Brian Shaw is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to strength sports, but there’s one legendary fitness arena he’s yet to enter. Yes, I’m talking about hot yoga.
Hot yoga is an amazing way to stay fit while sweating off excess water weight. However, it hasn’t really gained mainstream popularity with the strength sports crowd. That changes today. After challenging his wife to see who was more flexible, Brian Shaw took a steamy plunge into the yoga sauna for an intense session of hot yoga that left him struggling for air.
Let this lay to rest any assumptions you may have made about yoga being easy in the past. As Shaw explains in the video, the whole challenge started when he and his wife got into an argument about which one of them was more flexible.
“My wife and I were having a discussion about who was more flexible, and she’s not convinced that I’m more flexible even though I was adamant that I was.”
“I just don’t think that that makes sense,” his wife explained. “I wanna see Brian do yoga…in a pool…of sweat.”
It’s interesting to think about how Shaw’s strengths as a former World’s Strongest Man would play out in a yoga setting. Yoga is a lot less about exerting brute force and a lot more about allowing your body to natural bend until your muscles feel loose. It’s definitely different than your average fare for a strength sports master, but not without its merits. Research has shown that yoga is great for athletes of all kinds because of the restorative impact it has on the muscles and its positive benefit for mental health! In fact, many powerlifters and bodybuilders swear by yoga as the perfect complement to bodybuilding and a great way to wind down after an intense workout session.
The competitive couple stepped into the studio and were immediately put to the test. Although yoga, in general, is an easy, low-impact exercise that’s fun for all ages and body sizes, hot yoga is a bit more of a challenge. The endurance necessary to sustain poses at that heat actually requires a lot of strength, and especially for bigger folks — like Brian Shaw, who weighs in at 420 lb., as per the title of the video — that heat can quickly lead to their undoing.
Sure enough, Shaw’s wife’s theory actually proves to be correct not long into the video. Shaw struggles with the intense heat of the sauna and can barely hold it together very rapidly. His wife does slightly better by comparison, although she also suffers from the extreme heat. By the end of the video, his wife gets her wish: Brian Shaw is dripping with sweat and unable to finish the workout because he’s so exhausted.
When asked how he felt after emerging from the sauna, Shaw only had one thing to say. “I feel warm.”
*All images and media courtesy of YouTube.