGlashen Stones in competition.
  • He still has the IPF and USPF Senior American record total in powerlifting (2425 lbs.), set in 1981 in Columbus, Georgia.
  • In the 1978 national championships in the 125+ kg class in Dayton, Ohio, he squatted 865 lbs., benched 622 lbs., and deadlifted 804 lbs., amassing a total of 2292 lbs.

Kaz has competed in six World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contests, and from 1980-1982 won the competitions handsomely. After dominating the events, he became the first man to win the WSM title three times in a row. Although he is no longer competing, he is still active in the sport and has since appeared on ESPN as a commentator for the WSM broadcasts.

Passionate about his partnerships with the YMCA and Star Trac, Kaz is heavily involved with the YMCA’s “Secrets to Success” and “Active America” programs.  He travels the country promoting a platform that encourages the youth of America to stay active with their local YMCA.