An Interview With Masters Powerlifter Steve Shaw

An Interview with Powerlifter Steve Shaw

  • Hometown: Fond du Lac, WI
  • Current Location: Taycheedah, WI
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 310
  • Age: 45
  • Favorite Lift: Deadlift
  • Favorite Food: Nachos!
  • Website: Click Here

I know you were always active as a kid; what was the deciding moment when you fell in love with lifting?

steve-shaw-2In 1986. I attended a small college, but it had a very nice gym. Nothing fancy, but all the essentials. I could squat, dip, leg press, bench press.

It was there that I ran into a college professor who was also a bodybuilder. He mentored me some. I think it was seeing the muscular possibility right in front of my eyes that motivated me to hit the iron hard.

What do you like best about being in this industry?

Running into “overcomers.” Overcomers are people who just succeed. They may or may not overanalyze things, but they do find a way to get results.

They understand the source of human potential is locked within the heart. Overcomers find their motivation and drive forward.

What is your biggest pet peeve in this industry?

Overcomplication. While scientific analysis can create understanding, it alone is not passion.

People succeed in life because of passion. It can’t be faked or bought. Things can be purchased, but not success in the gym.

I believe that everyone should master the fundamentals and learn to find a love with the gym first and foremost. Enjoy what you’re doing, and then do it.

Ever notice how so many people succeed despite the use of what we would call inferior workout routines? There is a reason for that. Passion.

I’d put my money on a passionate lifter using an inferior training approach any day.


I know you are very family oriented. How do you make enough time for both? I know a lot of people have a hard time separating the two.

I believe in balanced living. Nothing in life is more important than another human being. I will not succeed at the expense of my relationships. Finding love, and being granted children is a gift. I will not risk these gifts. They will be with me long after my body gives up.

How did your daughter Erin become involved in powerlifting and what are her plans with it? Do you think she’ll follow in your footsteps?

One thing I never wanted to do with my daughter’s was to pressure them into any specific sport. She was more of a natural runner, so when she asked if she could lift with me, I was surprised.

About 18 months ago we started training. She was 13 at the time. We started very slow and just worked on form and had fun.

I’m not sure what she loves about it, but I do know that kids seem to find strength training fun. While I can’t say if she’ll stick with it, I do know for certain that she will always remember how hard her father worked to reach physical goals.

I hope this modeling of good behavior helps her no matter which path she chooses in life.

steve-shaw-3As far as interviews goes; what would be the most memorable interview you have done?

Frank Zane. I enjoyed talking to Frank. He didn’t hold anything back and I respect him for that.

What would you tell younger guys who are considering taking steroids?

If they are illegal in your country, don’t. If you think most successful powerlifters are successful because of AAS, you’re wrong. I know plenty of successful powerlifters who, despite AAS being legal for them, barely use anything and are extremely successful.

You can build amazing strength levels if you remain patient, don’t rush and as a result, stay injury free.

I’ve never had a major training injury. I stop a workout when something doesn’t feel right. This keeps me in the gym, remaining consistent.

While I won’t lie and say AAS can’t give you an advantage, I will say that you can get far stronger than you would ever imagine without it. Mental strength is the most important thing you can foster. It will allow you to reach new heights.

What would you tell older guys and gals in their 40’s-50’s just starting out and what do you think realistically of their potential to make gains?

Listen to your body. Don’t feel like you need to live in the gym, nor bomb, blast and blitz your body into oblivion.

I use no more than 5-6 working sets per week right now. Sometimes more when I work arms. Granted I do a lot of warmup work, but I never try to enter the gym to cripple myself.

Try to make small, consistent steps.

I know you have written several children’s books, any plans of other books in the works?

I would like to do a sci-fi slash horror series for adults. Someday, if time is on my side.


Do you realize the significant impact you have on other people’s lives?

No. Probably not as much as I should.

Most days all I see are the number of people who walk away. I invest in the lives of others, but the hardest part can often be the day when you realize you care more about them reaching their goals than they do.

I do hope that a time will come when these folks are ready to make changes.

I want the best for everyone. Life is so short. Cliche’, but true. It kicks our ass and many of us quit fighting back.

I just want to see more people fight back. They deserve to laugh and love and smile. We all do. If at my funeral a couple of folks step forward and say that I was able to help them in some way, I would be happy.

If you can change just one life, your time was well spent.

I know you are an all- around great guy and really go out of your way to help others. How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who never wasted a day. I have good and bad days like everyone, but I take every day seriously and try to cram as much into it as possible.


What does the future hold for Steve Shaw as far as lifting and pursuing other avenues?

In just under 5 weeks from now I will be competing at the 2013 UPA Battle on the Mississippi. After that point, it’s time for a life change. Being 45 years old and weighing over 300 pounds is not something that works well together.

My next goal is to just get back my fitness levels. To be able to run and jump and wrestle as I please. Call it physical freedom. That’s my goal.

Strength training involves a very specific set of practices. Physically I handle it well, but it does require me to overeat to gain strength like I do. It’s time for me to part with that aspect of powerlifting.

Do you do any stretching or foam rolling?


I stretched a lot intra-workout when I was younger. Now I simply don’t have time. I feel great, train low volume and really have no need to.

Boxers or briefs?

Both, but prefer boxers. I have Scooby Doo Christmas boxers and hot chili pepper boxers.

I’m a kid inside.



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