Strongman Brian Shaw Shares His New Goal: Bench Press 701 Pounds

Four-time World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw usually has a specific event for which he fine-tunes his training. But the upcoming World’s Strongest Man competition, slated for May 24 in Bradenton, Florida, is up in the air, so Shaw is taking this time of social distancing and self-isolating during the coronavirus (COIVD-19) pandemic to set some new goals. Shaw used his latest YouTube video to declare his latest plan: training up to a 701 pound bench press.

That’s an impressive weight to aim for, to be sure—but not quite the world record, which is a moving target (currently at 770 pounds) that powerlifter Julius Maddox continues to hold as he strives to reach 800 pounds.

Shaw is trolling fellow strongman Eddie Hall with his mark. Hall posted a similar training video to his own YouTube channel back in September 2019.

“You’re probably looking at the title saying ‘Road to 701’. Well, the reason is Eddie Hall did a ‘Road to 700 Bench Press’ that went way off track and as far as I know he didn’t get there. the last I saw he was wearing a leotard and trying to do a back flip or something?”

Shaw is referencing a recent video from Hall, in which he attempted gymnastics and learned how to backflip with Olympic medalist Nile Wilson.

Shaw starts his training warm up progression, repping out 135 pound bench presses, upping to 235 pounds, and then 315 pounds.

“Going through the warm up progression, everything’s feels good. We’re gonna keep working up, and work up to the top set today of 470 pounds, and I’m going to do that for 3 reps,” says Shaw.

Next, he’s up to 405 pounds, then 440 pounds, and up to 470 pounds.

“It’s like a warmup,” he says, as if the weight doesn’t phase him in the slightest.

“Second set is actually a super set between an isometric press for 6 seconds, hit as hard as we can on the safeties, press as hard as we can for 6 seconds one time through, and then move over and hit 3 reps on the bench after that,” says Hall. “We’re going to change the heights of the isometrics as we go.”

He does two sets of 1 inch off his chest, starting with max effort at the bottom range, then switches to a 425 pound bench press. Next, he does max effort at mid-range, followed by his 425 pound bench press. Finally, he does max effort at top range, followed by his 425 pound bench press.

“You start seeing stars. That’s awesome…t hat will wake you up real quick,” says Hall.

The training session continues with accessory exercises, as he finished rounds of chest-supported rows with dumbbells, chest presses with 60 pound dumbbells, and dumbbell chest flys with 40 pound dumbbells.

Next, he hits arms with hammer curls and tricep extensions.

“That was pretty brutal training,” says Hall as he finishes. He’ll need it to accomplish his goal.

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