STRENGTH: According to Dictionary.com the definition is: "the quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor." If there were in fact an image depicting strength beside this definition, you would likely see a picture of a man known as Brian Shaw. He is like no other man on Earth… In fact Brian is the undisputed World's Strongest Man (WSM). Having just won his fourth World’s Strongest Man title in six years, Brian knows a thing or two about strength. We had a chance to sit down with Brian and find out just what keeps him motivated to be the best in the world.
iSatori Editors (IE): Brian, welcome to the iSatori team! Why don’t you tell the readers a little bit about your upbringing, like where you are from, a bit of family life and your entry into sports.
BRIAN SHAW (BS): Thank you and I am excited to be a part of the iSatori team! To give just a brief history I grew up in the small town of Fort Lupton, Colorado. I had great parents who supported me growing up and I have an older brother and a younger sister. Growing up I was very into sports and I played everything that I possibly could. As I got older I focused mainly on basketball and I was able to earn a scholarship to play basketball in college.
IE: Very Interesting. Can you tell us just how you not only got interested in strongman competitions, but how you found one to enter... it’s not like there is a contest around every corner.
BS: Growing up I was always fascinated by strength. I first started training with weights to get better at basketball and got hooked right away. As my basketball career was winding down I began to love training more than basketball and as soon as I ended my senior year of college basketball I never looked back. I began to be able to train harder and kept pushing myself. I then became a strength and conditioning coach after earning my degree in wellness management and my strength and conditioning specialist certification from the NSCA. My first position was at Arizona State University and that is where I got my first taste of strongman lifts. We would have the guys do some strongman movements like tire flips, etc. in their training. It was after this that I started to research how and where to enter a strongman competition and it was pretty easy to find one. I didn't have any of the equipment to train on at that time so I just showed up and ended up winning. I was hooked right away and only wanted to compete more.
IE: Since your first competition, what have your results been?
BS: I had a lot of success in strongman right away but had to work hard to get to the next level. I started competing in 2005 and turned pro in 2006. My first international competition was in 2007 and I qualified for my first World's Strongest Man in 2008.
IE: So if we are correct, you are now the winningest Strongman in US history. What are your ultimate goals in this sport?
BS: Yes that is correct that I am the winningest strongman in US history. My ultimate goal is to push myself to be the best that I possibly can be and hopefully I can end my career with the most WSM titles in history. I still feel like I am improving and getting better so hopefully there are more wins coming.
IE: That would certainly be one of the greatest sports accomplishments in history! Can you describe a day in the life of a 6’8”, 430-pound man so our readers can truly understand what it is like in your profession.
BS: I will try my best here to break down a typical day for me. To be honest with you most of my day revolves around eating, treatment and training. So I eat first thing in the morning when I wake up and then eat approximately every 2-3 hours the rest of the day. In between meals I normally have plenty of work to get done on the computer running my website and working on various other business opportunities. I will also go to treatment 2-3 times per week where I see therapists to help me with soft tissue work, chiropractic care, stretching, etc. Then in the evening, I head into my workout which for me depending on the day can take anywhere from 2-4 hours and I follow that typically with a contrast bath (hot and cold) and some stretching.
IE: Training that much has to require an immense amount of recovery and repair to your body. We know you do a lot of therapy to stay in shape, but what supplements to you use to compete at the highest level?
BS: Since I am not your average size man I will in some cases triple the serving size of my supplements. So for example I will take up to 8 scoops a day of 100% BIO ACTIVE WHEY™ for my protein needs between meals and after training, up to 12 scoops per day of BIO-GRO™ bio-active peptides, to help amplify protein synthesis, along with a multi vitamin and fish oil supplement. Pre-workout I will use MAXON™ Pure Strength (8 tablets) and 3 scoops of PRE-GRO™ MAX to get me amped up for training.
IE: Brian, we know you take your profession seriously, but to stay at the top of your game, it takes a lot of daily and long-term motivation. How do you go about finding and working on your motivation so you can continue to defeat your competition?
BS: My motivation has always been to be the best at whatever I am doing. So once I started competing in strongman it was easy to get motivated to train. Now being at the top of the sport I have a bulls-eye on my back and I know that. I have never become complacent and have always wanted to come into every big competition better than the year before and that is what keeps me grinding from day to day. I just want to be the best and push myself to be the best that I possibly can be. I remind myself of this each and every day when I wake up… and I commit to it in everything I do.
IE: We know people ask you exactly what you eat each day to keep your strength at a peak and maintain your 430 pounds of mass. Can you share that with the readers?
BS: I do get asked that a lot. When people see me for the first time it's one of the first things out of their mouth. The simple answer of course is I eat an average of just over 10,000 calories per day and at least 5 pounds of meat. Eating this much food every day is actually one of the hardest parts of my profession - it takes a lot of work!
IE: OK, let’s turn to some Rapid Fire questions!
What size shirt do you wear?
What is your favorite food?
BS: Favorite cheat food is pizza.
What is your favorite movie?
BS: If I had to pick one off the top of my head it would probably be Old School with Will Ferrell.
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
BS: A Lion…King of the Jungle! Haha
What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
BS: Probably Chick-fil-a…their chicken sandwiches are really good.
What is your favorite Pro Football Team?
BS: Being from Colorado the Broncos are my favorite football team.
If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be?
BS: I would say Hawaii or Brazil… both of those places have amazing beaches and are beautiful and relaxing.
IE: OK Brian, we want to thank you for your time today in helping people get to know you. Do you have any parting words for our readers?
BS: It has been great and I appreciate you asking me these questions. I am excited to be a part of the iSatori team and I look forward to doing great things together! To all the readers thank you for your support and LIVE STRONG!!