Our current Pro Interview is with Ryan Brown. Ryan has a rather
unique situation as a pro. Since he is an attorney and has limited
time during the week for training (as many of us experience),
we thought it would be interesting to get his perspective on training,
competing, and life in general from this busy man. Thanks for
taking the time to answer a few questions Ryan.
Q – What are your stats? Age, weight,
height, where do you live and train, etc…
I’m 33 years old. I weigh around 285 lbs and I am around
6’3” tall. I live in Nashville, Tennessee and I
train in my own gym--for some reason my wife calls it a garage
and wants to put things in it like baby strollers.
it is a nice set up for training and generally my crew comes
over to my house for training on Saturdays. It is a two car
garage that is 100% dedicated to strongman training. Around
the walls I have a large power rack with a sumo base and bands,
a glute ham raise, reverse hyper machine, lat pulldown machine,
five staggered stone platforms with a lifting platform in front
of them, many atlas stones and quarry stones ranging from 175
to 455, a couple of logs, a few kegs, various barbells and axles,
a couple of weight trees, a set of bumper plates, about 1600
lbs of iron plates, lots of grippers and grip toys, and a bench.
In the center of the garage is a trailer with all of the implements
we need for event training such as a sand bag, sled, tire, farmers,
yoke, Conan’s wheel and Viking press. During the week
the trailer just stays put for storage and we can easily do
the gym lifts without moving it. On most Saturdays we move it
out with my old truck and take it to my church parking lot about
1 mile down the street.
I have included a couple of pictures. I go into all of this
because it think it demonstrates how someone with a 2 car garage
who is willing
not to park their cars in it can have a full service gym. I’d
take my gym over a commercial gym any day.
Q – If you don’t mind, tell
us about your family. I understand you just had a new edition
to the family a couple months ago. Congratulations!
Yes. On April 20 of this year my wife Abby and I had our second
son. His name is Kaleb Ryan. I also have a three year old named
Blake. My wife acts as though she simply tolerates strongman.
In fact I know deep down she loves it. She has been to most
all of my contests with me and I find it very supportive. Blake
made an appearance at the contest that I promote (the Music
City strongman contest) when he was 10 days old and traveled
with us to the Central USA when he was 2 months old. Blake loves
to watch my training partners and I train in the garage. He
imitates us and refers to everything we do as a “contest.”
He frequently raises things above his head and grunts. He also
tells everyone that his daddy is a strongman. My wife will kill
me if he wants to start doing it.
Q - When did you turn pro, and what was
your competitive history as an Am?
I turned pro at Big Tony’s pro-am in August 2005. I have
been competing in strongman since April of 2002. Initially I
was a middleweight competitor and weighed around 255. After
my first contest I decided to compete as a lightweight and cut
around 15 lbs a few times to get into the 225 weight class.
The last time I did this was for Nationals in 2002. I cut weight
and felt it really hurt my performance. I also looked at the
heavyweights and didn’t think they were really doing anything
I couldn’t do. Since that contest I have competed mostly
as a heavyweight. I’ve probably done 25 strongman contests
or so to date.
Each year that I have been doing strongman my performance level
has increased and my placements increased. In 2005 I did seven
contests, five of which were pro-ams and one of which was a
United Strongman Series contest in Canada. At the Pro-Ams I
placed 6th, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, and 1st.
Q – What is your athletic background,
and how did you get involved in working out originally?
As a kid I played almost all sports; football, baseball, soccer,
basketball, etc. I actually found myself to like individual
sports more though and in high school I was on the golf team
and the swim team—those were the only sports I played
at the high school level. I briefly played golf at the college
My favorite sports have always been lifting, snow skiing and
water skiing though. I have been lifting fairly seriously since
I was in about the 9th or 10th grade—so about 18 years.
That is a little misleading though because from the age of about
21 through age about 27 I definitely didn’t have lifting
as a priority and just kind of worked out enough to stay in
some kind of shape. When I was 27 I read something on the Internet
about powerlifting records by chance. I had deadlifted 600 lbs
at age 20 without an exceptional amount of training for the
lift I thought I could break the Tennessee records. I started
training for it and beat the record at my first meet four months
Q – What brought you to strongman?
