Brian Shaw Training to Compete Raw at World Deadlift Championships, Challenges Competitors to Same

In a candid YouTube video released on June 12th, American strongman competitor Brian Shaw gives an update on his training, when he and his wife are expecting their first child, and how that could affect his participation in the World Deadlift Championships in Leeds, England on July 9th.

According to Shaw, the current world record in the strongman deadlift (with straps and hitching allowed) is likely to fall at the July event. However, Shaw thinks rumors of a 500kg pull are overblown — something we also predicted is unlikely to happen this year. 

Shaw’s top priority right now is being there for the safe birth of he and his wife’s first child, which could come any day now. Assuming all goes as plan and the baby arrives soon, Hall would like to make the trip to England to compete against the world’s best in the deadlift showdown.

Another important point, and the aspect of the video that could come as the most surprising: If Shaw competes, he’ll do it without the aid of a deadlift suit, and he’s challenging his fellow strongmen to do the same. (In fact, he says he’ll respect them a lot more if they join him in lifting “raw.”) The World Deadlift Championship will be allowing the use of supportive suits this year, a decision Shaw disagrees with — in general, he says there’s no place for suits in strongman.

Competitors like Eddie Hall (who will be lifting on home soil in July) have been training with suits in mind for the event, which could give them an advantage over raw lifters just using a belt for support.

If Shaw competes, can he pull elite numbers against competitors lifting equipped? Is he right that specialized deadlifting suits should be disallowed in strongman competition? We want to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting.

David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and, as well as a contributor to, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day.

David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.

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