Rob Kearney

Nickname The World's Strongest Gay Date of birth 16/11/1991 Country North America Height 1.75m (5ft 9in) Weight 135kg (298lbs)
About Rob Kearney


Rob Kearney is an American professional strongman, renowned for his incredible pound-for-pound strength and for being the first openly gay strongman competing at the sport’s top level.

Kearney has held multiple American log lift records as well as the world log lift title, beating much larger competitors; Kearney’s stature of 5’ 10” and 140kg (308lb), though large by most standards, is diminutive compered to many strongmen. This has not prevented him from winning international contests and achieving lifts that have led to him becoming Official Strongman’s strongest pound-for-pound strongman in the world.

A former schoolteacher, Kearney and his husband Joey live in Brooklyn New York. Rob hopes to raise awareness and acceptance for athletes of varying sexuality through his involvement in strongman, which he feels will help to breakdown negative stereotypes of the LGBTQ+ community.


Kearney’s path into competitive strongman began in cheerleading where he would routinely throw competitors into the air and catch them. His lack of tumbling ability led him into powerlifting where he built a base of strength which would help him transition into strongman. Early contest did not go well, but Kearney was hooked.

In 2015, Rob placed 5th at the Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championships, but the big turning point in his career came in 2016, when he won the World Log Lift Championships, competing as a heavy weight. A year later Rob won his first big international contest in Martinville, Indiana, claiming top spot at the Giants Live North American Open.

Kearney successfully qualified for the 2017 World’s Strongest Man and returned in 2018 and 2019. Failing to progress from his heats the first two years, Rob was agonisingly close to making the final in 2019 after finishing 2nd in his heat, 2 points ahead of Britain’s Luke Stoltman. Rob eventually lost out in the “stone-off”. He has been unable to compete at World’s since, due to a serious triceps injury.

In 2022, Rob achieved his best finish at the Arnold Strongman Classic, coming in a creditable 5th, with second place event placings in the Double T Squat as well as the 125kg (276lb) Monster Dumbbell.

A certain controversy has existed around Rob’s use of the split jerk when log lifting. This technique, employed by previous world record holder Raimonds Bergmanis of Latvia and Misha Koklyaev of Russia, has been criticised by some competitors. Kearney used this style to great effect in establishing an American record of 216kg (476lb).

Best Title

In 2017 Kearney was able to win the Giants Live North American Open title, in Martinsville, Indiana. Rob comprehensively defeated his closest rivals, beating USA’s Nick Best by 9 points, with Adam Derks in 3rd place, 16.5 points adrift. Rob was able to take event victories in the super yoke and overhead medley and was runner-up in the remaining three events: deadlift for reps, carry and drag and Atlas Stones.

Competition Results

  • World’s Strongest Man:
    •  2019 – Qualified, 2nd in heat (lost stone off to Luke Stoltman)
    •  2018 – Qualified, 6th in heat
    •  2017 – Qualified, 5th in heat
  • Giants Live:
    • North American Open: Winner 2017, 7th place 2018, 5th place 2019
    • Scandinavian Open 2017: 7th place
    • Giants Live Webley 2019: 5th place
  • Arnold Strongman Classic:
    • 2022 – 5th place
    • 2020 – 7th place
  • Rogue Invitational 2021: 6th place
  • Arnold Pro Strongman World Series:
  • Australia 2019: 1st place
  • USA 2020: 8th place
  • Africa 2017: 7th place
  • Canada 2017: 11th place

Best Lifts

Competition Lifts

  • Deadlift: 440kg/970lb
  • Log lift: 216kg/476lb (Former American Record)
  • Axle press: 185kg/408lb
  • Squat: 436kg/961lb (Double T Squat)

Training lifts

  • Squat: 431kg/950lb
  • Bench press: 240kg/529lb

Present Day

Rob is looking to focus on podium finishes at major contests over the coming seasons, which means putting attempts of reclaiming his American record in log lift, from Bobby Thompson, on hold. The ruptured triceps tendon he sustained on his record attempt in 2020 put his immediate strongman aspirations on hold and Kearney seems reluctant to risk further trauma chasing records. This should hopefully lead to improved contest finishes and perhaps a place in the World’s Strongest Man Grand Final.


In 2020, Rob appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, an episode that has been viewed 1.4 million times. Rob’s own website is, where he offers speaking appearances, merchandise and training advice and planning.

Rob is very active on social media: his Instagram handle is @worlds_strongest_gay. On YouTube his channel has a similar title: World’s Strongest Gay, whilst on Facebook he goes by the name Pro Strongman Rob Kearney. His channels are updated regularly with training and competition content, as well as insights into Rob’s lifestyle.

Rob has also co-written a children’s picture book called “Strong”, which tells the story of a youngster growing up dreaming of becoming the world’s strongest man but feeling he can’t fit in.

Videos of Rob Kearney


The most painful event in strongman!

The most painful event in strongman!

56 Year Old Mark FELIX Crushes DEADLIFT

56 Year Old Mark FELIX Crushes DEADLIFT

World’s Strongest Nation 2023: UK vs USA

World’s Strongest Nation 2023: UK vs USA

Road to 505 powered by Gymshark | EP 7 | The STRONGEST deadlifters on the planet

Road to 505 powered by Gymshark | EP 7 | The STRONGEST deadlifters on the planet

Road to 505 powered by Gymshark | EP 6 | BEHIND THE SCENES

Road to 505 powered by Gymshark | EP 6 | BEHIND THE SCENES
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