James Harrison – A Beast on the Field and in the Weight Room

(Last Updated On: July 5, 2017)

James Harrison Beast

Linebacker James Harrison is still a beast in the NFL at the age of 38, and by NFL standards that is ancient.

His age hasn’t seemed to have slowed him down one bit, he is still an animal on the field and in the weight room.

Many would say it is his dedication to the weight room that has kept him going for so long and with as much as he can lift it’s hard to deny.

Let’s take a look at who James Harrison is and some of his most impressive lifts which there are a lot of.


James Harrison: Quick Bio

James was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. He was the youngest of 14 children, his dad was a truck driver for a chemical company and his mom stayed home to raise the children. She did not want him playing football but after much convincing from James and a friend she caved and let him play.

James played linebacker and running back in high school. He had great ability and exceeded in both positions but he did have his share of problems.

James never cared much about his grades and he was suspended from the team for two games for challenging a defensive coach to a fight and another game for flipping the bird to some opposing fans. He also got into trouble for shooting a BB gun at a defensive coach in the locker for which he had to go to court.

His off the field issues kept him from going to a big-time college program, schools like Ohio State and Notre Dame rebuffed their scholarship offers. He ended up attending college at Kent State University.

James sat out his freshman year in college due to academic guidelines then started the next 3 years at linebacker. In 1999 he led his team with 106 tackles and 13 for a loss. He was since had his jersey retired by the university.


Pro Career

James went undrafted in the 2002 NFL draft, many teams thought he was too short and too light to play in the NFL. The Pittsburgh Steelers invited him to camp as a free agent and signed him.

He wasn’t an instant success though, he spent his first few seasons on special teams and practice squads. He was cut four times between the Ravens and the Steelers and even was sent to NFL Europe. He was almost ready to quit football and follow in his father’s footsteps as a truck driver but was signed by the Steelers again after they lost their starting linebacker to a weightlifting injury. He slowly worked his way in to the starting line-up and the rest is history.

He has spent most of his pro career with the Steelers and has become an animal with massive hits and big plays. He was the NFL Defensive player of the year in 2008 and the biggest play of his career is the 100 yard interception return against Curt Warner and the Phoenix Cardinals in Super Bowl XLII. He as many other big plays on top of that though, too many to list.

Below is a video of some of his most impressive hits and memorable plays.


James Harrison in the Weight Room

It’s hard to imagine but James Harrison was not invited to the NFL combine after his senior college season so there are no numbers on that. He instead had to do the Kent State Pro Day. At his pro day he did 28 reps for 225 on the bench press and ran the 40 yard dash in 5.01 seconds. I think it is safe to say his bench press has increased over the years from that level. He has paid his dues in the weight room and has put out some incredible lifts, let’s get started.


James Harrison benching with 455lbs using a multi grip bar.

Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you.. The bear kicked my @$$ today!

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on


600lb squats using the belt squat machine.

Speed 600

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on


Weighted pull-ups with 90lbs.

Damn bear!

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on


Seated barbell curls with 135lbs.


A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on


Reverse grip bench press on the floor with 385lbs


A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on


Close grip bench press with 405lbs

Close grip #405 Grind

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on


Arnold press with 100lb dumbbells

Shoulder work

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on


Dips with 180lbs


A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on


365 Bench press using the Hanging Band Technique

The grind is real! @a_chickillo assist

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on


One arm shoulder press with 135lbs.

The grind is real! @a_chickillo assist

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on


135lb one arm shoulder press

#Repost @nfl with @repostapp ・・・ How did @jhharrison92 become the @steelers all-time sacks leader? He WORKED

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on



Box Squat with 495lbs and bands.


A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on


Trap Bar Deadlifts with 495lbs.

Trap bar work

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on


We told you he is a beast, now you know. This is isn’t all of his workout material though, not even close. Check out his Instagram @jhharrison92. Even if you aren’t a Steelers fan or even a football fan it is a good follow because he posts a lot of videos of his workouts. Trust me, you won’t regret it.