Brian Shaw (strongman)

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For the American basketball player, see Brian Shaw. For the British rugby league footballer, see Brian Shaw (rugby league).
Brian Shaw
Brian Shaw strongman.JPG
Born Brian Shaw
(1982-02-26) February 26, 1982 (age 33)
United States
Residence Fort Lupton, Colorado[1]
Occupation Strongman
Height 203 cm (6 ft 8 in)[2]
Weight 199.5 kg (440 lb)[2]
Competition record
Competitor for  United States
World's Strongest Man
Qualified 2008 World's Strongest Man
3rd 2009 World's Strongest Man
2nd 2010 World's Strongest Man
1st 2011 World's Strongest Man
4th 2012 World's Strongest Man
1st 2013 World's Strongest Man
3rd 2014 World's Strongest Man
1st 2015 World's Strongest Man
Arnold Strongman Classic
5th 2010
1st 2011
4th 2012
2nd 2013
2nd 2014
1st 2015
Strongman Super Series
1st 2009 Los Angeles Grand Prix
1st 2009 Gothenburg Grand Prix
1st 2009 Overall Champion
2nd 2010 Mohegan Sun Grand Prix
1st 2010 Viking Power Challenge
1st 2010 Swedish Grand Prix
1st 2010 Overall Champion
Jón Páll Sigmarsson Classic
1st 2010
1st 2011
3rd 2009
Giants Live
3rd 2009 Mohegan Sun Grand Prix
1st 2010 South Africa
2nd 2010 Istanbul
1st 2011 London
North America's Strongest Man
2nd 2007
All-American Strongman Challenge
1st 2009

Brian Shaw (born February 26, 1982)[3] is an American professional strongman competitor and winner of the 2011 World's Strongest Man, 2013 World's Strongest Man and 2015 World's Strongest Man competitions.[4]

Early life[edit]

Brian Shaw was born in Fort Lupton, Colorado to Jay and Bonnie Shaw.[1] Both his parents were taller than average, his father standing at 6 feet (1.83 m) and his mother 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m). However, it has been noted that he did have uncles of exceptional stature.[1]

At Fort Lupton High School Shaw excelled in basketball.[citation needed] Upon graduating, he was 240 pounds.[citation needed] He then attended Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colorado.[5] There he was able to form an inside combination with current Northwestern State Assistant Coach Bob Austin. Shaw was one of the team leaders for the Rattlers in his sophomore season. Following Otero he went to Black Hills State University where he was on a full basketball scholarship[2] and received a degree in wellness management.[1] During his basketball career he was "hooked on the weights," and Shaw has said that the weight room is his sanctuary. In addition to huge hands and size-16 feet he was also a naturally very powerful person. In his own words "I've always been able to do this. The biggest tire, the heaviest stone . . . I've always been able to walk up and lift it. Odd strength is what it is, not weight-room strength. It's brute strength, brute power."[1]


Shaw began his career as a strongman with a win when he entered the Denver Strongest Man contest in October 2005. He had entered with no formal training. Just seven months later in June 2006 he joined the professional ranks and his successes continued.[1]

In 2009 he entered Fortissimus, otherwise known as the Strongest Man on Earth competition, in Canada where he came third and was the only man to lift six Atlas stones — weighing from 300 to 425 pounds. He then competed in Romania in the World Strongman Super Series. In September he travelled to his second World's Strongest Man contest in Valletta. There he was grouped in what was termed the "group of death" not least because of his presence in it. Alongside him in this group was Zydrunas Savickas who went on to win the title. Although Savickas won the group he and Shaw were separated by just two points. In the final Shaw went on to attain a podium finish, something Randell Strossen of Ironmind has predicted would happen when he said "he has to be considered a favorite for a podium position. If he can stay healthy, there's no end to what he could do. He's got these gifts. He's the total package."[1]

Shaw qualified for the finals at the 2010 World's Strongest Man in Sun City, South Africa in September 2010. He was tied for the lead at the end of the finals with Zydrunas Savickas and lost by countback, a system of scoring based on how the athletes placed in each event throughout the finals. Savickas had higher overall placings (3 first places out of 6 events) than Shaw (2 first places out of 6 events) and won the 2010 title.

Shaw competed against Savickas again in October 2010 at the Giants Live Istanbul contest. Shaw again finished second behind Savickas.[6]

Shaw won the inaugural Jón Páll Sigmarsson Classic on November 21, 2010.[7]

Shaw won the Strongman Super Series Swedish Grand Prix and became the 2010 overall Super Series champion on December 18, 2010.[8] This was Shaw's second consecutive overall Super Series championship.

In 2011, Shaw once again participated in the World's Strongest man competition. Going into the final event, the Atlas Stones, Shaw was tied with two time champion Zydrunas Savickas. Shaw beat Savickas taking 1st place. In the 2013 competition, Shaw led Savickas into the final event (again the Atlas Stones) and again beat Savickas to win the competition.

Personal records[edit]

Done in the gym

  • Squat – 900 lb (410 kg)[2]
  • Bench press – 640 lb (290 kg)[2]
  • Deadlift – 925 lb (420 kg) without straps[2]
  • Strongman Deadlift (with straps) – 985 lb (448 kg)[9]
  • Hummer Tire Strongman Deadlift (with straps) – 1,140 lb (517 kg) [10]
  • Log Lift - 441 lb (200 kg)

Strongman done in official Strongman competition

  • Strongman Deadlift (with straps) – 974 lb (442.5 kg) (World's Strongest Man finals 2013)
  • Hummer Tire Strongman Deadlift (with straps) – 1,122 lb (509 kg) (Arnold Strongman Classic 2013)
  • Hummer Tire Strongman Deadlift (with straps) - 1,128 lb (511 kg) (Arnold Strongman Classic 2014)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Armstrong, Jim. "Coloradan eyes coveted title of world's strongest man". The Denver Post. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Brian Shaw". The Worlds Strongest Man. February 26, 1982. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Athletes". Giants Live. Archived from the original on May 17, 2009. 
  4. ^ "WSM 2011 Winner". The Worlds Strongest Man. January 15, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Otero Junior College: Men's Basketball Moving On". Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Giants Live: Savickas and Shahlaei Attack the Apollon’s Axle". October 22, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Brian Shaw Wins the Inaugural Jon Pall Sigmarsson Classic Strongman Contest". November 22, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Brian Shaw Wins World Strongman Super Series Swedish Grand Prix and Overall Title". December 13, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Brian Shaw 448 Kg Deadlift". YouTube. August 3, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Brian Shaw 1140 Lb Tire Deadlift". YouTube. 

Further reading[edit]