Like the rise of NASCAR over Formula One, professional wrestling over boxing, and “Jersey Shore” over “The Sopranos,” the return of men like Shaw seems to signal a shift in our appetites—a hunger for rougher, more outlandish thrills and ruder challenges. A modern strongman has to have explosive strength as well as raw power, Shaw told me, but most of all he has to be willing to lift almost anything, anywhere. “I’m a fan of functional strength,” he said. “If you’re the strongest man on the planet, you ought to be able to pick up a stone or flip a tire. Those Olympic lifters—how can you call someone the strongest man if he can’t walk over to a car and pick it up?”The writer of the article, Burkhard Bilger, tags along with Shaw as he competes in the Arnold Classic, and along the way, offers a fascinating look at the history of strength and conditioning in the United States. If you've ever watched the World's Strongest Man competitions on ESPN and wondered about the crazy-huge competitors, I think you'll find this article to be a fascinating read.
Friday, July 20, 2012
This week's issue of The New Yorker profiles Brian Shaw, a modern strongman billed as the "Strongest Man in the World."