Four-time World’s Strongest Man winner Brian Shaw frequently takes on challenges that showcase his raw power, from deadlifting cars and hauling trucks to going head-to-head with UFC star Dustin Poirier in a CrossFit-inspired “strength war.” But he also isn’t afraid to step outside his comfort zone and try out different forms of fitness which don’t necessarily suit his skillset, like the time he attempted hot yoga. In the newest video on his YouTube channel, Shaw takes things one further, and he and his wife Keri attend their first-ever ballet class.
“I watched Pumping Iron, and Arnold [Schwarzenegger] did take a ballet class,” he says. “So this is following in Arnold’s footsteps.”
The first hurdle for the 6’6″ strongman is simply squeezing into a pair of ballet shoes; the instructor was able to find a single size 19 pair, and Shaw still struggles to get them to fit. “Is it supposed to hurt that bad?” He asks, before opting to stay in his socks for the warmup, where he gets to grips with his plié.
As he then goes through the other basic moves of ballet, Shaw finds that his sheer size is a hindrance, and he doesn’t have the mobility or flexibility needed to get into some of the positions. Some of the jumping manouvers are also tricky, given his 425-pound weight.
Other elements of the class are a little bit more Shaw’s speed, however—like when he uses his strongman talents to seemingly effortlessly lift his dance partner—and by the end of the class, he has limbered up enough to be able to hold his stretches on the barre.
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