Brian Shaw’s essential rules for strength training

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We were honoured to welcome the legend that is Brian Shaw into One Performance. He shared his life story and gave us insights into what it takes both mentally and physically to become the World’s Strongest Man four times over.

Here are a few reasons as to why you should get off that cross trainer and start lifting some weights!

In case you missed it, or needed a refresher, I thought I’d sum up his thoughts on strength training. He shares the same philosophy as we do here at One Performance and I’d like to think that anyone who trains here, starts nodding and agreeing with him. If you don’t, well good luck, chances are he’s bigger than you and might just win in an argument!
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From Brian:

‘I first entered a gym with a goal to condition my body to become a better basketball player. I needed to train my core predominantly so that I could jump higher than the other players. I needed every inch of my body to be helping my cause. Strength training is incredible for that, because when you’re doing it right, it works out your whole body. I honestly believe that strength training can benefit any athlete, so to that end …

Be supple

With greater flexibility, comes greater strength. Hire someone to show you how to move and stretch fully before your workout. Never head into a session cold, your muscles won’t fire correctly and you run the risk of injury. Factor in a good fifteen minutes minimum into your training time for a deep stretch and notice the difference in your session.
Be obsessive about using the correct technique
Work your way up

Start small, listen to your body and go up in small amounts. I used to be so frustrated when I began because I wanted to pick up heavier weights and my trainer wouldn’t let me. Looking back, he was so right to tell me no. It’s meant that I have had a long and successful career in Strongman. Instead I built the muscle foundations up to be able to support the extra weight and when I’d done so he let me lift heavier and heavier weight.

Get inventive and push yourself

When I was training to gain my basketball scholarship I actually improved my strength and aim by training to throw a weighted ball through the hoop. By the time I’d knackered myself out throwing two hundred of them, picking up a basketball after that just felt like I was throwing a balloon, whcich of course it is in comparison!
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Technique is everything

Success will follow with the correct technique. Injury and flawed results will follow if not. Be obsessive about using the correct technique.

Don’t train to failure

This is something that I took a long time to be comfortable with because I always want to push myself to do more and more. But, when you’re training for large amounts of time every year you really have to manage your mindset. If you have repeated thoughts of failure, that’s what you’ll become. Instead I work hard and push myself a little bit further every time and then I stop. Why? Because it means that in my mind I don’t know what my actual max is, therefore, anything is still possible. It makes me excited to come back and focused to push myself to the next upper level next time, then when I’ve got there I stop and repeat… a gradual incline of positive results over time leads to gains and wins.’

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