Did you have anyone that brought you into the sport or introduce
you to this type of training?
While training at the commercial gym that I joined to begin
my training for powerlifting I met a strongman competitor named
Hunter Allan. Hunter had purchased all sorts of Mastiff equipment
and some stones and kept them in the back room at the gym. One
day one of my current training partners and I wandered back
into the room and tried the stuff out. We later told Hunter
that I had been pretty good at the farmers implements and we
started to train with him. Soon enough Hunter left us for other
interests (his kids), but left his equipment behind for us to
use. We have added to it substantially over the years. I can
probably count the number of Saturdays that I’ve missed
training since that day in 2001 on one hand.
Q – You have a rather busy and
stressful job as a securities attorney. We have seen a lot of
posts regarding “time to train” and “training
every day to be a champion”. You have mentioned that your
time to train is often limited by your career. How have you
modified your training to stay competitive as a pro, while still
keeping work and family balanced?
The tough thing about being a securities attorney is that it
is unpredictable in terms of how many hours I may be required
to work in any given week. If we have a large transaction that
we are working on I may have to work 100 hrs in a week. During
those weeks I just don’t workout except on the weekend.
If we are not doing a large transaction I may only work 30 hours
and during those weeks I may workout every day. Most of the
time it is closer to 50 hours or so which isn’t too bad
and I get in about four or five workouts per week with about
three of those being real workouts that last longer than twenty
I don’t determine when these 30 or 100 hour weeks occur.
I could be signed up for a contest months in advance and then
in the three weeks prior to the contest find myself getting
killed at work. That’s just part of my life. When the
two collide like that it makes me wonder if it is all worth
it sometimes, but as soon as I hit my next PR I know why I’m
doing it again.
As for family, at this point my sons are fairly young so they
do not yet have ballgames, etc. that I have to schedule my training
around. I’m sure that will add a new element to the mix.
My wife has been very understanding and has always allowed me
to get my workouts in at night when I get home and on Saturdays.
Often times I will get home from work at 7:15, scarf something
down and be working out by 7:30 with my training partner. We
will generally workout for about 1.5 hours for week night workouts.
This is definitely a sacrifice for not only me, but for my family
because many times they are going to bed as I finish up my workout.
As I mentioned earlier it is not uncommon for my son to watch
us workout. On Saturdays my workouts generally last about four
hours or so. My friends are amazed that my wife puts up with
it. Generally Friday nights, Saturday nights and Sundays are
reserved for family. I don’t have time for much else like
golf with friends.
The key for me is to not get stressed out. Stress, whether
mental or physical I think has an adverse effect on your body.
If I am super stressed at work and I’m not getting sleep
and working all the time I will take a pass on a workout. I
don’t like doing this and I know it goes against what
many serious strength athletes would do, but sometimes I think
it is the best thing to do to stay strong. For a while last
year--around the time I won my pro-card I think--I was working
fairly hard at work and for several weeks in a row the only
real workout I would get would be on Saturday, which is my event
training day. No squat workouts and no other press workouts.
I was just beating myself into the ground each Saturday with
an insane amount of workload and then recovering the entire
week. Not ideal, but I was hitting PRs. My training partners
suggested that maybe I should take that approach all the time.
To help keep my training stay flexible, I generally try to
avoid using periodizations or other rigid pre-planned type programs
in my training because those types of programs tend to get messed
up fairly easily if you have to miss a week or if you are dog
tired one week and miss your weights as a result. I do on occasion
find these to be useful for a limited period of time, but usually
I just do what my body will let me do. I generally don’t
like planning what weights, reps or sets I will be using although
I do this sometimes.
Q – Let’s take this question
a litter further. What is your view on training everyday? If
time allowed, how would you change your training to get the
most out of your abilities?
As I described above a bit, my training frequency varies based
on what is feasible. I really respect guys like Marunde and
others who train multiple times per day every day, but that
is simply not possible with my job. I am sure you can get into
better shape and ultimately get stronger if you can adapt to
and have time to train multiple times per day, every day. I
envy guys that get to do this and part of me would love to see
what I would be if I could train that way. As I mentioned, when
it is slower week I often will adapt my training so that I add
in extra workouts throughout the week. Some weeks I will actually
get in seven workouts, but this is rare.
