A 450-Pound, 40 Rep Bench Press Workout Is 'Cardio' for Brian Shaw

Four-time World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw has been training consistently during quarantine. Between a conversation with fellow Strongman Hafthor Björnsson ahead of his world record deadlift, Shaw also deadlifted a car, challenged his wife to a home workout challenge, and set a goal to bench press 701 pounds. And in his latest YouTube video, he’s letting us in on another bench press training session, showing off a new piece of equipment he’s added to his home gym, a Rogue Combo Rack.

The workout plan: bench 450 pounds for 40 reps. Shaw and his lifting partner Tyler Stickle do the math, and find that the total training volume equals 18,000 pounds.

“That’s a lot,” says Shaw.

Shaw starts his bench session with warmup sets at 135 pounds, 225 pounds, and 315 pounds, taking time to talk about the upcoming 450-pound, 40-rep push, which he says will be broken down into 10 sets of 4 reps.

“That’s cardio! I don’t care how much weight’s on there. If you’re doing 40 reps, that’s cardio!” says Shaw.

He moves up to 365 pounds, then to 405 pounds, and up to 450 pounds. After his first rep, he says, “Nine more sets. Literally we’re going to be benching all day It’s a bench marathon, let’s go.”

Between sets, Shaw explains he’ll be doing 8 reps of rows using a barbell attached to resistance bands.

“It’s a lot of volume, a lot of work, but we’re going to get moving and crank through this,” he says.

By his last set, he’s feeling it. After his final rep, he lets out a roar and a powerful “YES!” After catching his breath, he says, “I’m very happy about that. Very happy.”

But that’s not the end of his workout. He moves to another bench to do dumbbell chest presses, push-ups and more.

“Man, I’ll tell you what…that was crazy today. I just took it a set at a time, and it definitely felt like a marathon getting through those sets,” says Shaw after his workout is complete. “I’m really happy and proud of finishing that. To say it’s a challenge is an understatement, but I love a challenge and I love pushing myself like this.”

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