Brandon William has tried training like some of the fittest people in the world on his YouTube channel, from David Goggins to the US Marines. In a new video, William flies all the way to Scotland to spend time learning all about what it takes to be a competitive strongman from the reigning World's Strongest Man, Tom Stoltman, who has held the title for two consecutive years.
Brandon's visit starts with a 5:30 am wakeup call: Tom and his brother and training partner Luke take him to the nearest beach for a swim in the ice-cold water, which Luke credits with helping him let go of day-to-day stress so he can focus on his training. The brothers then subject Brandon to even more intense discomfort in the form of a deep tissue sports massage. "This is the recovery method that Tom's used for the last three years," says Luke. "Pain wins World's Strongest Man titles!"
Massage over, the Stoltmans take Brandon for breakfast to fuel up for their workout with a full Scottish breakfast of bacon, sausage, tomato, eggs, toast and potato scones, as well as eggs benedict, sausage sandwiches, and several servings of brownies and banoffee pie, easily amounting to a few thousand calories.
"Being a strongman is better than bodybuilding, because you get to eat stuff like this, where bodybuilders can't," says Tom.
Then it's time to head to the gym, where Tom and Luke coach Brandon through four different strongman events. "My goal is to set my PR in each one, since I've never tried strongman lifts before," says Brandon.
The first is the log press. After being shown the proper technique, Brandon works his way up in weight, hitting his max at 50 kgs (110 pounds). And needless to say, while Brandon is struggling to hit a single-rep max, the Stoltman brothers are churning out reps on what is a relatively low weight for them.
In the dumbbell clean and press, he maxes out at 35 kgs (77 pounds), then they head outside for the yoke carry. The frame itself weighs 200 kgs (440 pounds) before being loaded up, and Brandon manages to walk about a dozen steps before giving up.
The fourth and final event is the Atlas stone lift. "I was starting to feel tired at this point," says Brandon, "but I really wanted to work my way up to the 100-kg stone, which is the first one you'll see in a competition." Fortunately, Tom Stoltman is a record-breaker in this category, and he gives Brandon some pointers on how to most effectively lift the stone. However, he falls short of his target, reaching failure at 85 kgs (187 pounds).
"This is the strongest day, and the most painful day," he says.
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