The good thing for guys like me is that I think you can get
about 95% of the result with about three key workouts per week
if you are intense and know what you are doing. This means selecting
the most important exercises to get the most bang for your buck.
If time is scare I feel I can stay very strong with about 3
hours of total workout time during the week. It is rare that
I wouldn’t be able to at least do that much.
Q – Can you give us an example
of your training split/program – gym training and event
training; and how you break things up each week?
I have a general template that I like to use that has key days
and ancillary days. I try to avoid missing the key days at all
costs. The ancillary days can be dropped if necessary without
any real damage to my overall goals and they frequently are
I mix my training up from time to time, but generally I prefer
during most parts of the year to use a Westside Barbell type
template (for lack of a better phrase) for lower body and upper
body is more standard low rep style training.
An ideal week of training would look as follows:
Saturday (Key) - This is a big ordeal that generally starts
about 10:30 am and goes until about 3:00 pm. Sometimes as many
as eight people participate in this workout, but it averages
about 4 people. I NEVER miss this workout. This workout starts
with a max effort movement--i.e. goodmorning off pins, deadlift,
box squat, front squat, rack pull or some other movement--usually
I decide what this will be the day of the workout or a few days
prior. The weights are not planned. I just pick the movement
and start adding weight. Many times I will call it a day on
the lift even if I have a bit more in the tank—especially
if I plan to try the same ME movement the following week. I
never do the same ME movement for more than two consecutive
weeks. What I have learned over time is that the particular
weight I get on a given day is not that important so long as
it was the best I had on that day. Obviously I generally like
to set PRs on these movements, but this is not always possible
if I am tired or beat down from prior workouts.
After the ME movement I will usually run through about 4-5
events. I will pick one or two events that I want to focus on
and go through them a few times. On other events I will just
pick the weight and distance and run through it once as if it
were a contest. This is a little higher volume than most strongmen,
but I feel it helps me to make up the ground I loose by not
being able to get all of the other workouts in during the week
that some of the other guys are doing. Unless a contest is within
about four weeks I will just randomly pick events. This keeps
my training from going stale. Once the contest is imminent I
will focus on the particular events in that contest.
Sunday (Ancillary, but I usually get this one in). This is
a conditioning/recovery type day that I do fairly quickly by
myself. It is about 3 sets of 20 on bench, 3 sets of 15 on reverse
hyper, 3 sets of 12 on abs, 3 sets of 10 on chins. Sometimes
I also do some glute- ham raises. This workout takes about 20
Monday (Ancillary) - sled dragging.
Tuesday (Key) - This is the second most important workout during
my week and I try never to miss it. If I miss it on Tuesday
I do it on Wednesday. It is usually about 6 working sets of
2 on box squats with bands. This is the most efficient exercise
I do and I attribute a lot of my strength to this particular
exercise. It just works for me and it is very intense. I use
a medium-wide stance, use no belt and use some light briefs
to protect my hips. I do not use percentages. I pick a band
(such as double knotted blue bands or pink bands) and then I
will just start adding weight until I get to the speed I think
is appropriate. Sometimes I feel like superman on these and
go up to well over 400 lbs with double-knotted blue bands (sort
of like using 2 sets of blue bands) for multiple sets of 2;
other times I feel beat up in my hips and I’ll only use
300 or so with green bands for a few sets. By just going by
feel I avoid overtraining or undertraining. I sometimes follow
these up with a few sets of 5 on close stance safety squat bar
squats or front squats for quad development that the wider box
squats do not give me. I always do glute ham raises (usually
with substantial band tension added) and ab pulldowns on this
day. I may do some light stone work no tacky, speed deads, reverse
hypers, power cleans, or whatever hits me. I almost always end
this workout with some grip work such as gripper holds for time
or rolling thunder.
Wednesday (Ancillary) - if I do anything it is reverse hypers
for a few sets.
