Brian Shaw (strongman)

For the American basketball player, see Brian Shaw. For the British rugby league footballer, see Brian Shaw (rugby league).
Brian Shaw
Born (1982-02-26) February 26, 1982
Fort Lupton, Colorado, United States
Residence Fort Lupton, Colorado, United States
Occupation Strongman
Height 203 cm (6 ft 8 in)[1]
Weight 190 kg (420 lb)[1]
Competition record
Representing  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
1st 2016 World's Strongest Man
Arnold Strongman Classic
5th 2010
1st 2011
4th 2012
2nd 2013
2nd 2014
1st 2015
2nd 2016
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)[2] is an American professional strongman competitor and winner of the 2011,[3] 2013, 2015 and the 2016 World's Strongest Man competitions. Shaw has become, by some measures, the strongest man in history.[4] Shaw is also the first man to have won the Arnold Strongman Classic and the World’s Strongest Man contest in the same calendar year, a feat he accomplished in 2011 and then replicated in 2015.[5]

Early life

Shaw was born in Fort Lupton, Colorado,[6] the son of Jay and Bonnie Shaw.[6] Both of his parents were taller than average, with his father standing at 6 feet (1.83 m) and his mother 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m). It has also been noted that he had uncles of exceptional stature.[6]

At Fort Lupton High School, Shaw excelled in basketball.[7] Upon graduating, he weighed 240 lbs. He then attended Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colorado.[8] 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[1] and received a degree in wellness management.[6]

During his basketball career, Shaw was "hooked on the weights" and he 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,"[6]


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.[6]

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 300–425 lb (136–193 kg). 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."[6]

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.[9]

Shaw won the inaugural Jón Páll Sigmarsson Classic on November 21, 2010.[10]

Shaw won the Strongman Super Series Swedish Grand Prix and became the 2010 overall Super Series champion on December 18, 2010.[11] 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.

Shaw also won the 2015 and 2016 World's Strongest Man competitions.

Personal records

Done in the gym

Strongman done in official Strongman competition


  1. 1 2 3 "Brian Shaw". The Worlds Strongest Man. February 26, 1982. Archived from the original on April 14, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  2. "Athletes". Giants Live. Archived from the original on May 17, 2009.
  3. "WSM 2011 Winner". The Worlds Strongest Man. January 15, 2012. Archived from the original on September 5, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  4. Bilger, Burkhard (July 23, 2012). "The Strongest Man in the World". The New Yorker.
  5. "Athlete Biographies". The Arnold Strongman Classic. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Armstrong, Jim (July 4, 2009). "Coloradan eyes coveted title of world's strongest man". The Denver Post. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  7. "Brian Shaw Bio". Shaw Strength. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  8. "Men's Basketball: Moving On". Otero Junior College. Archived from the original on January 4, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  9. Strossen, Randall J. (October 22, 2010). "Giants Live: Savickas and Shahlaei Attack the Apollon's Axle". Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  10. Strossen, Randall J. (November 22, 2010). "Brian Shaw Wins the Inaugural Jon Pall Sigmarsson Classic Strongman Contest". Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  11. Strossen, Randall J. (December 13, 2010). "Brian Shaw Wins World Strongman Super Series Swedish Grand Prix and Overall Title". Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  12. "Brian Shaw 1140 Lb Tire Deadlift". YouTube.

External links

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