Monthly Archives: July 2012

Naturally a Strongman

Dan Shirt is naturally a strongman, this week he talks to us about his gym history and recent strongman success.


Dan is 29 years old and lives with his partner, Lauren and two kids. Travis 4 and Tate 11 months.

Tell us about your Gym History:

I started training at Evolution Gym 6 years ago and have received massive support from owners, Jon Clark and Rachael Hayes, over the years. The gym has become like a second home and family. The atmosphere and lads and lasses who train there are very supportive of each other.

I started off training to lose weight and get fit but as I got to know Jon encouraged me to begin bodybuilding and put me on the right path with nutrition and training. Support is what Jon does for everyone who trains at the gym and are interested in listening to his advice and taking it on board. He has all the time in the world for people even though he leads a more hectic life than anyone I know.

I soon realised bodybuilding was probably not the best thing for me as I don’t see to be able to stick to the strict diet that is needed to accomplish the results necessary to get on stage. However, strongman is a lot more up my street. Although you still need to follow a certain nutrition plan, which Jon was more than happy to help with once again – it is not as strict and a lot easier to stick to.

So, I started to change my training to a more strongman style which is when I met my training partner Lee Parks who organises all my training sessions and pushes me through them with no mercy. He is ex-Army so you get no sympathy, which is what is needed in strongman.

Lee is also the one who finds all the competitions for me to enter via Sugden Barbell website, which has all the information about upcoming shows. It has strongman profiles which include personal bests of other competitors and information about placings in any competitions they have entered.

The first competition I entered was UK Strongman North Open. It was nerve wracking but a great eye opener. I came 17th out of 30 men – not bad for a first attempt, it was a great learning experience.

Next came Yorkshire’s Strongest Man open. I came 12th out of 20 men, again learning.

I have recently decided to compete in Natural Only srongman as I do not use any performance enhancing drugs and have just competed in Britain’s Natural Strongest Man. This was in County Durham and hosted by Jack Lovett at the Spartan Strongman Gym.

It was the best competition I have ever done and due to a lot of hard training and amazing support from Jon Clark, Lee Parks and Team Evolution I came second and am now training for the Britain’s Natural Strongest Man Final which will be held at Paradise Wildlife Park, Hertfordshire.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jon Clark, Rachael Hayes of Evolution gym and also a big thanks to Lee Parks for pushing me through some brutal workouts.