Thursday (Key) - This is my upper body day and I usually do
a few sets of log or axle for anything from heavy sets of 5
to a max effort. Lately I have added back in bench press on
this day and usually work up to a few sets of three as heavy
as I can and then drop back down for some pause bench. I also
do triceps assistance on this day and I end it with some grip
Friday - off
Q – Do you incorporate cardio type
activities like running/sprinting etc? Or do you just do more
event specific cardio – like work capacity training, GPP,
Every now and then I get on a kick where I’ll want to
throw in some extra cardio. This usually will consist of walking
on my treadmill at a fast pace at an extreme incline for around
30 minutes a few times per week, taking the steps to my office
once per day (about 20 floors), and GPP consisting of light
sled dragging with my son Blake in the tire. Blake loves this
by the way and any parent with a little kid who trains strongman
should consider doing this. Usually I make about eight 200’
passes for this workout. It is a blast for them and it is great
exercise. As a practical matter the cardio portions of my workout
are the first to drop off if I start getting too busy.
Q – What are your favorite events?
What is your best event? I know these are often the same, but
I like stones (stones just don’t always like me back).
How about you?
My favorite event is tire flip. It is also my best event. I
am also good at farmers walk, but I find it very painful to
do. I like stones a lot, but I would say as a pro I am only
average on stones.
Q – What events are/were the hardest
for you and what have/will you done to overcome them? You mentioned
your overhead press has been a problem. What changes are you
doing to bring that up to the level of your deadlifting (Note:
Ryan is approaching an 800lbs DL!!)?
OHP is a real struggle for me. I may very well be the weakest
heavyweight pro on the OHP, especially with a log. My leg power
is good so I’m slightly better on an axle. I’ve
done 285 for 6 or so on axle, but my max log is 300 on a good
day. Part of the reason for this is that for a long while I
didn’t give my overhead the priority that I gave my lower
body. This is the problem many run into--that they work their
good events and not their bad ones. It was strange that I would
often wind up being too busy to workout on upper body day while
I would almost never miss squat day. I am trying to fix this
by making sure I don’t miss my upper body day and making
sure I stay intense on this day. I’ve been pretty consistent
as of late and I’m seeing slow gains. As a practical matter
I don’t think I’ll ever be nearly as good of a presser
as I am a deadlifter. The way I’m put together makes the
deadlift a lot easier for me than the press--longer arms and
narrow shoulders. To get great leverages on the press I think
I’d likely have to be substantially over 300 lbs and with
my age, family, job, etc. 285 lbs is about what I’m willing
to weigh. At that weight I feel I can be very competitive on
most all of the events. Unfortunately I don’t see me being
especially competitive at the highest levels at that bodyweight
on the press, but I would still like to make lots of improvement.
Q – It sounds like you have a pretty
good training group down in Nashville. Please tell us a little
about your group.
I do have a great group that keeps me going. I think if you
look around at some of the best strongmen in the country they
have great training crews. This stuff is just too hard to do
on your own.
My crew consists of Kyle Mask, one of the top 200 lb competitors
in the country right now, Brian Hocker, a 360 lb pro who is
very strong, Michael Wiley, a 231 competitor, Jason Linder,
a top 175 competitor, Kasey Prather, a 265 competitor, Kim Lindsay,
and until lately Kara Mann, a top strongwoman. Kara graduated
and moved away. Kyle trains with me during the week and on Saturday,
but unfortunately for me he will be leaving to go to graduate
school in Texas later this Summer. Luckily in the next week
or so Brian is moving near me and will be working out with me
during the week.
I’ve found it doesn’t really matter how much someone
weighs or how much they can lift as long as they are intense.
I get a ton of benefit from having even our 175 guy come out
and gut it out.
Q – I know you competed at the
Fit Expo this year. Can you tell us about your experience?
Fit Expo was something I wanted to do once I turned pro just
so I could get some experience against some of the best guys
out there. I knew going into it that it wasn’t the ideal
show for me because it had two overhead press events. Against
the group that was going to it I pretty much knew from the get-go
that I would have two last place finishes on those events. I
know some would say that is a negative way to look at it, but
realistically I knew I was not in the same league as those guys
on the pressing events. My goal was to go out there and see
how I could do on my events. My placement was horrible--last
place. But I learned some important things and I’m glad
I did it.
