How Strong Is A Gorilla {Explained!}

If you’ve ever seen a gorilla pounding on its chest, you were probably impressed by its apparent strength. But how strong is a gorilla, exactly? How does their strength compare to that of the average human? And what is it that gives gorillas their impressive strength? Keep reading! In this article, we’ll answer all of these questions and more.

How Strong is a Gorilla?

how strong is a gorilla

Gorillas are known for being some of the strongest animals on earth. They are certainly the strongest primates.

But just how strong are they?

No one knows for sure, as they have not been extensively tested or observed performing feats of strength. There is reason to believe that they are much stronger than current measurements would suggest.

Let’s take a look at what we do know about the strength of gorillas.

  • Lifting strength: According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most a gorilla has been measured to lift is 815 kilograms (1,800 pounds). That said, it is estimated that a gorilla could lift up to 10 times its own weight.

The average adult male gorilla is about 400 pounds. So, theoretically, a gorilla of this size might be able to lift up to 4,000 pounds of weight.

  • Leg strength: Gorillas’ legs are not nearly as strong or powerful as their arms. It is thought that, if performing squats or lifting from their legs, gorillas could lift about half the weight they could lift with their arms.

So, if an adult male gorilla could lift 4,000 pounds with their arms, they could move about 2,000 pounds of weight with their legs.

  • Throwing strength: According to an experiment done in 1924, a gorilla could throw about 900 pounds of force. This is about two to three times their own weight.
  • Punch strength: It is unknown how powerful a punch from a gorilla might be. That said, it has been speculated that a gorilla could throw as much as 1,300 to 2,700 pounds of force into a punch–more than enough to shatter a human’s skill.
  • Bite force: Gorillas have one of the strongest bite forces of any animal at 1,300 pounds per square inch. This impressive bite force allows them to tear into and chew up tough plant material.

Is a Gorilla Stronger Than a Human?

Gorillas are much stronger than humans. The most a human has ever lifted is about 900 pounds, while gorillas have been reported lifting up to 1,800 pounds and could theoretically lift up to 4,000 pounds.

Gorillas are estimated to be about 6 times stronger than humans, though of course this is only speculation. There is no way to accurately compare gorillas and humans because their bodies are designed differently and they have different levels of physical activity.

That said, it is quite obvious that gorillas are superior in strength. They have been observed tearing banana trees into small twigs and bending iron bars to escape cages.

Few, if any, humans could perform such feats with as little effort as the gorillas put in.

How Much Could a Gorilla Bench Press?

Gorillas have never been observed bench pressing. Obviously, they would have no way of doing so in the wild, and those in captivity have not been measured in this way.

Gorillas are not designed for bench pressing or other human weightlifting exercises. Therefore, their abilities in this regard have not been measured, only speculated about.

As noted above, gorillas could theoretically lift as much as 10 times their own weight. So, a 400 pound gorilla could possibly bench press up to 4,000 pounds of weight.

Again, though, they might not perform as well as expected at bench pressing simply because their bodies are designed differently from humans. Their long arms and short legs would make bench pressing difficult for them.

Why Are Gorillas So Strong?

Why Are Gorillas So Strong

Gorillas are strong because they have exceptionally high muscle mass–in other words, their muscles are much larger and stronger than human muscles.

What’s more, they also have stronger, heavier, and denser bones than humans. These larger bones add to their overall strength.

But how do they develop such strong bones and muscles?

You may know that gorillas are mostly herbivores–the only meat they eat are the occasional insects. Many people find it strange that gorillas become so strong when they mostly eat leaves and plant materials.

For one thing, gorillas eat a lot of food–up to 40 pounds every day. They have exceptionally long intestines which are designed to break down copious amounts of plant matter and get the greatest amount of nutrition from these foods.

Specifically, gorillas ingest a lot of cellulose from tree bark, twigs, bamboo, and other plant materials. Their digestive systems can break down this cellulose, and bacteria in their gut converts the sugars in the cellulose to proteins. 

The gorillas’ bodies then absorb this protein, which in turn directly leads to muscle mass development.

As you can see, the foods gorillas eat actually work together with their digestive systems to build muscle and enhance their strength. Though they spend a lot of time moving around, foraging for food, they don’t have to make any special efforts to exercise–their diet is what strengthens them.

To learn more about the strength of gorillas, check out this video:


Gorillas are one of the strongest animals on earth. They have been recorded lifting up to 1,800 pounds, and it is thought that they could potentially lift up to ten times their own body weight (about 4,000 pounds).

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