28 year old Brian Shaw burst onto the Strongman scene in 2005 and made it to the World’s Strongest Man heats in 2008. In 2009 he came 3rd in the final and just last year he came 2nd to Zyrdunas Savickas. At 6′ 8″ he’s hard to miss, but Brian is as friendly as he is strong, and as such agreed to answer a few questions. Here’s what he had to say.
Congratulations on your superb performance in the 2010 World’s Strongest Man Final – how did it feel to come so close to winning and only lose on count back?
The way the 2010 WSM ended was very tough. To end in a tie on points and loose on a countback was a bad feeling. Now that it is over and done I have tried to take the positive points out of the contest and I will be working to improve for this years WSM.
How many times have you watched the video of the Loading Race and wondered ‘if only’?
Watching the loading race was very hard. I really did think that bag was going to stay on the platform and everytime I watch it somewhere in my mind I know that cost me my first WSM title.
In 2008 you failed to make the final and then went on to come 3rd in 2009 and 2nd in 2010. What did you do differently to make such a huge improvement?
I have learned so much since 2008. I actually cut about 10-12 lbs going into WSM that year which was a huge mistake! I know a lot better how to train for WSM and I am comfortable with the contest format which also helps a lot.
Was Strongman something you always wanted to become involved in, and if not, what made you decide it was for you?
I watched WSM from when I was very young. At that time I never knew I would be able to compete in WSM. I decided to start when I was 24 after I finished playing basketball and needed something to pour my competitive fire into. It was a very natual fit for me and has been awesome.
You were the Strongman Super Series Overall Champion in 2009 and 2010, are you confident of making that 3 in a row this year?
Winning the WSM Super Series the last two years has been great and I am looking forward to defending the title in 2011.
What one event would you be confident of beating anyone in the world in?
Right now I feel like I have a few events that I can win in any contest but my best event is the Atlas Stones. Lots of other guys have tried to lay claim to the title king of stones, or best in the world at atlas stones but I never have. I just go win the stones and let my performance do the talking. My track record in the past two years really speaks for itself on the stones.
Who do you think is the greatest Strongman ever, the greatest competing today and apart from yourself, who do you think represents the future of World’s Strongest Man?
I really dont know who I would say is the best strongman ever. There have been several guys who have been very dominant during their careers in this sport. I would name a few as being Bill Kazmaier, Jón Páll Sigmarsson, Magnús Ver Magnússon, Mariusz Pudzianowski, and Zydrunas Savickas. There are several other men who are close to these guys but in their respective era’s they were very dominant.
As far as the future of strongman I think it is very bright. There are a number of guys who will be battling it out for the next 5 years.
You were my pick to win World’s Strongest Man 2010, and you are my pick to win World’s Strongest Man 2011. What will you do to make sure you go one better this year?
Well thank you very much for the vote. I learned a lot from the past two years about WSM and what it will take to win WSM. This year I plan on doing less contests to make sure that I train properly for WSM and come in ready to win.
Who is your best friend on the Strongman circuit?
I am friends with a lot of the guys. I talk a lot with Dave Ostlund and Jason Bergmann in the USA. Overseas I talk with Terry Hollands, Stefan Solvi the most.
What do you see yourself doing after Strongman? With your height and size, would you ever consider a career in pro wrestling?
I am not sure what I will do after strongman. I still have a lot of goals to achieve so when I get those done I will think about what comes next.
Outside of Strongman, what do you do to relax?
I like to do a lot of things for fun. Movies, hanging with friends, going out to eat, etc.
For anyone out there wanting to follow in your footsteps and become a Strongman, what advice would you give them?
Train hard. There is no substitute for hard work. Anything worth having will be worth working for!
Thanks to Brian for answering our questions, and so quickly! We wish him the best of luck for 2011, where we think he’ll be crowned the 2011 World’s Strongest man – what do you think?