Despite the Craze For NBA, NFL, and Soccer, 450 Lbs Giant Explains Why the Strongman Competitions Are Far More Complex

In a world where sports like NBA, NFL, and soccer dominate our screens and conversations, there’s a titan among us who is pulling the curtain back on the intricate world of strongman competitions. Brian Shaw, a legend in the strongman and bodybuilding world, the 450-lb colossus, recently shed light on this through a podcast snippet shared on his Instagram. His insights offer a fresh perspective that compares and contrasts the conventional nature of mainstream sports with the multifaceted challenges inherent to strongman contests.

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When tuning in to watch an NBA game, the parameters are clear and universal. The basketball’s size remains consistent. The rim? Always stationed at 10 feet. The court? Its dimensions remain steadfast. The same rings true for soccer and football. These sports have consistent equipment and play areas which provide a stable backdrop against which athletes showcase their skills.

The unique intricacies of competitions


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But, when the spotlight turns to strongman competitions, the scenario shifts dramatically. Here, complexity is the order of the day. It’s not just about lifting weights; it’s about ensuring that the weight of every single event apparatus is exact.

Shaw emphasized the meticulousness required in this discipline: “With a strongman, the setup of the events, especially if you’re going to have a different event now, the weights have to be correct. And that’s what so many people don’t understand about running a top-level strongman contest.”

This isn’t just a battle of strength; it’s a cerebral game too. Organizers must not only select the appropriate weights but also verify them rigorously. This precision is crucial to guarantee a fair contest and discern who is genuinely the strongest, rather than who had a slight advantage due to equipment inconsistencies.

The challenge of spectatorship in strongman events


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Transitioning from the technicalities to the spectator’s experience, Shaw makes a poignant observation. In many mainstream sports, even if one isn’t an ardent fan, the metrics of victory are clear. However, in strongman contests, the boundaries blur.

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Shaw posits that an ideal situation would be for a novice viewer to discern strength disparities simply by watching. Yet, complexities often make this a challenge. “It shouldn’t come down to a stopwatch click,” he notes, emphasizing the need to truly showcase strength rather than hinge victories on fleeting moments.


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The underlining point of Shaw’s discourse is the underappreciated intricacy of strongman events. While mainstream sports, with their global followings, have a level of predictability in terms of equipment and setup, strongman contests demand a deeper understanding and a greater level of precision both from the participants and the organizers.

Author: ZeroToHero

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