When you think of the strongest superheroes, the Hulk comes to mind as one of the top candidates for the title. Indeed, many times throughout the comics, the Hulk is referred to as the “strongest one there is.” That says a lot, considering how strong some other characters are. The question is, how much can the Hulk lift, and how does it compare to real-life human records?
In the comics, the Hulk’s strength has been deemed unlimited countless times. His base strength allows him to lift approximately 100+ tons, but as he gets angrier, his strength grows to unlimited levels – over 150 billion tons and more.
In the MCU, however, the Hulk isn’t unlimitedly strong. He was overpowered and knocked out by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, causing him to completely withdraw from emerging, even when Banner needed him the most. Let’s do some digging, calculating, and approximating to see if we can determine how much the Hulk can lift in the MCU.
How Much Can The Hulk Lift In The Comics?
I know that this is the corniest answer one could give, but it’s the only true answer to the question – the Hulk’s strength is, quite literally, limitless. Now, every version of the Hulk has a base strength, but as he grows angrier, his limits are pushed to the point where the upper limits of the Hulk’s strengths are incalculable and immeasurable.
And, the Hulk being “the strongest one there is” is not just something he blatantly states – it is a fact stated by numerous characters and powerful cosmic entities. The Beyonder – a nearly-omnipotent entity – stated that the Hulk’s strength is intrinsically limitless in Secret Wars II #8.
In Indestructible Hulk #1, the Mad Thinker couldn’t calculate Hulk’s strength limits, whereas the Silver Surfer called him the strongest mortal he ever confronted in Tales to Astonish #93. There are a lot more statements proving that the Hulk’s strength is limitless, but what features did the big greenie achieve to corroborate those statements?
Well, at his calmest, the Hulk can lift and throw a Boeing-747, a commercial airplane weighing around 100 tons, and it’s not even an effort for him. During the original Secret Wars in 1984, in Secret Wars #4, the Hulk held an entire mountain range above his head for an extended period of time, and the weight was explicitly stated to be at least 150 billion tons.
On another occasion, when he became Worldbreaker Hulk, his mere footsteps caused shattering across the entire North American continent. But that’s not even half of what he held on his back when he literally held the weight of a star! That’s approximately 6 sextillion x 330 000 tons!
Again, I must reiterate that the Hulk’s strength depends highly on his anger, stress, and excitement. The more adrenaline surges through his body, the stronger the Hulk gets.
Different versions of the Hulk have different base strength levels, with the Gray Hulk being the weakest at around 70-ton lifting strength, while the Worldbreaker Hulk and Green Scar (the Hulk after becoming a champion on Sakaar) have a base strength upwards of 150-200 tons.
Finally, in Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #110, Amadeus Cho theorized that the Hulk’s strength is subconsciously limited by Banner restraining him, and Cho corroborates it with research from the Hulk’s conflicts in the past. In the case of Worldbreaker Hulk, the green giant overpowered Banner’s consciousness and neutralized the restraints, unleashing his full power and fury.
How Much Can The Hulk Lift In The MCU?
Now, the MCU version of the Hulk is unfathomably strong, but just not on the same, unlimited level as his comic book counterpart. We know that because Thor managed to rival him and almost knocked him out in Thor: Ragnarok, whereas Thanos completely obliterated the Hulk and knocked him out cold in Avengers: Infinity War.
That encounter caused the Hulk to retreat completely, not wanting to come out again because he realized he might not be the strongest one there is, after all. Note that Thanos didn’t even use the Infinity Stones. So, if his power isn’t unlimited, how much can the MCU Hulk lift?
Well, it’s hard to say because we don’t really see him lift solid objects that often in the movies, but there are some features that could get us in the right ballpark. For instance, he one-punched a Chitauri Leviathan that weighs approximately 600 tons.
But probably the best approximation I could find came from an article on Popular Science. In the MCU, the Hulk is depicted easily ripping a car in half. So, they examined the density and tensile strength of steel, which indicates the amount of force needed to pull it apart.
Long story short, they calculated that the Hulk could easily exert a force upwards of 11 million pounds (5500 tons). Keep in mind, that’s not even his full power. It makes sense, though, as Thanos managed to beat the Hulk in Infinity War, and another calculation suggests that Thanos could exert forces over 60000 tons!
What I’m trying to say is that the MCU Hulk is a real heavy-hitter that can lift unimaginable weights, but he’s clearly not on MCU Thanos’ level, let alone the level of his comic book counterpart.
How Strong Is The Hulk Compared To Real Life Record Holders?
We already established that the Hulk’s strength in the comics is unlimited, so there’s no point in comparing unlimited strength with real-life record holders. However, the MCU Hulk has its limitations, and the base power of various Hulk versions hovers between 100-200 tons.
Seeing that the calculations stated the Hulk can exert a force equivalent to at least 5500, it’s safe to assume that he can lift at least the same amount, so I’ll take that estimation as a measuring point in the comparison.
The world record for a deadlift is held by Hafthor “The Mountain” Bjornsson (yes, THE Mountain from Game of Thrones), who lifted 501 kg (1104 lbs) in 2020, breaking the record set by Eddie Hall in 2016, which was 500 kg (1102 lbs).
Compare that to the Hulk’s 5500 tons, and we learn that the Huk can lift at least 11 000 times more than the heaviest human lifter in history.
If you compare it to a bench press record (349.3 kg (770 lbs) set by Julius Maddox in 2020) or the snatch/clean and jerk records (220 kg (485 lbs)/264 kg (582 lbs), respectively, set by the same man, Lasha Talakhadze), the numbers are even crazier.
Assuming that the Hulk’s numbers stay the same, it means he’s at least 15 745 times stronger than the strongest bench-presser ever, 25 000 times stronger than the strongest snatch lifter ever, and 20 833 times stronger than the strongest clean and jerk lifter ever.
And that’s talking conservatively.