Real-Life Popeye Could Probably Crush You with His Giant Hands

Saying 50-year-old armwrestler Jeff Dabe has big hands would be a huge understatement! Dabe’s bear paws are so big that he has been compared to cartoon characters like Popeye and Wreck-It Ralph.

A year and a half ago, we introduced you to Denis Cyplenkov, a Ukrainian strongman and professional armwrestler, who at the time we thought had the world’s largest hands. We still think they’re huge for a human, but they pale in comparison to Jeff Dabe’s. His forearms are 49 cm in circumference and his palms look like they could crush a man’s skull like a watermelon. Luckily, Jeff only uses hisĀ enormous guns for arm wrestling and operating heavy equipment.


Jeff Dabe, from Stacy, Minnesota, started competing in arm wrestling tournaments in the late 70s. He soon became one of the most promising figures in the sport, but disaster struck in 1986, around the time he received an invitation to the prestigious Over the Top contest. Jeff’s right arm popped during a close 2-3 minute arm wrestling match and was never the same after that. He never even got it checked out by a doctor, but decided to take a break from the sport. He only started competing again in 2012, using only his left arm.


Interestingly, Jeff Dabe doesn’t really use a technique when arm wrestling, and doesn’t work out, relying solely on his genetic strength and big heart to dominate his opponents. Looking at the size of his hands and arms, I’d say he doesn’t really need the workout anyway.


Photos of Jeff’s impressive hands have been circulating online for years, with many speculating about various health conditions he might be suffering from. From localized giganticism, to Proteus syndrome and effects of Synthol use, people have found all kinds of explanations for his large appendages, but we’ve found no official mention of anything like that anywhere online. His arms do look unusually swollen, for some reason, but how would any of these conditions explain his incredible strength?


If you’re wondering just how strong this guy really is, a forum post by Josh Handeland, a young arm wrestling champion from Minnesota, who knows Jeff Dabe, mentions that he hasn’t lost a match with his left hand since he was 17-years-old. He’s probably participated in mostly local tournaments since then, but still, he’s 50 now…


Josh’ Handeland’s hand next to Jeff Dab’s


Josh Handeland’s hand next to Denis Cyplenkov’s




Photos: Jeff Dabe/Facebook

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