Siamand Rahman, World’s Strongest Paralympic Powerlifter, Is Set to Amaze in Rio

There’s a difference between being just the best at a sport, and being so dominant your competitors are almost always fighting for second place. Iranian Paralympic powerlifter Siamand Rahman exemplifies the latter, and for the past six years, he’s been the undisputed best competitor in the sport’s +100kg (in some competitions, +107kg) weight class. At the 2012 London Paralympics, he set a new World Record on his first attempt and ultimately benched 280kg, a new Paralympic Record. Rahman won that Games by an astonishing 38kg over his next strongest competitor.

Born with a congenital abnormality that affected his legs, Rahman rose to the top of the Paralympic ranks in his early 20s. Now, it doesn’t seem like long until he’s going after all-time raw bench press records, as his lifts place him among the best pressers even in non-Paralympic competition. And he’s doing it all without use of his legs, which can give lifters a big boost when it comes to stabilization and raw power in the bench press.

The Iranian champion is favored to win yet again at the Rio Paralympics, which start in September. Rahman has increased his strength even more since London and recently set a new World Record of 296kg at the 2016 IPC Powerlifting World Cup in Dubai. We’ve embedded video of that competition below.

(Note: Click the play button on the video to play, even if the thumbnail isn’t showing up.)

Rahman has been quoted as saying he has no intentions of stopping in the low 300s for his competition lifts.

“I have on agenda reaching records above 350 kilograms and I intend to set the historic record of 400 kilograms.”

And while Rahman will be looking to top his own 296kg record in Rio, we know he’s certainly capable of more; he’s been filmed hitting a lift of 320kg in the training hall, though that’s of course without judges holding him to exact competition standards.

At this rate, it may only be a matter of months before Rahman goes after Kirill Sarychev‘s raw bench record of 335kg, set back in 2015.

Featured image: @siamand_rahman on Instagram

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting.

David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and, as well as a contributor to, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day.

David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.

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