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The Journey Of Brian Shaw Rising To Strongman Stardom

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DR Munazza Ashraf, Pharmacist

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Do you know who Brian Shaw is? Yes, you do. The name resonates with strength, power, and awe-inspiring feats that have earned him the title of the World’s Strongest Man not once but four times. What does he do? Eat, Compete, Beat, Repeat. Brian Shaw’s journey is a relentless pursuit of greatness, marked by an insatiable hunger for success.

What is he known for? Making and breaking records. From the early days of his career to the present, Brian Shaw has continuously pushed the boundaries of human strength, shattering records and setting new standards for the sport. His story serves as a source of inspiration for strength athletes worldwide. But was he always like this? The answer lies in his early life events, his challenges, his training, and the diet that fueled his ambitions.

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Personal Information

Full NameBrian Shaw 
Date of Birth February 26, 1982
Hometown Fort Lupton, Colorado 
Country United States 
Nationality American 
Brian Shaw Age41
Brian Shaw Height 6 ft 8 in 
Brian Shaw Weight 385-440 lbs
Profession Strongman Competitor (Retired)
Parents Jay and Bonnie Shaw
Spouse Keri Jenkins Shaw
CoachJustin Willis

Early Life

In case you think that the man bearing the title of World’s Strongest Man must have some privileges, let me clear that Shaw was as privileged as any of you could be. Standing tall at 6 feet 8 inches, he was only fortunate to inherit his towering height from his parents.

In his early years, Shaw showed great promise in basketball and began playing in high school. His exceptional skills even earned him a full scholarship at Black Hills State University. 

During this period, he realized the importance of strength training and weightlifting to enhance his athletic performance. From here, his interest peaked in the world of Strongman Competitions. 

Career, Records, and Wins

It was evident from a young age that Shaw possessed a unique genetic advantage, given the remarkable height of brian shaw and robust frame. In 2005, his life significantly turned when he attended a local strongman competition in Denver, Colorado. Before this event, he didn’t get any formal training.

2008 his hard work paid off when he debuted in World’s Strongest Man Championship. From there, he kept participating in prestigious competitions, getting numerous wins and awards under his name.

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Brian Shaw is also recognized as the first legend for winning two remarkable titles of World’s Strongest Man and Arnold Strongman Classic in the same year. Not to mention, he did it twice. First in 2011 by competing against Savickas, who was defending his title, and repeated it in 2015.

Brian Shaw Weight 
Source / Google

1) Competition of World’s Strongest Man

Year Position Achieved 

2) Competition of Arnold Strongman Classic

YearPosition Achieved 

3) Competition of Arnold Pro Strongman World Series

TitleYearPosition Achieved 
Australia 20151st
Australia 20171st
de Warwick 20181st
Europe 20197th
USA 20202nd

4) Competition of World Strongman Super Series

TitleYear Position Achieved  
Venice Beach Grand Prix 20079th
Mohegan Sun Grand Prix 20087th
Los Angeles Grand Prix 20091st
Bucharest Grand Prix 20094th
Mohegan Sun Grand Prix 20093rd
Gothenburg Grand Prix 20091st
Overall Champion 20091st
Mohegan Sun Grand Prix 20102nd
Viking Power Challenge 20101st
Swedish Grand Prix 20101st
Overall Champion 20101st

5) Competition of Giant’s Live

Title YearPosition Achieved  
South Africa 20101st
Istanbul 20102nd
London 20111st
Sweden 20141st

6) Competition of ón Páll Sigmarsson Classic

YearPosition Achieved  

7) Competition of America’s Strongest Man 

YearPosition Achieved  

8) Competition of North America’s Strongest Man 

YearPosition Achieved  

9) Competition of All-American Strongman Challenge

YearPosition Achieved  

10) Competition of SCL North American Championship

Year Position Achieved  

11) Competition of Fortissimus

YearPosition Achieved  

12) Competition of Shaw Classis 

Year Position Achieved  

This is not it. Brian Shaw made several other records as a famous American athlete: 

  • Brian shares the record of having the most WSM 3rd place finishes with Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson.
  • Brian Shaw and Žydrūnas Savickas with 10 podium finishes have registered the record of most WSM podium finishes. 
  • With a figure of 13, Brian Shaw has the most WSM top 5 placings.
  • Shaw has a record of playing most WSM finals.
  • He also stands alone as an athlete with the most consecutive WSM appearances than any other competitor.

