THE NEW POWER PROJECT: THE WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN BRIAN SHAW

[vc_row fullwidth=”false” attached=”false” padding=”0″][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/1″][vc_custom_heading text=”The World’s STrongest Man
Brian Shaw” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:50|text_align:center|color:%23dd3333″ google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal”][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”false” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Flipping tires, carrying odd objects, throwing kegs and lifting cars are all considered Brian Shaw’s specialties. So much so that Brian Shaw is a 3-time World Strongest Man Champion. At 6’8” and 415 lb, Brian is the ultimate mixture of talent, genetics and working his ass off to continue to get better.

[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”https://www.howmuchyabench.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Brian-Shaw-1-1.jpg” image_width=”900″ image_height=”600″ crop=”false” svg=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]MB: Strongman has been on TV for many years. Did this have an influence on you getting in to strongman? If not, what got you into strongman? 

Shaw: I watched The World’s Strongest Man when I was growing up, and I have always been fascinated with strength. I was just a fan of the sport when I was younger, and I didn’t have any dreams of competing in strongman when I got older. I was very into basketball growing up, and my dream was to make it to the NBA. I worked very hard and was able to earn a full ride scholarship to play basketball in college. When that ended, I needed another competitive outlet. After college, I was just training for no other reason than to get bigger and stronger and decided that it would be fun to enter a strongman contest. I won that first contest
and instantly realized how gifted I was at strongman – I was hooked. I progressed quickly through the levels of strongman and earned my spot at World’s Strongest Man about two and a half years after my first amateur competition. I started competing in strongman for fun, and I am still having fun!

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”“I won that first contest and instantly realized how gifted I was at strongman – I was hooked. I progressed quickly through the levels of strongman and earned my spot at World’s Strongest Man about two and a half years after my first amateur competition”” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:20|text_align:center|color:%23000000″ google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]MB: Which college did you go to for hoops?

Shaw: I played my first two years at Otero Junior College in Colorado, and then I transferred to Black Hills State University in South Dakota for my final two years.

MB: What did you learn from basketball that you took into strongman? 

Shaw: Even though basketball is a team sport, it is also one of the easiest sports to practice by yourself. As a kid, I would spend hours by myself practicing and trying to get better. I always had the thought in the back of my mind that there was someone else out there working harder than me – that drove me to work even harder.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]I think this, along with learning how to work extremely hard and competing under pressure, are things that I have carried over to my career in strongman.

MB: Do you feel that the athleticism of basketball gave you an advantage over other athletes in strength sports? If so, how? 

Shaw: I have always thought that some of the best athletes come from the sport of basketball because it forces you to develop so many things including coordination, balance, speed, conditioning, etc. On top of all of that, shooting a basketball accurately is up there as one of the toughest skills to develop in sports. Since I developed all of these skills in order to play basketball at my size, transitioning into the sport of strongman was very easy for me. So that being said, I think it did give me an advantage over [other] guys, although I did have to work very hard to develop my skills as a strongman.

MB: What did you learn from falling short of making your dreams come true to be in the NBA?
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row fullwidth=”false” attached=”false” padding=”0″ visibility=”” animation=””][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/1″][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center”][mk_image src=”https://www.howmuchyabench.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Brian-Shaw-2-1.jpg” image_width=”900″ image_height=”900″ crop=”false” svg=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row fullwidth=”false” attached=”false” padding=”0″ visibility=”” animation=””][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/3″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Shaw: As a kid, I obviously dreamed of making it to the NBA, and I worked very hard to be able to play basketball at a high level in high school and college. As I got into college, I began to realize that I started to love lifting weights more than actually playing basketball. So instead of spending hours shooting and working on my game, I started spending hours in the weight room trying to get stronger. So when it came time for my college basketball career to come to an end, I was ready to be done. I have only played a time or two since my last college game ended, and I have not missed it at all. Someday when I retire from strongman, I will probably get into some kind of men’s league or something because I do love the game. Hopefully, that doesn’t come anytime soon.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”“I owe the game of basketball a lot, and I learned a lot about myself going through all of the struggles in trying to become a better player. However, I found my true passion in the sport of strongman, and I couldn’t be happier about that”” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:20|text_align:center|color:%23000000″ google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]I owe the game of basketball a lot, and I learned a lot about myself going through all of the struggles in trying to become a better player. However, I found my true passion in the sport of strongman, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

MB: What is it about strongman that you love so much? [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/3″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Shaw: I love the sport of strongman for so many different reasons. I obviously came from a team sport with basketball and when you are part of a team, you win and lose as a team. In strongman, whether you win or lose, you can only look in the mirror at yourself – you control your own performance and I really like that aspect. Another reason I love strongman is due to the fact that it is never the same. The implements we use are never standard, and there is always a new challenge. Finding different ways to train for everything that we have to do is never boring, and it constantly challenges me. On top of all of that, I love being able to test myself against the absolute strongest men on this planet.

