Brian Shaw's Workout Routine, Supplements & Diet (Updated)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 17, 2024
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Brian Shaw is America’s Strongest Man and Arnold Classic competition winner. He is also a four-time World’s Strongest Man.

To motivate my clients and readers who want to be strong like him, I decided to research his workout routine and diet.

Discover valuable workout tips that can help you enhance your own training regimen.

Body Stats

shirtless brian shaw flexing his body muscles
  • Height: 6ft8in (203cm)
  • Weight: 419-440lbs (190-200kg)
  • Neck: 20.9in (53cm)
  • Biceps: 23in (58.4cm)
  • Chest: 60in (152.4cm)
  • Thigh: 32.7in (83cm)
  • Calf: 21.7in (55 cm)

Competitions

brian shaw working out with a deadlift
  • Strongman Deadlift (with straps): 1022.9lbs (464kg) – Arnold Strongman Classic 2016
  • Hummer Tire Strongman Deadlift (with straps): 1,128lbs (511kg) – Arnold Strongman Classic 2014
  • Hummer Tire Strongman Deadlift (with straps): 1,122lbs (509kg) – Arnold Strongman Classic 2013
  • World’s Strongest Man: 2008-2015

Personal Records

brian doing one of the heaviest deadlifts
  • Bench press: 640lbs (290kg)
  • Deadlift: 1001lbs (454kg) with straps, 925lbs (420kg) without straps
  • Strongman Deadlift (with straps): 985lbs (448kg)
  • Hummer Tire Strongman Deadlift (with straps): 1,140lbs (517kg)
  • Log Lift: 441lbs (200kg)
  • Squat: 900lbs (410kg)

Brian Shaw’s Workout Routine Sample

A man doing a workout routine in the gym

Monday - Legs

A guy in the gym doing leg workout
  • Good mornings: 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Safety bar squat: 5-8 sets of 2-5 reps
  • Isolation hammer leg press: 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Leg curls: 4-5 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Leg extension: 4-5 sets of 8-15 reps

Tuesday - Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps

Note: Have a 60/120-second rest between each exercise

  • Standing military press: 5-8 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Incline dumbbell press: 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Close-grip flat bench press: 4-5 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Cable triceps extension: 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - Back

A man using barbell for his back workout
  • Deadlift: 5-8 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Lat pulldown: 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Seated cable row: 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Frame shrugs: 3-5 sets of 8-20 reps
  • Back pushdowns: 4-5 sets of 8-15 reps

Friday - Rest

Saturday - Strongman Training Program

This event training session may vary depending on the particular events he’s preparing for.

  • Log press: 6 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Atlas stones lift: 4-5 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Farmer’s walk: 5 sets of 80-feet walk
  • Sled drag: 4-5 sets of 8-15 reps

Sunday - Rest

What Is Brian Shaw's Workout Philosophy?

Two blue dumbbells on the gym floor

While a part of his success in the sport can be attributed to genetics, his hard work in the gym is without a doubt a precursor to his accomplishments.

Here are some of his workout principles:

Weight Training

Brian Shaw incorporates weight training into his workout routine to prepare for the World's Strongest Man Championships.

In my experience as a personal trainer, similar weight training significantly enhances clients' strength and performance, particularly for those targeting peak fitness levels.

His regimen includes the incline bench press, coupled with exercises like the flat bench press, to build exceptional strength.

Four Days Training

Currently, Brian Shaw’s workout routine consists of 2-hour training sessions four days a week, focusing on different body parts or areas each day.

“All the strongman events are dangerous, so you have to know exactly what you’re doing. For example, with the log press, not only do you have to lift it off the floor, you also have to balance the log, which is over two feet in diameter at the ends, on your chest before you press it. It can really put a kink in your neck if you’re not careful."

- Brian Shaw, American Professional Strongman

Strongman-Specific Training

He integrates strongman-specific training with free-weight compound exercises, such as squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and rows, focusing on various muscle groups.

Implementing some of these methods with my clients has led to notable strength gains.

Warm-ups and Stretching

Shaw begins each session with a 15-minute stretch and light cardio.

This approach, which I also advocate in my coaching, is crucial for reducing injury risk and enhancing performance.

These warm-ups are also key for mental preparation and resilience, essential for the rigorous demands of strongman training.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Brian Shaw (@shawstrength)

His Diet And Nutrition

A plate of healthy meal full of nutrients

Brian Shaw’s diet is specially crafted by his nutritionist and includes around 10,000-12,000 calories consumed throughout several daily meals every two hours.

His plates are loaded with easily digestible protein and carbs from various sources -- not entirely surprising for the world’s strongest man.

Shaw cooks most of his meals and eats lots of eggs and organic, grass-fed, ground beef. He also drinks plenty of water.

This diet not only focuses on the quantity but also the quality of food, avoiding non-organic, GMO foods, and artificial additives, reflecting a growing trend in strongman nutrition towards more natural and wholesome dietary choices.

What Does Brian Shaw Eat?

Brian Shaw eats:

  • Organic grass-fed beef
  • Organic turkey
  • Organic chicken breast
  • Organic eggs
  • Coconut milk
  • Peanut butter
  • Simple carbs (pasta, cereal) 
  • Jasmine rice
  • Potato
  • Organic veggies
  • Organic fruit
  • Asparagus 
  • Broccoli 
  • Blueberries 
  • Granola bars
  • Cheesecake

Shaw doesn’t eat:

  • Non-organic, GMO food
  • Junk food
  • Artificial additives
  • Preservatives
  • Chemical ingredients

Brian Shaw’s Sample Diet Plan

A close up shot of vegetables for a healthy diet plan
Meal 1:
  • 8 whole eggs (scrambled)
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereals with milk
  • Peanut butter
  • Multivitamin

Meal 2:

  • 3-4 scoops of whey protein shake
  • Peanut butter
  • 2 granola bars

Meal 3:

  • Bison or turkey burgers (12oz)
  • 2 cups of cooked white Jasmine rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes with 1 tbsp of duck fat
  • Red sauce

Meal 4:

  • 3-4 scoops of whey protein with 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • Blueberries
  • Peanut butter
Meal 5 (pre-workout):
  • Salmon or lean beef burgers (12oz)
  • 1 cup of cooked white Jasmine rice or 1 bag of sweet potato fries
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • Red sauce

Meal 6 (post-workout):

  • Beefsteak (14oz)
  • Baked potato or rice noodles (4oz)
  • Asparagus or mixed green salad with balsamic dressing
  • Red sauce
  • 1 apple or another piece of fruit

Meal 7:

  • Whey protein shake (around 3oz)
  • Cheesecake (2-4 pieces)
  • Multivitamin

And here’s an example video showing what this pro strongman ate in a single day while preparing for the world’s strongman competition in 2020:

youtube

What Supplements Does Brian Take?

A person holding supplement capsules on both hands

Brian Shaw is one of the strongest men in history as per History.com [1]. He uses these supplements:

FAQs

How Often Does Brian Shaw Workout?

Brian Shaw works out four days a week on average.

How Many Hours a Day Does Brian Shaw Workout?

Brian Shaw works out two hours a day.

Does Brian Shaw Use Creatine?

Yes, Brian Shaw uses creatine within his post-workout supplement.

When Did Brian Shaw Start Lifting?

Brian Shaw started lifting weights when he played basketball at Black Hills State University, but he started his strongman career in October 2005 when he won his first strongman competition - the Denver Strongest Man - without prior formal training.

What Protein Does Brian Shaw Use?

Brian Shaw Uses whey isolate protein.


References:

  1. https://www.history.com/shows/the-strongest-man-in-history
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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