Brian Shaw: Unstoppable Grunt

November 4, 2011

By Johnny Fitness, Editor-in-Chief

When a man still under the age of 30 has won 11 of the 19 world-class strongman events he’s entered, you know that from head to toe his body is beyond simply being very strong. Winning over 50% of anything worthwhile gets you noticed. Add that this inhuman human – blessed with lifting power enough to challenge Otis elevators – morphed from a skinny 6’8” college student on a full basketball scholarship into the 440-pound world’s strongest man he is today, and questions begin to bounce around in your brain. Who is this Brian Shaw?, etc., etc. Those questions multiply when you discover only a meager four years elapsed between the very different physiques Brian Shaw presented to the world. You may wonder what kind of diet and training could double a man’s weight and triple his strength in such a short time. We at MuscleMag did, too, so along with other pertinent “do tells” I aimed to find out.

The first pleasant surprise came when my e-mail requesting an interview was met with one from Shaw filled with enthusiasm. Yes, of course he’d take my call. “Set it up,” read his reply, “and let’s do it.” The second, more pleasant surprise occurred when I found him not only articulate enough to answer any question thrown at him, but also willing to go into great detail. Within minutes I had him pegged as the friendliest guy you’d ever wish to meet. Not that I’d prejudged him as anything less, but there are world champions for whom continued success has proven detrimental to an otherwise reasonable personality (and you can read into that whatever you wish). Though I’d heard nothing to indicate I needed to brace myself for a tough interview, I had nevertheless prepared myself for Brian Shaw’s giant 6’8” stature to be accompanied by an equally giant ego. Boy, was I wrong! He was far more supercooperative than supercilious. So engaging was he, in fact, that I was convinced nothing short of a full bio would do him justice, and that I’d love to be the one to write it.