World’s Strongest Man contests and the CrossFit Games are as different as night and day. One promotes incredible feats of strength while the other promotes exercising a lot with bad or questionable form.
However, the two representatives of each end of the workout spectrum met recently and made one hell of a workout session. The two representatives in question were four-time World’s Strongest Man-winner Brian Shaw and 2015 CrossFit Games winner Ben Smith. Shaw added the first few strongman-friendly workouts, while Ben added the last set of CrossFit-esque exercises.
Now, before we go and see the workout session and how both men did, let’s spare a few moments and examine their street cred.
Shaw is a long time Strongman competitor, and he’s been breaking records and lifting freakishly heavy things for more than a decade. Over the years, he competed against many veterans of strength sports, including Mariusz Pudzianowski, Žydrūnas Savickas (also known by his rap name “Big Z”), Thor Bjronson and Eddie Hall. Shaw breaks records like Ivan Drago breaks his opponents.
He holds the records in Atlas stone lifting, hauling 555lbs over a four-foot platform, overhead dumbbell pressing 300lbs for three reps and holding the indoor rowing machine record for a 100m distance—12.8 seconds. All that and the man is still competing, still lifting strong and still has things to prove.
Coming up next is the fittest man alive and the CrossFit games winner.
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Ben has been a competitive CrossFitter since 2009, with his peak coming in 2015, when he won the CrossFit Games and in 2016, when he placed second. He also has his own CrossFit gym in Chesapeake, Virginia called “CrossFit Krypton,” so if for some reason you’re into CrossFit and are from the area, drop by Ben’s gym.
At least you’ll know the guy who runs the place won the whole thing. All joking aside, Smith trains like a maniac and has some impressive lifting stats too. He’s max deadlift peaks at 540lbs, his back squat is 480lbs, and he does a four-kilometre run in 20 minutes and 20 seconds. He can also do 76 consecutive pull ups, though something tells me we’re talking about the infamous “kipping pull ups.”
Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, let’s take a look at the videos in question and see how these fit fellas did.
So, now that we know all there is to know about these two guys, let’s get to the reason you’re reading this—the workout.
The weird gym lingo in the picture above reads as following:
#1 Safety Squat bar box squat with chains 8×2
#2 Deadlifts(for Ben)/Straight leg deadlifts(for Brian) 3×8-10
#3 Back attack(sort of a deadlift simulating exercise) and Glute ham raise 3×10
#4 10 minute alternating circut between 20 kcal on a rowing machine and 15 kettlebell swings, and at the end, they added a special bonus—eating a steak!
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So, what did we learn from watching these two videos? For starters, Brian Shaw is the coolest man on the planet. Down to earth, excited about his profession, his sport and always looking to improve himself and to help others improve. The other thing that’s interesting is how Ben rather quickly adapted to doing exercises designed for Strongmen like Shaw.
After all, CrossFit is about not knowing in advance what kind of exercise you will be doing prior to doing them. So it kind of makes sense that Smith just learned on the spot. It also helps that he is an elite athlete in his sport, who is currently in his prime years.
But the burning question on everyone’s mind is “did they eat the damn steak?!” I with I had an answer for you. The videos show the two professional meatheads broing it up at the deadlifts, and Shaw nearly flying away while doing rows on the rowing machine, but no steak. I guess we will never find out. The truth is out there.