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MB: You are what I would like to call a “locked in” athlete, meaning that you’re so focused on the end result that you will do all the things (little or big) necessary to reach your goals. There is a saying that goes, “I will do today what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do things that others can’t”. To me, that quote really fits Brian Shaw. What makes you that way? 

[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”“My training is very much a hybrid of a lot of different methods, including max effort workouts in order to help me achieve maximal results for strongman. I have a lot of respect for Louie Simmons and what he has contributed to lifters everywhere”” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:20|text_align:center|color:%23000000″ google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Shaw: I really love that quote, and I would like to believe that it really fits me. I have always been very driven to succeed, especially in competition. This started for me when I was a kid as I always hated losing. I have a brother that is two years older than me, and literally everything we did growing up was a competition. He would normally beat me, and it drove me crazy so I would practice and train until I could beat him and his friends. I have just carried that burning passion and desire into the sport of strongman, and it has helped me to achieve everything that I have in this sport and in life.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/3″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]MB: I find it very interesting that you are so meticulous to the point where you measure band tension, the height the bar is off of the floor, your food, and you track your calories. On top of all of this, you’ve invested probably over $50,000 in equipment to make sure everything is one hundred percent identical to what you compete with. Why do you feel the need to be so precise?

Shaw: This is very much tied into my passion and desire to be the best. I am willing to do whatever it takes to be the best. I am constantly striving to get better. I am always adding new things in to my training plan or to my equipment if it will make me better. I have been doing this for a long time, and I have definitely spent way more than $50,000 on equipment. It is worth it to me because this is not only my career, but it is also my passion and hobby all built into one.

MB: Brian, tell us about your training. In my opinion, from what I have researched about your training and from what we have spoken about, it appears that you switch stuff up a lot. It also appears that you like using max effort workouts (going as heavy as possible), specialty exercises, and speed work. Are you a big fan of Louie Simmons’ Westside Method?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/3″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Shaw: My training is very much a hybrid of a lot of different methods, including max effort workouts in order to help me achieve maximal results for strongman. I have a lot of respect for Louie Simmons and what he has contributed to lifters everywhere. I have learned from him, along with several other great strength coaches, including Joe Kenn, who has a ton of knowledge. I have tried to apply all of this knowledge to my own training. What I do now, I have learned from years of trial

[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”“Most successful competitors learn to listen to their bodies early on, and that is a skill that is tough to master. What I normally do is try to find the line, get close to it but never go over that line”” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:20|text_align:center|color:%23000000″ google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]and error and my own research when it comes to getting ready to compete at the top level in strongman.

MB: You use many strongman and powerlifting methods. Do you incorporate any bodybuilding methods? If so, why? 

Shaw: Strongman and bodybuilding are definitely two very different sports, and the goals of each are also very different.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row fullwidth=”false” attached=”false” padding=”0″ visibility=”” animation=””][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/1″][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center”][mk_image image_width=”900″ image_height=”600″ crop=”false” svg=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″ src=”https://www.howmuchyabench.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Brian-Shaw-3.jpg”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row fullwidth=”false” attached=”false” padding=”0″ visibility=”” animation=””][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/3″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]I wouldn’t say that I really incorporate any specific bodybuilding methods into my training, but I do use a repeated effort method in my training in order to add more volume. I guess you could consider this to be somewhat of a bodybuilding method.

MB: Give us a break down of your weekly workout split, as well as any treatment you do.

Shaw: Monday: Squats/Lower Body/Posterior Chain
Treatment: Normally stretching and soft tissue work
Tuesday: Pressing/Shoulders/Chest/ Triceps
Treatment: Chiropractic adjustment and any additional needed work
Wednesday: Treatment and recovery day
Treatment: Deeper soft tissue work and joint manipulation along with contrast bath
Thursday: Deadlift/Back/Posterior Chain
Treatment: Chiropractic Adjustment, stretching and soft tissue work as needed
Friday: Treatment and recovery day
Treatment: Anything additional that might be needed along with contrast bath
Saturday: Event training for whatever contest that I might have coming up

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MB: It seems like it would be tough to manage recovery in strongman. With a wide array of brutal exercises, how do you go about tuning in your training to peak for a strongman competition?

