Brian Shaw Shows How to Navigate Daily Life as a 6’8” Giant

As a four-time winner of the World’s Strongest Man, Brian Shaw knows how to move.

At the 2016 America’s Strongest Man competition, he won every single event, including the the Car Deadlift. In fact, he was the only man who could complete that event – and he completed two reps. He also holds the world record in the Atlas stone lift at 555 pounds.

What doesn’t get a lot of coverage is the Colorado native’s day-to-day life as an enormous man. He consumes between five and ten thousand calories every day, and at 6’8 and 400 pounds – though he has competed at 420 pounds – even “little” things can be extremely challenging for the man who is, arguably, the world’s most capable person.

It’s hard to truly grasp the size of a man who can pick up Ed Coan like a baby.

A video posted by Brian Shaw (@shawstrength) on

But the team at Great Big Story filmed this short documentary that details how difficult some of the simplest tasks can be for a gentleman of Shaw’s stature.

Coffee cups disappear inside his hands. The average, three-foot wide doorway is a tight fit. Because they can’t contain his hips, office chairs are a no-go, so he uses folding chairs. Regular-sized keyboards are a challenge for his mighty mits, and navigating the tiny corridors of commercial aircraft is a significant challenge.

Image via Great Big Story on YouTube

Shaw, however, stays optimistic.

“I have to own my size,” he says. “A lot of people look. It’s kinda funny, because I don’t really notice it anymore. I like being big, I’ve kind of embraced it. I’ve always been able to do stuff with my body whether it’s playing basketball or strongman or really anything. It’s a positive thing.”

Shaw’s a big guy, but he’s actually not the world’s biggest strongman competitor. Take a look at our infographic of the world’s biggest strongmen here to see how they stack up in height.

Featured image via Great Big Story on YouTube

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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.