COLUMBUS, OHIO, USA – MARCH 5, 2011 The 2011 Arnold Sports Festival has come to an end. Its closure brings with it the crowning of the 2011 Arnold Strongman. Those of you familiar with the world of strongman competition may find the name of this year’s champion surprising: Brian Shaw. While Brian has risen steadily through the ranks, this is the defining win of his young career. On his way to raising the Louis Cyr trophy Shaw set three world records, in the Dead Lift, Manhood Stones and Timber Carry.
To most spectators, professional strongman competitors are larger than life, with a physical prowess difficult to comprehend. An almost freakish ability to lift and carry large sums of weight puts them in a unique class of athlete and one to which most of the general public can hardly relate. While many of us grow up competing in traditional “mainstream” sports such as football, basketball, tennis, etc., others compete in , or are at least familiar with, sports popularized via Generation X, such as skate boarding, snow boarding, motor cross and the rest of the X-Games portfolio. Most of us did not grow up challenging ourselves to see how far we can carry 500-pound stone balls or lifting tree trunks over our heads. Yet, despite the inability to relate to the physical and mental challenges strongman athletes experience when exercising their craft, the sport draws tremendous global attention. It’s the ability to watch the athletes through the lense of a voyeur, without defining ourselves as such, which makes the sport so attractive. By not being able to relate, the audience itself can relate. We’ll never know what it’s like to see how far we can carry an anvil and we know that. It’s this shared understanding that has made strongman competitions into a global phenomenon.
Brian Shaw represents the next generation of great strongmen. While most of us will never personally experience Brian’s craft, we can get to know the athlete himself. Strength Performance Network (SPN) had the opportunity to do just that following the first day of the two day strongman competition at The Arnold Sports Festival. Bert Sorin, President of Sorinex Exercise Equipment, teamed up with SPN to bring you Brian’s thoughts. What drives Brian to be the best? How does Brian train for such unorthodox events? You will find Brian’s answers to these questions and others in the this video.
You will find that Brian is an extremely gracious athlete who is driven to make an indelible mark on the sport of strongman. It’s obvious that Brian’s strength extends beyond his physical capabilities to the depths of his character. We’d like to thank Brian for the time he spent with us. We at SPN look forward to watching him continue to bring his positive energy to world of strongman.
Click here to read more about Brian Shaw's win at The Arnold Sports Festival as expressed on the official Arnold Sports Festival Facebook page.