[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”“If you really want to be successful as a strongman competitor, you need to take your eating as seriously as your training. I have always tried my best to get better at all aspects of being a successful strongman, and eating is no exception”” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:20|text_align:center|color:%23000000″ google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Shaw: It is definitely hard work to stay on top of recovery. Tuning in the training in order to peak for a strongman competition is always a bit tricky. It is very hard not to overtrain with all of the different events we are getting ready for. Most successful competitors learn to listen to their bodies early on, and that is a skill that is tough to master. What I normally do is try to find the line, get close to it but never go over that line. I normally back off the super heavy training about two weeks before the contest so that I come in fresh and ready to compete

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MB: To be 420 pounds and to be fairly lean, you literally must eat from the time you get up until the time you go to bed. I love food but stuffing yourself all day is miserable! Is it a real pain in the balls for you to cram in 8000 calories every day? I’d imagine it must be close to impossible to reach that caloric intake with 90-95% of your calories coming from healthy sources. Do you view your food as important as your training? Have you gotten better at eating like you have gotten better at lifting?

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Shaw: This is a great question. I have said for a long time that the training is the easy part and that the eating is the hard part. If you really want to be successful as a strongman competitor, you need to take your eating as seriously as your training. I have always tried my best to get better at all aspects of being a successful strongman, and eating is no exception. I try to improve my diet and get even more dialed in at every contest that I do, and it has really helped me. Most of the time when we start getting closer to competitions, I get very sick of eating. It can be a real grind to get down all of the food that I need to. The way I look at it…the food I am eating is the fuel that I am putting in my body to help me perform. If I slack on the diet, my performance will suffer. I don’t ever want to look back and say that I could have done better with eating or training so I just get it done.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row fullwidth=”false” attached=”false” padding=”0″ visibility=”” animation=””][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/1″][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row fullwidth=”false” attached=”false” padding=”0″ visibility=”” animation=””][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/3″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]MB: With all of this food coming in, something needs to go somewhere! Do you spend a large portion of your day pooping? Also, where does a guy your size take a sh*t? In a special tub? 

Shaw: How did I know a question like this was coming? I am happy to say that I definitely have no problem pooping, and it does happen frequently. Luckily, normal toilets work well, but I have to say it would certainly be nice to have bigger toilets! I am all about squatting to parallel, but most of the time, I feel like my ass is on my ankles when I am sitting on the toilet.

MB: What’s something serious about Brian Shaw that people don’t know? 

Shaw: Honestly, [it’s mainly that] I am a normal, down to earth guy that is still humble even with everything that I have accomplished.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”“I didn’t get into strongman for any other reason than to have fun, and to me, winning is fun. I still feel like I am just getting into the best years of my career, and I have at least a few more great years in me. I am still very motivated to win and as long as I have that passion, I will keep going”” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:20|text_align:center|color:%23000000″ google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]MB: What’s something silly/dumb that people don’t know about Brian Shaw?

Shaw: That I like to make up stupid songs and sing them around the house. My wife finds this pretty annoying, but it does make her laugh which is normally what I am trying to do.

MB: You won the World’s Strongest Man and The Arnold. Those are the biggest events in your sport, so what’s next for Brian Shaw? [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/3″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Shaw: I am coming off a great year in 2015 after winning both the Arnold and World’s Strongest Man in the same year. I have won both of those contests multiple times now, and to be honest, it is a really great feeling. Like I said earlier, I didn’t get into strongman for any other reason than to have fun, and to me, winning is fun. I still feel like I am just getting into the best years of my career, and I have at least a few more great years in me. I am still very motivated to win and as long as I have that passion, I will keep going. I have a motto that I go by that I started years ago and it is, “Be great”. I think that sums up what I am trying to do now more than ever. I want to be known as an all-time great in the sport of strongman, and I also very badly want to leave this sport better off than when I started in it. I want to get to a place where I can give back after my competitive career is winding down and provide more opportunities for the athletes here in the USA and hopefully worldwide. PM

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