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.

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