Can German track sprinter Robert Förstmann and his legendary thighs beat challengers from the world of powerlifting? He doesn't let the side down...

German track cycling sprinter Robert Förstemann is perhaps as well known for his enormous thighs as he is for his race results.

The 29-year-old former sprint world champion recently got the opportunity to see how his impressive power stacked up against a selection of powerlifters and strongmen in a challenge organised by YouTube channel Body Building Rev. And he did not let the side down.

All five contestants had to achieve as many squats as they could in a five-minute period – lifting a minimum weight of 85kg. To give that some perspective, Förstemann himself weighed in at the start of the challenge at 95.4kg.

Robert Förstemann

Robert Förstemann

Like all track sprinters, Förstemann regularly works on his power in the gym and is no stranger to squats. However, he faced opposition in the form of several pure powerlifters from Germany and Russia, and admitted that he usually only squats for one minute.

What is evident during the video is that Förstemann tackles the challenge with a measured approach, rather than doing as many as possible and as quickly as possible, and then blowing.

We won’t spoil how he does – you’ll have to enjoy the video. But be warned that it contains rock music, whooping and skull graphics.

Förstemann put his 74cm thighs to use last year in a challenge to see if he could power a 700w toaster via a static bike for long enough to make decent toast.

Förstemann is in action at this weekend’s (January 16-17) final UCI Track World Cup round in Hong Kong as he aims for selection to represent Germany in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

  • Dave2020

    I’m pretty sure it became pointless long before Förstemann did his first squat.

    “Weight training is useful for track sprinters and this means heavy training of the legs. It has been said that a track sprinter is a weight lifter who also rides a bike.” However said that is an idiot!

    Has anyone taken note of how little weight a track sprinter is carrying on his (or her) shoulders/spine, when they STRAIN to accelerate from a standing start? Then of course, they have a flying start for the 200m tt and a rolling start in match sprints. Skilful technique/co-ordination and leg speed are everything. You don’t get that in the gym, at least, not by using current methods.

    A technically incompetent cyclist pushes with all their bodyweight on one pedal. . . .

  • J1

    I’ve seen some of Forstemann’s leg sessions, the squat portion lasts for longer than a minute. He trains like a powerlifter, so putting him against a powerlifter isn’t that amazing really.
    It’s not a good look anyhow, I wonder when it becomes pointless to add more muscle in terms of sprinting performance, because it’s not as if he’s quicker than everyone else.

  • Tom Schibler

    The guy who “won” was not going full depth (thighs didn’t break parallel on most of his reps), plus it looks like he was wearing powerlifting wraps, which provide significant compression (these can add serious weight to a 1 rep max would help here as well). Forstemann wore no wraps of any kind and went pretty deep on every rep shown. One thing in Forstemann’s favor was his short stature, which provides advantageous lever lengths and less vertical distance to travel in each rep.