5 Totally Yoked Presidents

The Supreme Court wasn’t the only bench these guys were concerned with
5 Totally Yoked Presidents

After delving into the unlikely power of Abe Lincoln, I became curious: What other commanders-in-chief might we be underestimating the physical strength of? 

It would, of course, be unbecoming for presidential photographers or portrait artists to request “one where they're flexing,” so our images of them are often static. A wise expression and a suit, with or without old-timey ruffles, is about the best we get. 

With a little research, though, we can find a number of presidents who were just as solid as the Resolute Desk they sat behind.

Abraham Lincoln

Public Domain

First, let's do a quick review of Lincolns borderline unsettling strength. His unusual height might have softened his visual impact, but you have to remember his log-cabin beginnings. The man was hauling lumber before the age most kids are studying for the SATs — an activity that seems to have given him no small share of pure lifting power. Accounts from the time often include feats of strength that sound more like somebody mixed up Honest Abe with Paul Bunyan. They include him easily lifting 400 to 600 pounds, enough to get a nod of approval at most local gyms. He was also an extremely talented wrestler, and once tossed a neer-do-well interrupting one of his speeches 12 feet away.

Teddy Roosevelt

Public Domain

The leader of the “Bull Moose Party” was, unsurprisingly, a man with a considerable amount of heft, both in personality and physicality. Not to mention, he almost undeniably had the biggest balls of any president in history. His ascension into one of historys great bad motherfuckers is all the more impressive knowing that he was a less-than-hale-and-hearty, asthmatic child. Instead of begging out of physical activity, though, he doubled down, and practiced a multi-disciplinary training regimen that feels like an actor's Marvel movie prep. 

In the realm of organized sports, he was a decorated member of the Harvard boxing team, a wrestler and a jiu-jitsu practitioner. Outside of the gym, he engaged in all sorts of cattle-based activities, which require their own kind of strength. All in all, if you get shot in the chest and it doesn't reach your heart? Thats high levels of yokedom.

George Washington

Mathieu Landretti

It turns out, going by some historical descriptions, that we've been a pretty buff country from the beginning. Washington, like Lincoln, was unusually tall for his era, measuring in at 6-foot-2. Historian David McCullough estimated his weight at around 190 pounds, meaning that he wouldnt look unusual among a group of NFL wide receivers. If you want a visual hint, hes not that far off from the measurements of Pro Bowl Dallas Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb

Other descriptions from the time period make it clear that those 190 pounds were well-earned, saying “his frame is padded with well-developed muscles, indicating great strength. His bones and joints are large, as are his hands and feet.” 

All in all, probably a good guy to elect if youre a fledgling nation not interested in being fucked with.

Dwight Eisenhower

Public Domain

Heres one thats probably surprising to those of you most familiar with Eisenhower’s official pictures, in which he bears more of a resemblance to the Airheads candy logo than any sort of tough guy. Yet, in his college days at West Point, already a school that given its military focus likely had a thorough physical fitness regimen, he was a key member of their football team. Not only that, his positions of choice were linebacker and halfback, two spots where you wont last long without some solid meat on your bones, especially considering that this was the early 1900s and the forward pass was considered witchcraft. 

I mean, how many other presidents can claim to have laid the wood on Jim Thorpe?

Gerald Ford

Public Domain

Something about the game of football seems to have called to future American presidents. Before looking back in the books, youd probably put them at quarterback, a comparatively protected position where leadership and brains are worth their weight in gold. Or that they might be filling out the roster at some school like Harvard where the team was borderline intramural. 

Gerald Ford, however, spent time as a star player at a serious football school in the University of Michigan. With Ford playing both sides of the ball as a linebacker and an honest-to-god offensive lineman, he took home two national titles with the Wolverines in 1932 and 1933. He was dominant enough that he turned down offers from the NFL, instead pursuing a career with comparatively less chance of head injury, the presidency. 

Well, unless youre Abraham Lincoln, I guess.

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