Training

Brian Shaw On Staying Healthy and Injury Free

Q&A with the 3-time World's Strongest Man

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Brian Shaw On Staying Healthy and Injury Free

 QUESTION 

How do you stay healthy and injury-free?

 ANSWER 

The biggest key is to learn how to listen to your body. I modify my training plan to accommodate how my body is feeling from day to day. Now, at first that might seem like a very simple and easy thing to do, but when you’re training for a big contest sometimes the last thing you want to do is listen to your body when you’re tired, sore, or just need a couple of days of lighter training. One key takeaway here is the importance of keeping detailed notes on your training—sets and reps, rest periods, how you feel, etc.

I also get rehab treatment one to two times per week, which includes stretching and soft-tissue work. I keep my diet on point as well to make sure I have plenty of good food and the right supplements to hit it hard in the gym and recover properly. I also do plenty of contrast baths and get enough sleep.

 QUESTION 

Do you prepare meals to take with you?

 ANSWER 

If a competition is only one or two days, I will pack almost all the food I’ll need with me. In the case of a longer contest, it’s impossible to carry enough. For the longer trips I bring some packed meals as an additional food source. So I would plan to have two to three meals packed with me per day; if I’m gone for 14 days I would have between 28 and 42 meals packed.

 QUESTION 

Do you do cardio? If so, which type do you prefer?

 ANSWER 

I will do some cardio that is low intensity for a longer duration (20 to 30 minutes) on occasion for overall general health and to get blood moving, especially in the off-season. But normally I stick to sport-specific conditioning. Typical strongman events last only 60 to 90 seconds, so I prefer to use high-intensity interval training to maximize my conditioning level. I pick several different exercises and then perform a circuit, varying the interval time between 20 and 60 seconds of work followed by 30 to 90 seconds of rest. - FLEX

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