Brian Shaw connects with Generation Iron just days before World’s Strongest Man to discuss his competition prep.

This week through the weekend holds the World’s Strongest Man 2020 competition. It’s the biggest Strongman event of the year. One that was almost completely cancelled due to the pandemic affecting the world. Luckily, it was able to commence at a later date. Just two days before the competition, we connected with Brian Shaw to discuss his competition prep and mindset. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Brian Shaw details his training prep, diet, and mindset going into the World’s Strongest Man 2020.

Strongman Brian Shaw is one of the top athletes currently competing in the sport. At the time of this writing, he holds four World’s Strongest Man titles. But after this weekend, that all might change. He’s heading into the World’s Strongest Man 2020 competition this week with a goal to earn his fifth title. If he succeeds, he will tie for the world record of most World’s Strongest Man titles in the history of the sport.

His chances are also looking increasingly promising as many other would-be threats were unable to compete this year. Last year’s World Strongest Man winner, Martins Licis, is unable to compete due to an injury caused by a car accident. On top of that, Mateusz Kieliszkowski suffered a tricep injury, and Hafthor Bjornsson sat out this year to focus on being a new dad.

Regardless of the odds being in his favor, Brian Shaw still needs to bring the best of his talents to this week’s competition in order to guarantee a big victory at the WSM. That’s why during our video conversation we asked him to go into detail about his training and diet prep before the competition.

Brian Shaw’s Training Schedule

Brian Shaw’s training schedule is very different than when he first got started as a Strongman competitor. This is due to his success as an entrepreneur alongside his rise as a top talent in the sport. Due to this, he needs to be extremely regimented every single day in order to not lose sight of both his goals: to win the WSM and to thrive his business.

Below is a brief breakdown of his daily schedule:

  • Takes a walk to focus his mindset every morning.
  • Eats Breakfast
  • Completes business/work tasks for the day
  • Eats again (x2)
  • Trains in the evening for 2-3 hours
  • Dedicates his weekends to event training.

As you can see, the lifestyle and training of a Strongman can be very different from traditional bodybuilding regimens. Specifically in the amount of time spent in the gym. While a bodybuilder really only needs to do an hour max of training per session, Strongmen like Brain Shaw do a 2-3 hour session every day.

Of course, training with weights is only half the battle. He also needs to actually practice the specific events so he can be best prepared for the movements on the day of the competition.

Brian Shaw’s Diet

Brian Shaw doesn’t go into detail about the specific foods he eats in diet, mostly because he rotates through various different kinds of diets throughout the year. One thing that is consistent is the amount of food he eats. He consumes about 10,000 calories a day. Keep in mind, Brian Shaw is 6’8″ tall.

In terms of preparing his weight, it all depends on the types of events that will be at the competition. Unlike bodybuilding, each competition cycles a different set of events each year. It’s never exactly the same.

The challenge in this year’s competition came in the form of lack of information. Due to the pandemic, the World’s Strongest Man did not reveal the event list. Without that knowledge, it was hard for Brian Shaw to know how much weight to put on.

For example, some events require more flexible movement, which is easier at a lighter weight. Others would benefit from heavier weight to push more pounds. Without knowing the event list for this year’s WSM, Brian Shaw landed at 425 pounds. He believes this is a good middle ground to prepare for a wide variety of events.

Brain Shaw’s Mental Preparation

They say that your mindset is half the battle for any sport. This holds true for Strongman. When asked how he prepares mentally for a big competition like the World’s Strongest Man, he explained his tactic using an analogy.

He thinks of the competition like a glass of water. Each event requires you to pour more water out of the glass. If you pour too much out in the beginning, you won’t have anything left by the finals. The World’s Strongest Man is a five day event. It’s long and can tire out competitors who don’t pace themselves. Ultimately, you want to have one final powerful blast on the night of the finals.

You can watch Brian Shaw detail his entire World’s Strongest Man 2020 competition prep in our latest GI Exclusive interview above!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.