Compound Lifts and Event-Specific Training

Shaw’s training sessions predominantly include compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. These foundational exercises build overall strength and translate well to the unique events encountered in strongman competitions. Additionally, Brian Shaw dedicates significant time to event-specific training, such as log presses, atlas stones, yoke walks, and farmer’s carries.

1) Strength Numbers

Brian Shaw’s incredible strength is often a subject of awe and inspiration for aspiring strongman athletes.

How much can Brian Shaw squat?

As of the latest available records, Shaw’s one-rep max for squats stands at an astonishing 1,200 pounds, showcasing his remarkable lower body power.

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How much can Brian Shaw bench press?

His bench press max reaches an impressive 700 pounds, underlining his upper body strength.

Source / Shaw Strength

2) Record-Breaking Lifts

Throughout his career, Brian Shaw has set several records and achieved outstanding feats of strength. One of his most memorable moments was at the Arnold Strongman Classic, where he successfully deadlifted a staggering 1,140 pounds, surpassing previous records and securing his place as one of the most muscular men on the planet.

Diet And Nutrition 

Shaw understands the crucial role that proper nutrition plays in supporting his intense workouts and helping him maintain peak performance. Given the extraordinary physical demands of strongman competitions, Brian Shaw consumes a substantial number of calories each day.

Shaw’s daily caloric intake typically exceeds 10,000 calories, and he spreads his meals throughout the day to ensure a steady supply of nutrients.

Do you want to know what Brian Shaw eats in a day? The macronutrient breakdown of his diet is carefully balanced, with a focus on the following:

Brian Shaw height 
Source / Muscle & Fitness

1) Breakfast

A hearty breakfast featuring a combination of eggs, lean bacon, whole-grain toast, and avocado for a balance of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs.

2) Mid-Morning Snack

A protein shake with a mix of whey protein, milk or water, and fruits or peanut butter for added flavor and nutrients.

3) Lunch

Grilled chicken breast served with a generous portion of quinoa or brown rice, along with mixed vegetables for essential vitamins and minerals.

4) Afternoon Snack

Greek yogurt with honey and mixed nuts for an additional protein boost and healthy fats.

5) Dinner

A sizable portion of lean beef or fish, accompanied by sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli for a nutrient-dense, muscle-repairing meal.

6) Evening Snack

Cottage cheese or another protein-rich food source to promote overnight muscle recovery.

It’s important to note that Brian Shaw’s diet and nutrition plan is personalized to meet his specific physical requirements and training goals. As every athlete’s needs differ, strongman athletes seeking to improve their performance should work with a qualified nutritionist to create a tailored plan. 

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Additional Information Outside The Strongman World

Brian is married to Keri for over ten years, and they have two sons. He also owns his brand, “Shaw Strength”, offering a wide range of products, including apparel, merchandise, and nutritional supplements.

Shaw’s success has also inspired a new generation of strongman athletes, as he actively engages with fans and aspiring competitors through social media and shares training tutorials on his YouTube channel, “Shaw Strength“.

Indeed with incredible achievements and record-breaking performances, Brian Shaw has etched his name in the history of strength sports. His dedication to training, strategic approach to competitions, and down-to-earth personality have earned him a massive fan following and respect among his peers. 


Mariusz Pudzianowski is often considered the “Greatest of All Time” in the World’s Strongest Man competition, having won a record-breaking five titles, showcasing his unparalleled strength and dominance.

One of the most remarkable feats by Brian Shaw was his world record-breaking performance in the deadlift event. He lifted an astounding 524 kg (1,155 lbs) during the Arnold Strongman Classic in 2020, showcasing his extraordinary strength and cementing his status as one of the most muscular men in the world.

Brian Shaw is widely considered stronger than Eddie Hall in strongman competitions. Brian Shaw has won four World’s Strongest Man titles, showcasing his exceptional strength and dominance.

Yes, Brian Shaw announced his retirement in 2023. He confirmed that he would make his final appearance at the World’s Strongest Man competition in 2023. After a successful career in the world of strongmen, he decided to conclude his competitive journey at that event.

The Bottom Line

Over the years, Brian Shaw height and relentless commitment to improving his performance earned him numerous titles. It solidified his position as one of the most dominant forces in the sport.

His journey from an enthusiastic basketball player to a world-renowned strongman is a testament to his remarkable talent and unwavering dedication. Following in his footsteps, one can surely achieve his goals of becoming a legendary strongman, winning prestigious titles and awards. 

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