If given the chance to ask one of the most decorated and well-known strongmen in the world a question, what would you ask? On Dec. 5, 2021, 2017 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) turned boxer Eddie Hall took to his YouTube channel to host a Q&A with his fans. The questions ranged from powerlifting and strongman to his diet to who he idolizes to how heavy the world record deadlift could eventually go.
Check out the full Q&A in the video below. Hall answers a total of eight questions from his couch in a sunlit nook next to a reasonably aesthetic candlestick:
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Powerlifting vs. Strongman
The first question Hall received pondered if the five-time Britain’s Strongest Man (BSM) champion would have had more success in competitive powerlifting had he pursued that instead. Straight away, Hall states that while he believes powerlifting is a gateway — that one cannot make a living from competitive powerlifting the way one can in strongman.
Powerlifting is a fantastic baseline…in terms of accolades and accolades and making a career…powerlifting is probably one of the bottom sports you can possibly do.
That is not to say Hall doesn’t believe one can’t be successful as a powerlifter when reframing what success means in context. The camaraderie and “thrill of pulling those big numbers” can make it a worthwhile endeavor. However, for Hall, powerlifting is “not in the limelight” the same way that strongman is in terms of title, watchability, and sponsorship opportunities.
Who Is Eddie Hall’s Idol?
When someone is historically one of the best athletes a sport has to offer, it is compelling to think of who they admire. For Hall, it’s two people: seven-time Mr. Olympia champion Arnold Schwarzenegger and four-time WSM champion Brian Shaw.
Growing up watching Schwarzenegger’s movies with his family locked the movie star in as Hall’s hero for life. Hall’s admiration for Shaw stems from how Shaw conducts himself as a “friendly, positive…giving…and humble” figure in the strongman world while being one of the sport’s top athletes.
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Ironically, Shaw denounced Schwarzenegger following the former bodybuilder‘s interview on CNN, where he advocated for mask mandates, vaccination, and social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Schwarzenegger said, “screw your freedom because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities.” That statement was enough for Shaw to remove the photo of Schwarzenegger from the wall of his gym.
When questioned about his current diet, Hall expresses that it is quite strict. Under the guidance of nutritionist Nathan Payton, Hall’s meals are timed each day, consist of lean meats and vegetables, and his caloric intake is calibrated to ensure he is sufficiently fueled for his training sessions.
Since retiring from competitive strongman, Hall has dropped nearly a quarter of his body weight. At the height of his strongman career, Hall weighed over 400 pounds. He has since settled into a comfortable bodyweight that hovers closer to 350 pounds.
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At the 2016 World Deadlift Championships in Leeds, England, Hall became the first human to deadlift 500 kilograms (1,102.3 pounds). That world record deadlift was a 35-kilogram (77.2-pound) jump from the previous record shared by Hall, Jerry Pritchett, and Benedikt Magnússon. Since then, only one other man has lifted over 500 kilograms — Björnsson pulled 501 kilograms (1,104.5 pounds) on the World’s Ultimate Strongman (WUS) “Feats of Strength” series in May 2020.
Will we see [a 600-kilogram deadlift] in our lifetime? No, but…never say never.
Although 600 kilograms (1,322.8 pounds) is a massive jump from the current world record, Hall believes that as technology advances and humans evolve, it will eventually happen.
Future in the Ring
Hall recently recovered from a ruptured biceps during a sparring session in preparation to fight 2018 WSM champion Hafthor Björnsson and has said he is ready to step into the ring. The bout is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2022 in a location to be determined. In addition to pride, Hall and Björnsson will fight with tattoo wager on the line. Whoever loses the bout will get a tattoo of the other’s name on their body.
Following the bout with Björnsson, Hall intends to give his family his time so they can have the opportunity to achieve their goals. With the amount of preparation and dedication required to be an elite strongman or prepare for a highly anticipated prize fight, it leaves little time for anything else.
I’ve been very selfish. I’ve had an amazing career so far and I feel like it’s been solely me. My wife has been amazing with helping me…I owe it to her after this fight…to discuss options.
Hall suggested that he would be open to other projects that are not necessarily related to strongman or boxing but won’t have a clear idea of what those things will look like until post-fight.
Featured image: @eddiehallwsm on Instagram