Jean-François Caron, of Les Hauteurs, Quebec, is the most decorated strongman Canada has ever produced. The 6’ 3” (1.91m), 342lb (155kg) former powerlifter is a 9-times World’s Strongest Man finalist and 9-times Canada’s Strongest Man.
As well as being one of the most successful strongmen in the world, Caron is also one of the most prolific, competing 20-25 times each year and amassing hundreds of contests throughout his long career.
Jean-François is a hugely respected athlete and is best known for his incredible deadlifting ability for which he holds world records, in various forms of the lift. Now into his late thirties, he seems to still be improving – at the age of 37 he recorded his best result at World’s Strongest Man, placing third at the 2020 finals in Bradenton, Florida.
Caron’s consistency, throughout his long career, has been almost unmatched, especially in the modern era, where there is an abundance of talent. Jean-François has placed inside the top 6 at World’s Strongest Man every year since 2015.
Caron cut his strongman teeth competing in the Strongman Champions League and quickly established himself as Canada’s top professional strongman, winning his first national title in 2011. The Canadian title would remain in his vice-like grip for nine consecutive years.
Deadlifting has been Caron’s trademark; in his pre-strongman years, competing in powerlifting he set a world record of 390kg/850lb, unequipped, without straps, at a weight of just 130kg/280lbs. Caron currently holds the Hummer tyre deadlift world record with a staggering 542.2kg/1,202 lbs, which he set at the Shaw Classic in 2020.
Further world records have been set by the Canadian for flipping cars and giant tyres – in 2016 at the Arnold Strongman Classic he flipped a tyre weighing 612kg/1,350lb four times.
Caron has seen many strongmen rise through the ranks and then retire, but he is still competing, not for money or prestige, as he has stated, but for enjoyment, and to win!
Despite winning more national titles than any other Canadian and taking 8 top-ten finishes in World’s Strongest Man finals, Caron’s soul podium finish in 2020 arguably remains his greatest competitive result to date.
In Bradenton, Florida, Jean-François finished just 1.5 points adrift of runner-up Tom Stoltman (GBR) and 5 points behind winner, Oleksii Novikov (UKR). Caron won the Hercules Hold, was second in the keg toss and placed third in both the Atlas Stones and the max deadlift.
Caron is currently rehabilitating from a potentially career-ending injury sustained at the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic, in Colombus, Ohio. He tore both quadriceps tendons as he attempted to lift a 195kg/420lb log. As he collapsed under the weight, the log fell across his knees.
As a result of the injury, which will take Jean-François one year to return to normal daily levels of activity, he has been forced to withdraw from all competitions in the foreseeable future. Whether he can return to competition remains to be seen, as at his age it, there is some doubt as the how well he will be able to heal from such significant trauma.
Jean-François has a following of over 70k on his Instagram account: @jfcaronstrongman. His Facebook page: J-F Caron Strongman has also attracted 26k followers, keen to stay informed on his training and competition performances.
During the Covid pandemic, when most competitions were not running, Caron featured on WUS’s feats of strength series, streamed online, where he attempted to beat his own world record of deadlifting 400kg/881lb for more than 5 repetitions.