First I found out about confidence. I think my training partner
(his first time at that level of a show also) and I were kind
of mentally psyched out before the show even started, and we
were certainly psyched out by the end of the first day. I got
last place on the first event--truck pull. My time was pretty
close to a lot of the other guys despite never pulling a truck
like that and having a pitiful start so I was not too disappointed.
The next event was yoke, which is usually and one of my best
events. Due to my placement on the truck pull I had to go first.
My mindset doing that event was to simply finish it and not
to look like a fool with another last place finish. As a result
I was super conservative and put in an extremely slow time for
me--22 seconds when I’ve done it in training in 14.5 seconds.
When I saw the other more experienced competitors go I could
see in their eyes that there was no doubt--they were not thinking
finish it--they were thinking let loose. I had gotten to where
I could do that on the am level, but it will take some time
for me to do it on the pro level. I got sixth on the yoke despite
my conservative approach and as Travis would say, now I know
I can beat them--or at least place higher than I did. The entire
rest of the contest was pretty much like that--just being conservative.
My wife said it didn’t even look like I was trying. I
was, but the fire was not in me.
The biggest thing that surprised me I guess was that my deadlift
at that contest was not up to par with a lot of the top guys—at
least not by the time it came up in that contest. I placed very
low in the deadlift event. That was the one event where I thought
that shouldn’t be the case. Despite my usual dislike for
periodization programs, when I got home from the Fit Expo I
started a deadlift program and I think I deadlifted over 600
lbs about 150 times or more in a three or four week period.
I did an equivalent number of rack pulls and RDLs. The result
was a pretty good increase on my deadlift. That work resulted
in me hitting 745 x 2 and then a pretty good attempt with 800.
I need some work on my lockout, but I’m hoping to hit
over 800 on DL soon. For those interested it was a variation
of the Kuc program on Jesse’s site.
The other thing the Fit Expo taught me was to never count on
your good events to pull you out of a hole with two bombs on
pressing events when you are competing against guys like the
ones that were competing at the Fit Expo.
Q – What contests are on your schedule
for the rest of the year? Are you doing the Central USA or Big
I am hoping to do the Central USA this year. The timing of
the show works well for my schedule and the events suit me.
Coy always puts on a good show. I sprained my ankle a couple
of weeks ago training for it though and it is still not determined
as to whether it will be good enough to compete. I’ve
got two weeks. I’m optimistic.
My 231 training partner wants to do Big Tony’s because
it is a Pro-Am. I enjoyed that contest last year and wouldn’t
mind going up there again. I’ll have to check my schedule,
but that contest is definitely a possibility.
Other than those two contests, I’ll probably just train
and get stronger absent getting invited to a cool international
contest. I’ve had some indications that there may be some
invites for the fall.
Q – I know you have an interesting
contest planned for August. Can you tell us how you came up
with the idea to do a team event? Are you planning on putting
together a team and doing the contest as well? As the NAS state
chair for Tenn., what do you like and dislike about putting
on your own contest(s)?
Yes. On August 5, I will be hosting the Music City Team contest.
This contest is unique in two respects. First, it is a team
contest with three people on each team. One team member must
be a lightweight (under 200), one must be a middleweight (200-265),
and one must be a heavyweight (over 265). The other unique thing
about this contest is that one of the team members can be a
pro. As far as I know, this is the first contest of its kind.
The idea for the contest was simple. My training crew and I
thought that it would be really cool to get to compete together.
We thought there would likely be many other training groups
out there that would also like the same opportunity. Many of
these groups, including ours, now have one or two pros as part
of them—thus the allowance for one pro per team. I think/hope
the ams will get a kick out of being able to compete with their
pro friends. Believe it or not there are still lots of pros
who want to do this stuff just for the fun of it even if there
is not a lot of prize money to be won. I’ve had some really
high level guys indicate that they will be bringing a team.
Provided I am confident that the show will be properly staffed
and that it will run efficiently I will compete in the contest
with some of my crew members. I’m looking forward to it.
