When you think of John Cena, what’s the first thought that comes to mind?

I’m going to guess it’s probably professional wrestler or actor. What about Olympic weightlifter?

That’s right: John Cena is not only a great performer, but he’s a strong, powerful guy. In the video below, he snatches 304 lbs with pretty good form. Far from Olympic caliber, but impressive speed and mobility for a guy who many think of as a muscle-bound character in the ring.

On top of snatching, Cena can also clean with decent form. Another video shared on Cena’s YouTube page showcases him hitting a 150kg (330 lb) clean.

For reference, Cena stands at 6’1” and 240 lbs (109kg) and is 39 years old. 

If we look at the videos below and compare them to other strength athletes, we see Cena is pretty competitive from a powerlifting standpoint for what his weight class would be.

If he took the time to program and train for, let’s say a local powerlifting competition, I think he would definitely be competitive. Maybe not at a national – and definitely not a world record breaking – level, but perhaps in the top-tier for a local or regional meet. So let’s take it to the numbers.

If Cena weighed in at 240 lbs, he would compete in either the 242 lb (110kg) or 220 lb (100kg) weight class (if he cut down). The top elite totals for both of these classes in the open raw category at your typical local/regional meet range from 1,600-1,900. 

In a video shared by Mark Bell’s YouTube channel about a year ago, Cena performs a 611 lb back squat with good depth.

Another video shared last year in response to the NFL combine bench press results, shows what Cena can do with a press. Cena tweeted out a video of him benching 460 lbs. While there was no pause and it wouldn’t qualify in a meet, the speed was great. Looking at the weight and speed, I would guess Cena could hit a bench with a pause over 400 lbs. 

In regards to deadlift, while there hasn’t been any recent videos posted of a deadlift max. There was a video shared four years ago, that highlights Cena performing a 638 lb conventional deadlift.

Hypothetically, if Cena started prepping for a powerlifting comp and could hit a 620 lb squat, 430 lb bench, and 650 lb deadlift, that would put him at a 1,700 lb total. That’s competitive in an open raw local meet in both weight categories.

Obviously, the odds of Cena actually prepping and doing a powerlifting (or even weightlifting) meet are small, but it’s fun to wonder – what if he did?

Feature image from Fit Nish YouTube page. 

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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.