How Much Can A Gorilla Squat?

Most people have heard that gorillas are immensely stronger than the average human, but you may be wondering how much stronger they are and is there any overlap between an average gorilla and some of the strongest men in the world.

Gorillas and the average human don’t specifically train to squat heavy weight, but some fitness enthusiasts do train for extreme strength, including incredible feats of strength when it comes to squatting very heavy weight.

So how much can a gorilla squat, and does that match up to the strongest men in the world?

How Much Weight Can A Gorilla Squat?

Gorillas can squat anywhere from 1,320 lbs to 5,000 lbs on average, depending on their body weight and age. Estimates put gorilla strength at 4 to 27 times their body weight, and most experts agree that 10 times their body weight is average for a gorilla to squat or lift.

Average Weight10 x Body Weight
Small Male Gorilla300 lbs3,000 lbs
Large Male Gorilla500 lbs5,000 lbs
Small Female Gorilla132 lbs1,320 lbs
Large Female Gorilla250 lbs2,500 lbs

The largest gorilla in captivity weighed 860 lbs, which would put its estimated strength at 8,600 lbs, and the largest wild gorilla recorded was 589 lbs, which would place its estimated strength at 5,890 lbs.

The most weight that has been recorded as lifted by a gorilla was 1,800 lbs which is still exceptionally heavy, though much lower than estimates believe gorillas can lift.

How Much Can A Human Squat?

The average male can squat around 130 lbs and, with 3 months of leg training, could increase that to 220 – 245 lbs on average, which is nowhere near the 10x body weight that gorillas can squat. The average female can squat 63 lbs or 101 lbs with 3 months worth of training.

Body WeightUntrained Squat WeightMinimal Training Squat Weight
Average Male Human220 lbs130 lbs245 lbs
Average Female Human130 lbs63 lbs101 lbs

The heaviest squat recorded by a human was 1,311.8 lbs, with the lifter being 303 lbs, which is 4.3 x their body weight. 

The heaviest squat recorded for a female was 880 lbs, with the lifter being around 290 lbs, so close in weight but not strength to the male record.

Overall, the current world’s strongest human squatter can only just reach the squat strength of a small female gorilla. The average human can’t squat 1x their body weight, so we’re no match for the strength that gorillas are able to show.

Why Are Gorillas So Strong?

Gorillas have a number of evolutionary advantages over humans, their robusticity is much higher, which is their relative bone density compared to their length, which allows them to handle heavier weights, as well as optimal joint and bone structure for strength. 

Gorillas also have a 4x higher muscle density than heavily trained humans, the higher the muscle density, the more power and strength that can be output. So with higher muscle density and larger muscles, the strength of gorillas is much higher than humans.

Do Gorillas Train For Strength?

While gorillas aren’t training at the gym, they are moving around on all fours, which helps build up the muscles in their arms and back, typically not seen with humans walking on their feet only.

However, gorillas spend at least 50% of their day eating food, 33% of their day resting, and a small percentage of their time is spent moving from location to location or engaging in social activity. 

So unlike humans, the muscle and strength of gorillas do not diminish from lack of use, and their requirement to train specifically for muscle strength is not required and is simply an innate ability that they possess.

Do Gorillas Eat Protein?

Gorillas primarily eat vegetation with some insects thrown in, however, their larger intestines allow them to break down cellulose in plant matter that humans can’t break down, and the bacteria in their guts allow them to produce more energy and synthesize amino acids better than humans.

The average male gorilla eats around 40 lbs of food every day, so the intestinal advantages of gorillas allow them to turn that 40 lbs of food into muscle-building amino acids that humans simply can’t achieve at that same level.

The average human eats around 4.5 lbs of food each day at the higher end, and a human would need to eat 20 lbs of food to match what gorillas are eating each day. Even then, our intestines and bacteria just can’t handle synthesizing the required amino acids.

All of the extra protein that gorillas are able to consume from plants synthesized in their powerhouse intestines also allows them to retain any strength that they’re gained and only starts to diminish as their ability to eat and digest diminishes.

Undiscovered Genetic Factors In Gorilla Strength

Geneticists are still trying to determine the exact reasons why gorillas are so much stronger than humans, but even their overall size being larger, their muscles being denser, and their bones being able to handle heavier weights is a significant factor.

Can Humans Train Like Gorillas?

The DNA of humans and gorillas matches around 98%, so you may be wondering if you can train like a gorilla to increase your strength, and the simple answer is that your DNA and bone structure won’t allow you to get the strength seen in gorillas.

With gorillas being able to lift 10x their bodyweight and potentially more, the maximum seen in humans is 3-4.4x bodyweight lifting strength. So even if you train like a gorilla or the world’s strongest humans, you’ll never be able to lift 10x your body weight.

Gorillas are simply the strongest primates thanks to their DNA, and their requirements to build and keep strength are menial compared to the effort that humans need to go through to build strength and then keep that strength.