Four-time World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Brian Shaw is not expected to compete for the remainder of the 2022 strongman season after declining his invitation to the 2022 Rogue Invitational. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things in the works while he takes some time off from competition to recover.
On Sept. 27, 2022, Shaw took to his YouTube channel for a Q&A that covered a range of topics, including his decision not to attend the World Deadlift Championships in 2016 and a potential new show with 2017 WSM champion Eddie Hall. Check it out in the video below:
[Related: Strongman Evan Singleton Is Out for the Rest of the 2022 Season, but His Biceps Surgery Was Successful]
Brian Shaw on Not Attending the 2016 World Deadlift Championships
Shaw’s opening question asked if he felt he could have beaten the world record deadlift at the 2016 World Deadlift Championships, the same year he won his fourth WSM contest.
Shaw says he did not intend to attempt a 500-kilogram (1,102.3-pound) deadlift at the event, which would have been the record. Instead, he wanted a weight jump in between the 465-kilogram (1,025-pound) and 500-kilogram (1,102.3-pound) lifts that the promoters would not agree to.
That disagreement led Shaw to skip the event, leaving the door open for Hall to become the first human to score a 500-kilogram pull.
Brian Shaw’s Heaviest Body Weight
Next, Shaw was asked about the highest body weight of his career, which he said came at the 2017 WSM contest, where he reached somewhere between 460 to 470 pounds.
At that weight, I was very uncomfortable. That was the tipping point of being too heavy.
Shaw has dropped weight since then, though he remains in the 400-pound range. Shaw holds the record for most consecutive WSM Final appearances (14), and he attributes his longevity to staying in tune with his body and adjusting his training based on how he feels, even if it goes against his programming.
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[Related: Strongwoman Rhianon Lovelace Axle Deadlifts 261.5 Kilograms (576.5 Pounds) for New World Record]
A New Project With Eddie Hall
Shaw didn’t disclose any details but did mention that he and Hall are currently talking about doing a new TV show together. Both strongmen have massive YouTube channels that exceed well over a million subscribers each, so the show would likely be on either or both channels, but broadcast/streaming details were not disclosed.
The Need for Speed
When asked if the need for agility and speed in recent strongman contests has hurt Shaw’s podium viability, he acknowledges that it has. Throughout his career, Shaw has consistently been one of the largest and heaviest athletes at the WSM competition. He suggests that there is a debate regarding whether the weights have gotten heavier or not over time, saying that the weights peaked in 2017. While there are a lot of variables in a strongman contest — medleys, loading races, and Atlas stones, to name a few — they aren’t standardized events, so the weights and distances often change.
However, according to 2016 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) Laurence Shahlaei’s breakdown of WSM events, only the log lift event reached its historically heaviest point in 2017. The squat, deadlift for reps, Atlas stones, loading events, and yoke have either remained static, gotten heavier, or become part of a medley where weight complements the other implements.
While it might feel like the WSM has gotten lighter — and that is the case if implements are used in races or medleys — that is too simple of a rationale given the volume of variables and the fact that many of the WSM events have actually gotten heavier.
Brian Shaw’s Return to Strongman
Shaw did not disclose when he intends to return to the competition stage, but it will likely be sometime in 2023. His fourth-place finish at the 2022 WSM contest suggests that, even at age 40, he still has plenty left in the tank.
Featured image: @shawstrength on Instagram