Four-time World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Brian Shaw is on a mission to win a record-tying fifth WSM title at the 2022 WSM contest, scheduled for May 24-29 in Sacramento, CA. On his YouTube channel that airs videos to his 1.73 million subscribers, Shaw started an unannounced series it seems where he invites elite strongmen and strongwomen to his gym in Colorado for various training sessions.
Since hiring Joe Kenn for his strength training program, Shaw has trained alongside Gabriel Peña and Jerry Pritchett, each for deadlift training, Kevin Faires for overhead training, and even trained alongside four-time Mr. Olympia champion Jay Cutler. On April 14, 2022, Shaw continued that unnamed series by inviting 2021 WSM bronze medalist Maxime Boudreault and 2022 U82 Arnold Amateur Strongwoman World Champion and 2021 Canada’s Strongest Woman Samantha Belliveau to train press accessories with a focus on the bench press. Check it out in the video below:
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Following the introduction of the two Canadian strength athletes, a montage of their warm-up flashes across the screen — chest-supported dumbbell rows, dumbbell incline bench presses, triceps pushdowns, and face-pulls. Once their warm-up is complete, Shaw explains the upper-back focused movement known as the seal row, performed by Belliveau.
The seal row is aptly named as the lifters look similar to a seal during the movement. Belliveau lays prone on a bench with her knees bent 90 degrees. Under the bench is a barbell she rows until it touches the bottom of the bench. Notably, the barbell is bent in the middle to allow the barbell’s outer ends to move past the bench for a larger range of motion.
Upper back strength is so important, so even on a press accessory day, we’re doing back work.
Shaw, Boudreault, and Belliveau move on to banded swiss bar bench presses following the seal rows. They use neutral grips and wear elbow sleeves, and wrist wraps for the exercise. Additionally, Boudeault and Shaw use chains for added weight at the lockout.
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Following the swiss bar bench presses, the strength trio heads to the incline weight benches for a unique spin on triceps extensions. Rather than use a cable machine, they use what looks like kettlebells, except there isn’t a handle but instead an opening. The handle is inside the bell, so it looks like they are weighting spherical gloves.
The camera jump cuts from the triceps-extension-skull-crusher variant to seated cable rows. They each take turns pulling the weight stack with a narrow handle before reaching for returning to the bells for seated front raises to work the rotator cuff.
Once all the pressing accessory training was complete, the three athletes headed outdoors with their lifting belts to break sweats with heavy sandbag loading.
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On To World’s Strongest Man
With two 2021 WSM podium finishers training together while there are only five weeks before the biggest competition in strongman kicks off in Sacramento, it seems like it won’t be easy for Tom Stoltman to defend his WSM title. After winning his second straight Britain’s Strongest Man contest, Stoltman competed in the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic but skipped the 2022 Europe’s Strongest Man contest to prep for the 2022 WSM.
We’ll see if Shaw can knock Stoltman off the top of the podium and tie Mariusz Pudzianowski‘s record five WSM titles or if Boudreault can upset Shaw and Stoltman to become the first Canadian ever to win strongman’s most coveted prize.
Featured image: @max.boudreault23 on Instagram