An Interview With Corey St. Clair!

Learn all about how and why Corey got interested in strongman events, his goals for next year and how his life has changed since receiving his pro card!

About Corey

Name: Corey St. Clair
Born/Grew up in: I was born in Clearwater, Florida and grew up in that area before moving to Idaho.
Current Residence: Boise, Idaho.
Measurements: I'm 6'5" and around 300lbs. My arms are around 20".

The Interview

[ Q ] When did you start lifting?

    I lifted in high school to put on weight for football my senior year. Once I got to college at Boise State University, I joined the powerlifting club under the coaching of Joe Kenn (now the Director of Strength and Conditioning of Arizona State U.).

    I developed proper lifting form/techniques, program design and a sound eating/supplement habit to assist me in gaining muscle. I powerlifted for around 5 years around the Northwest winning State Titles and World Titles in 2 different federations.

[ Q ] Have you always been strong?

    Yes and no. I couldn't do a pull up until about 2 years ago. However, I was always fairly strong on what I'd consider "odd" lifts. I could hammer curl 90lb dumbbells…which is a little abnormal for someone who could barely deadlift 550.

[ Q ] Does strength run in your family?

    My family is very fitness oriented. My dad lifted in our garage and that's where my brother (Chris) and I got started. My mom is an ex-marathon runner who's gotten into lifting weights over the past 2 years with great success.

    She can now do deadlifts over 200lbs and can do pull-ups on her own. My brother is a professional highland games athlete and placed in the top 10 at the 2003 amateur strongman national championships.

[ Q ] How did you get into strongman competitions?

    While working for the Boise State Athletic Dept., I saw Bill Kazmeier winning strongman competitions and immediately knew that's what I wanted to do…be a "strongman". I started lifting stones, tires and changed my weightroom workouts to involve more overhead pressing and Olympic lifting (clean and press and snatch).

[ Q ] How long have you been competing?

    My first strongman competition was in June of 2000. It was the Central USA Strongman Challenge in Kokomo, Indiana. I placed 13th out of 59 guys. It was one of the hardest things I'd ever done. The next contest I did was Washington State's Strongest Man in Seattle. I placed 3rd out of about 12 guys in that contest. I've competed in around 13 competitions and you can see a full list and placing breakdown on my website

[ Q ] Favorite strongman event?

    My favorite event would either be the farmer carry or the stones. Due to my height and long arms, pressing events are tough for me. However, I make up points in other events with my strong grip and good mobility.

[ Q ] Toughest part of a strongman competition?

    Pushing yourself. This sport is all about how much pain you can endure. Often times, you feel as though you're about to die. You can't catch your breath, your heart's beating out of control and the pain is often unbearable. However, the person who can just keep going no matter what will do well. There's a pro by the name of Jared Spybrook who I often think of before competing.

    He is so intense that he looks like he just "flips a switch" and goes crazy. He never gives up and gives every event 100%. That's what it takes in this sport. It's like downhill racing…it's not the person who goes the fastest that wins, it's the person who doesn't put on their breaks who gets to the finish line first.

[ Q ] How do you prepare for a strongman competition?

    I do sport-specific gym lifts that will directly transfer over to the events. I also do a lot of event training. More so as I get closer to a contest. You generally know what the events are before hand, so you can train specifically for those events in preparation. In the off-season (winter time), I do a lot of heavy squats, cleans, presses and abs.

[ Q ] What are you plans for the upcoming year?

    I just returned from my first pro show in Hawaii. I placed 5th out of 10 in Hawaii's Strongest Man Contest. I placed 3rd in the Farmer Carry, Trolley Pull and Tire Flip. I competed against some of the world's best like Jesse Marunde, Phil Pfister and Odd Haugen. They've each competed at the World's Strongest Man and it's an honor to be competing side by side with them.

    It's truly a dream come true. I've been working towards this since 1998. I was very happy with my performance and look forward to possibly competing in St. Louis in May. I'm promoting 2 shows in Idaho…The Strongest In The West on June 12th and Idaho's Strongest Man on September 11th.

[ Q ] What's been the highlight of your career to day?

    Probably winning the National Championships in Myrtle Beach last October. I beat almost 60 guys from all over the US as well as winning my pro card. I also enjoyed the Hawaii show, as it really was like we were putting on a show.

[ Q ] Since turning pro, how has your life changed?

    I've had some more sponsorship opportunities with different companies/business'. Other than that, that's about it. The training is harder…smarter, but harder. I listen to my body a lot more and try not to overtrain.

[ Q ] Coolest person you've ever met?

    Too many to list. Willie Wessels is the most "normal" guy for someone who's squatted over 1000lbs, benched 660+ and won a ton of strongman comps…all under 250lb body wt. Phil, Jesse, Svend Karlson, Jill Mills, The Kaz, the list goes on and on. It always amazes me that when I meet some "big name" pro strongman, bodybuilder or whatever, that their just people who hate traffic and can't fit in an airplane-just like me!

[ Q ] One thing people may not know about you…

    I was in Boy Scouts and Marching Band as a kid and teen.

[ Q ] Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    Not sure, I just see what the tide brings in each day.

Be sure to also check out Corey's site: