Doug Hepburn Canadian Strength Legend


Author: CHRIS WONG FITNESS | | Categories: Chris Wong Fitness , fitness , in home personal trainer oakville , muscle building , Oakville Personal Trainer , olympic lifting , online personal trainer oakville , powerlifting , strength training , workout


Although Doug Hepburn may not be as common a household name like Arnold Schwarzenegger, he certainly deserves to be. Born in Vancouver, BC, Canada in 1926 with a club foot, he may not have seemed at first like a future strength legend. But he did just that. At a height of 5 foot 8 and a half, he weighed in at 300 lbs of power! And he had the numbers to back it up! 


For one thing, he was the first man in the world to bench press 400, 450, and 500 lbs! Here are some of his other lifts and it's quite an impressive one.



Clean And Press   381 lbs

Snatch   300 lbs

Clean And Jerk    383 lbs



Squat     800 lbs

Bench Press     580 lbs

Deadlift     800 lbs

Barbell Curl     260 lbs (The Barbell Curl was done as the third lift at one time instead of the Deadlift)


While training for weightlifting championships, he performed two or three weekly Strongman shows at various places across Canada. He ripped licence plates, crushed oil cans, lifted weights with his baby finger, bar and horseshoe bending, as well as conventional weight training such as Military Presses, Squats, Bench Presses, Barbell Curls, etc. Here are some of his official and recorded strength accomplishments.

  • World Record Press of 371 1/4 pounds at the 1953 world championships
  • Barbell Press Off Rack: 440 lbs
  • Jerk Press: 500 lbs
  • Squat: 760 lbs
  • Barbell Strict Curl: 260 lbs
  • Crucifix: 200 lbs (100 lbs dumbbell in each hand)
  • Bench Press: 580 lbs (touch and go, no pause like in powerlifting competition)
  • One Arm Overhead Press: 175 lbs


In addition to the above, he also wrote the following best lifts in his biography:

  • Press Off The Rack: 450 lbs
  • Push Press Off The Rack: 500 lbs
  • One Arm Overhead Press: 200, and 37 reps with 120 lbs
  • Crucifix: 110 lbs dumbbells in each hand
  • One Arm Side Hold: 120 lbs
  • One Arm Side Press: 250 lbs


Now how did he go about developing this strength? Of course there's no way we can cover everything he ever did, but one thing I do know is that he believed in simplicity and not in overly complex splits as is common with many conventional workout enthusiasts nowadays. Of course his routine changed over the years, but generally it didn't stray too far from this basic structure



Bench Press

Barbell Curl

Overhead Press




Bentover Row



Essentially if you want to look at it in conventional fitness and bodybuilding terms, it was 2 upper body days and 2 lower body days per week. The sets and reps and training cycles he used varied a lot and I may discuss that in the future, but for now understand that more is not necessarily better. Take a look at his lifts and I think you'll agree!


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