As far as what I dislike about putting on my own contests,
It is a pain. I didn’t do one last year because it took
me two years to get over how I felt after my last contest was
over—like I was half dead and that I had just exhausted
myself. But I like to give something back to the sport. I would
like to think I have learned some things from the prior contests
I’ve promoted. Primarily those would be—1) cap the
entries; 2) limit the amount of divisions you attempt to handle;
3) limit the amount of max effort type events you have; and
4) think about how the contest will be run/reset, etc. when
picking the events. This year if things go the way I think they
should it will be a blast and the labor and hassle involved
in running it should be fairly minimal.
Q - Do you change your training specifically
for coming events from contest to contest or do you just follow
a base routine and just add a bit here and there?
I adjust it some, but generally always stay with my general
template as described above. I base it around heavy squatting
and pulling and pressing. If you can do that and you train the
events you will be ready for anything. I like to be able to
compete at a moment’s notice. I feel at this point I’m
pretty familiar with most all of the events and it’s just
a matter of working them into my training year round and putting
a higher emphasis on them as a contest approaches.
Q - What kind of setbacks have you encountered
along the way and how did you rise above them? I am sure your
career has brought up some challenges. Have you had any injuries
that have forced you to reevaluate your training?
Thankfully I’ve not had that many injuries or setbacks
from training. As I mentioned, right now I’ve got a sprained
ankle that I got from practicing for the duck walk. I’ve
had a couple of minor pulls of my hamstring and I’ve smashed
my fingers a couple of times on quarry stones or something.
Generally my philosophy on injury is to give the injury sufficient
time to heal by laying off of training and you will be back
in action sooner. I may violate that rule with this ankle because
I really want to do the Central USA.
Last year I broke my middle finger by smashing it under our
training trailer. It was a mess. I actually competed in Big
Tony’s show just four weeks after it happened though with
lots of tape on it and not using it generally. I modified my
training by getting a safety squat bar to squat with since I
couldn’t do regular squats for a while. It worked out
to where I won that show anyway, but it was not ideal. I think
if you listen to your body and take care of it (proper rest,
hydration, chiropractic, massage, nutrition, etc.) that you
can avoid injury for the most part. Strongman can be dangerous
though so you cannot get careless.
Right now I’m working with one of my training partners
who is really going through some setbacks as far as injury goes
and we will need to really focus on how to modify his training
to avoid similar problems in the future. If something is hurting
in a bad way, stop doing it. There are a lot of ways to get
Q - What are some of your PR’s
both in strongman events and lifting in general?
Some of my PRs are 400 farmers walk for about 55 feet; 305
farmers for 205 ft in 27 seconds, 1,000 lb tire flip 5 flips
ft in about 21 seconds, 905 squat (equipped with poly suit),
745x2 deadlift, 900 yoke 60 ft in 14.5 seconds, 435 stone, lifting
the inch dumbbell for reps, closing the #3 gripper for reps,
315 axle x 2.
Q – What are some of your most
memorable training and competition moments? What are some of
the most impressive feats you’ve seen in training and
In training I remember a lot of great times. Every Saturday
is something I really look forward to because of training. I
remember the earliest days of my training when we thought flipping
a 675 tire for 5 flips was hard. It’s rewarding to look
back and see how far you have come. I remember last summer training
in this area we called the pit because it was probably about
110 in this valley like place with no wind and hot blacktop—I
thought I was going to die after flipping our 930 tire for 2
As far as competition goes, I of course remember winning my
pro card. I remember going into the last event and Chad Coy
telling me just before I did the stones that I had the pro card
and asking me if I wanted to win some money. The Florida contest
was probably my favorite just because everything went my way,
I beat some great competitors and I was down there on vacation
ready to go to Disney World fresh off making partner at work.
That was a perfect time for me.
The most impressive feats I’ve seen. My training partner
Brian at Central USA last year was pretty much unstoppable.
In training I’ve seen Brian take my 395 stone and throw
it up to 61 inches like it was nothing. Travis responding to
Jesse’s calling out on the viking press and deadlift medley
at the Fit Expo was very impressive. Although I didn’t
see it in person, the car deadlift that Travis did at the South
Carolina contest is way up there just because he did it for
three and none of the other guys there (top pros) could budge
Q – What are some of your goals
for the future?
I’d like to continue to improve and to be respected among
some of the best strongmen. I’m not sure I’m willing
to do what it would take for me to get to the very highest levels
(i.e. get a lot bigger), but I think I can perform very well
and have a lot of fun doing it while staying healthy.
