Lamar Gant Scoliosis

Lamar Gant – World Record Powerlifter



There’s a common misconception that scoliosis is caused by weakness. That if the person merely worked out or strengthened this “weaker” side of the body their scoliosis would disappear. This is simply not true for idiopathic scoliosis and demonstrates a basic misunderstanding of the condition. Though the exact cause of idiopathic scoliosis is still unknown, we do know one thing, idiopathic scoliosis is not caused by muscle weakness.

Another mistaken belief (and the reason we write these articles about famous people with scoliosis) is that a diagnosis of scoliosis means your life is over. That you can no longer dance, swim or do the things you love. Case in point: Lamar Gant the American world record-holding powerlifter with idiopathic scoliosis.

lamar-gant-idiopathic-scoliosisIn 1974 Gant (at only 17 years old and weighing only 123 pounds (56 kg)) set his first world record by deadlifting 524.5 pounds (238 kg). In 1980 he was inducted into the International Powerlifting Federation Hall of Fame. In 1985, he became the first person to deadlift five times their own body weight by lifting 661 pounds (300 kg) at a bodyweight of only 132 pounds (60 kg). He still holds the world records for deadlifting in the 123 and 132 pound weight classes and there has yet to be another person able to lift 5 times their our body weight.

Here’s old video footage of one of his record attempts:

Lamar’s scoliosis was first diagnosed at age 14 during a football physical. Since both his mother and maternal grandmother had scoliosis and he was pain free (common with AIS) he received no treatment and continued to participate in sports and began weight lifting as well. Nine years later in 1980 he was examined again and recommended for surgery, however, this would have stopped Grant from weight-lifting for 2 years so he decided to forgo it.

Athletes with Scoliosis

Famous People with Scoliosis

Sources [1,2]



Posted in Athletes with Scoliosis, Famous People with Scoliosis
2 comments on “Lamar Gant Scoliosis
  1. Louis Ortiz says:

    This was great info on Lamar Gant, I wished I had met him growing up
    He had the same spirit of the love of life, never letting it stop or reach your goal…..If I had meet with him I would follow his lead, I never lifted weights over my head, here he proves me wrong,
    should had gone all out, Doctor’s said be careful what you do with your back….man wrong again.. should have gone all out. Where did you find this information on this guy…would like to get in touch with him….also please give Dr. Strauss my best, all is ok..hanging in there. Season Greeting to you all’ louis

    • Hi Louis,

      Nice to hear from you! Yes, Lamar Grant goes against all conventional wisdom when it comes to advice for patients with a large scoliosis…
      It is very impressive watching him lift on YouTube. His spine seems to accordion down and then lift right back up again.

      In spite of his incredible achievements I wouldn’t recommend this to patients!
      Who knows what Lamar will be like when he is older??

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