Jonah Lomu’s gym records puts a lot of todays rugby stars to shame

At his best he was virtually unstoppable as any opponent who dared to stand in his way during Rugby World Cup 1995 will testify.

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The giant winger, the most physically impressive specimen the world of rugby had seen, was an instant sensation, scoring seven tries – four of them in the semi-final win over England – as the All Blacks reached their second final.

All this while Lomu battled against the debilitating effects of nephrotic syndrome, a condition that would ultimately cost him his life in November 2015, aged just 40. A legend in every sense of the word, Lomu scaled similar heights to those he reached in South Africa at RWC 1999, the eight tries he scored taking his overall tally to 15 – a record since matched by Bryan Habana.

Lomu scored 37 tries in 63 tests for the All Blacks and helped New Zealand win gold at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

During a Q&A with the Independent, Lomu revealed some advice for players, as well as his impressive gym records at the time.

How do you adapt your training routine to combine the speed and strength which are so essential to your game?

Of the two, speed is the crucial thing. I seem to react fairly quickly to weights – in a week I could put on two and a half or three kilos – so I have to be careful not to train too much and to stay away from the weights a bit. I do repeated speed and cross-training every day. It’s weights for an hour and a half on Monday and then back to the gym later in the week, but mainly for plyometrics and bungee cord. It’s about building up explosive power.

What advice would you give to young players keen to follow in your footsteps?

I’d tell them to enjoy the game and everything else will follow. They need to train as hard as they can but enjoying the game is the most important thing. I discovered rugby union when I went to boarding school – it was the only contact sport they played.

How important is diet?

I pretty much eat the way I feel. We can eat what we like as long as we don’t eat too much. It’s down to us really, but if you don’t look after yourself you’re always going to get shown up on the field.

What do you eat before a big game?

I normally have a large helping of mashed potatoes, bread and spaghetti – with tomato sauce. Most of it is just about carbo-loading really.


Benchpress: 220kg

Squad: 340kg

Joe Marler and Manu Tuilagi are England’s two strongest players, their gym records are insane

Andrew Sheridan, a legendary prop who earned 40 caps between 2004 and 2011, holds a distinguished place as one of England’s strongest players in history.

Renowned for his immense physical prowess, Sheridan’s reputation extends to the realm of near-elite powerlifting. His astonishing abilities include a bench press of 225 kilograms (35 st 6 lb; 496 lb) and a squat of 275 kilograms (43 st 4 lb; 606 lb).

Today, we highlight five of England’s current powerhouse players, among whom Joe Marler has recently astounded spectators with his remarkable lifts.

Discover the full list below.


#5. Ellis Genge (Prop) – 160kg

Genge, the formidable English rugby prop, is recognized for his explosive power and unwavering tenacity on the pitch. With a dynamic playing style and fierce competitiveness, he stands as a crucial asset for both his club and the national team.

#4. Kyle Sinckler (Prop) – 165kg

Sinckler, the talented English prop, combines agility and strength to dominate the scrum. Renowned for his fiery passion, he’s a key figure for England and Bristol Bears, consistently making an impact.

Kyle Sinckler of England during the Autumn International Series match between England and New Zealand at Twickenham, London on 19 November 2022 (Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK)

#3. Maro Itoje (Lock) – 187.5kg

Itoje, the English lock, is a true rugby visionary. With his athleticism, leadership, and incredible work ethic, he’s become a linchpin for Saracens and the England national team, consistently excelling on the field.

Maro Itoje of England during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Tonga at Twickenham Stoop on 6 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

#2. Manu Tuilagi (Centre) – 200kg

Tuilagi, the Samoan-born English center, is a force of nature on the rugby field. His powerful runs, bone-crushing tackles, and explosive speed have established him as a game-changer for Sale Sharks and England, earning him a fearsome reputation.

Manu Tuilagi of England during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Tonga at Twickenham Stoop on 6 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

#1. Joe Marler (Prop) – 210kg

In the rugby world, Joe Marler is an undeniable force to be reckoned with. Renowned for his unwavering tenacity and expertise in the scrum, he stands as a stalwart figure in the English and Harlequins lineup.

With a career steeped in resilience and dedication, Marler’s contributions to the sport are nothing short of invaluable. His recent feats in England training sessions speak volumes about his sheer strength and determination. Boasting a record benchpress of 210kg and an impressive squat of 230kg, Marler proves time and again why he’s a force to be feared on the field.

With a personal net worth of £41.8m, a referee emerges as rugby’s richest star

The rugby world isn’t just about breathtaking tries and fierce tackles; it’s also a realm where fortunes are made. Here’s the lowdown on the top 10 wealthiest rugby players right now:

Credit: The South African for the original data

10. Owen Farrell – £1.46 million ($2 million)
Saracens are making waves in the Premiership, and Owen Farrell, their skipper, is reaping the rewards. The bulk of his net worth, a cool £1.46 million, flows directly from his dedication to Saracens.

9. Maro Itoje – £1.46 million ($2 million)
Teammate to Farrell both at England and Saracens, Maro Itoje is on a trajectory to become one of rugby’s highest earners. His salary, comparable to the national skipper’s, showcases his potential.


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