Q – We have added name associations
to the pro interviews lately, and in keeping with this tradition,
I’ll throw out some names and you give me a response what
ever comes to mind:
Well obviously all of these guys are great competitors. I’ve
had the pleasure of competing against all of them.
Steve MacDonald - Raw strength. I though Steve looked kind
of mean before I met him (don’t beat me Steve..lol). I
approached him after we competed in West VA where Steve won
his pro card and he was very nice. He doesn’t really seem
to have any weaknesses.
Kevin Nee- Super nice guy. He was very down to earth and a
really cool to my training partner and I at the Fit Expo. His
potential is seemingly unlimited. A truly gifted strength athlete.
I’d love to get the chance to train with him sometime.
Marshall White- Up and coming strongman. Hard worker from what
I can tell. I competed against Marshall down in Florida and
he won the stones. I didn’t think too much of it at the
time. I guess he is the stone man now. I’m impressed.
Sam McMahon- Great guy. I’ve known Sam longer than I’ve
know any of the other guys on the list here and we’ve
always had fun together at contests. We’ve competed against
each other many times. I’ll beat him one day. Sam tries
to make us think that he doesn’t really care too much
about this strongman stuff. When I got to his house it was like
a freaking shrine of strongman with swords mounted on the walls,
certificates in frames, etc. Sam is very talented and could
be one of the best out there if he stayed consistent with his
Dave Ostlund – another hard worker; defines dedication.
Unbelievable on stones and a great all around competitor. Dave
used to be about as bad as I am on OHP, but he has really brought
it up. He gives me some hope.
Travis Ortmayer- Without a doubt the most competitive man I’ve
ever met. Travis cannot stand to lose and has the ability to
summon forces that others cannot when it is time to compete.
A few months ago Travis told me that he once had my name on
his wall at his house where he had a list of people he wanted
to take down. I told him I assumed my name was taken off the
wall a while back. I think he has Savikas on there right now.
Jon Andersen- Best look in strongman. Also amazingly strong
Jesse Marunde- The image of strongman. Jesse is doing great
things for the sport. Jesse was one of my earliest inspirations.
After watching Jesse compete at my first contest in Ohio I was
talking about it for months.
Derek Poundstone- Tons of potential. I’m glad I beat
Derek when I had the chance in Florida because I’m thinking
he’s not going to want to let that happen again. Derek
rivals Jon on the best look in strongman--a true freak.
Odd Haugen- Very inspirational to me and I’m sure many
others. When Odd kicked my butt at the Fit Expo I was thinking.
Wow. I just got my butt kicked by a 50-something year old man
and I’m pretty strong. I’m hoping I can be half
that strong when I’m his age. Any time I think I’m
getting to old for this stuff I just look at Odd and think--I’ve
got a long time left. I hope Odd continues for a long time to
come. He is great for the sport as a competitor and as a promoter.
Q – What are your views of NAS
and ASC as well as the IFSA/WSM split? Is the competition good
for each federation, or is it creating frustration among athletes
I think NAS and ASC are doing an unbelievable job. I may have
a bias though because in a sense I feel like I am part of them.
I am the NAS state chair, an ASC pro and legal counsel for both
of them. Dione and Willie Wessels have essentially created this
sport for so many people. I am thankful that they have taken
the time to do it.
The IFSA/WSM split is good and bad I think. On the one hand
I’d like to keep strongman unified so that we can see
all of the top guys go against each other. Over time I think
this will happen in one way or another. On the other hand I
think the IFSA/WSM split creates competition and competition
generally forces people to make their product better. It also
give more competitors a chance to compete.
I don’t think the average fan really knows exactly what
is going on with the federations. If they are a real fan they
probably like having both federations so they can see more strongman
on both ESPN and OLN.
Q – Anything you would like to
add that I may have not asked? Would you like to thank anyone?
Please feel free.
Thanks for the interview. I think you have pretty much covered
it. I’d like to thank my family for their support and
God for giving me the abilities I have and for keeping me healthy.
Thank you, Ryan, for taking the time
to interview with us. We wish you the best of luck.