by Al Myers
This past week the Dino Gym had a surprise visitor for our Tuesday night workout. It was my old friend Dave Brown, who was on vacation and decided to “stop by” and pay me a visit. He picked a good day – because Tuesday is our BIG NIGHT in the gym. This a big DEAL for the Dino Gym – having a STRENGTH CELEBRITY join us for a workout. It has been a few years since I have seen Dave – but he is still as big and strong as he used to be. Dave stands 6′3″ and weighs a little over 350 pounds – but carries his weight very well. His build reminds me of Paul Anderson when Paul was in his younger days. Dave has been a top level professional Highland Game athlete for 15 years. Before this, he was a record setting amateur athlete with the 28# and 56# weights for distance. Dave now resides in Redding, California and works as an engineer for a timber company. He is married to Shauna, and they have two children, a son Taylor (10 years old) and a daughter Arabella (2 years old).
Dave currently holds the WORLD RECORD in the 56# weight for height with a toss of 20′1″, which he set in 2006. I remember when I started throwing in the Highland Games (over 20 years ago) and athletes would “talk about 20 feet” in the WOB with anticipation that maybe someday someone would top that mark. Much like Olympic Lifters talking about a 600 pound Clean and Jerk. It seemed like an impossibility at the time, but the hope was always there that a SUPERMAN would come along and make the impossible happen. Well, that SUPERMAN is Dave Brown. Yet, Dave is as modest as they come. I have known him for close to 20 years and he is the same guy now as when he first started throwing. I remember many years ago when Dave was a 19 year old kid living in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was just starting in the games. Dan DeWelt commissioned me to “come down to Tulsa” to put on a Highland Games Clinic for new throwers, as I was the only Highland Games Pro around in the Midwest in those days. That was the first time I met Dave, and when we got to the weight over bar and he was matching me throw for throw – I knew he was going to be something special someday in the Highland Games. For a couple of years Dave would drive to my place so we could train together. He started going to more games. It wasn’t long before Dave turned professional and we were seeing and competing with each other several weekends a summer. And then it wasn’t long before Dave was far surpassing ALL of my throwing distances!!
Dave is a “student of the game”, and when mixed with his amazing genetic ability and work ethic, has accomplished things that others just dream of. I really believe if Dave had decided on focusing on another sport besides the
Highland Games he would have been just as successful. In 1998, he tried Strongman Competition and with minimal implement training won the NAS Heavyweight Championships! And this was against seasoned Strongmen. I wonder what his Strongman career could have been if THAT was his focus? Dave also has a WORLD CLASS grip without working on it much. Many years ago at a Pro Highland Games in Arlington, Texas I will never forget him closing the #3 COC grippers with ease. This was in the days when that was a BIG DEAL! Carl Braun brought along a #3 gripper to “Challenge” Dave over our noon lunch break. I don’t even know if Dave had ever seen one before – but while he was sitting there with a sandwich in one hand and the gripper in the other he SMASHED it shut! Then he switched hands with the sandwich and #3 gripper – and did it again with his other hand! I’ll never forget how nonchalantly he did this! It just wasn’t that big of deal to him at the time. World renowned Strength Historian Dale Harder has been measuring athletes grips with a Baseline Dynamometer to get a very accurate reading of gripping strength. He has done this for over ten years now and has tested 1000’s of athletes. To date, Dave has the HIGHEST Dynamometer reading of ALL-TIME with a squeeze of 122 kilograms. Now THAT’S a firm handshake! It’s a shame Dave never gave football a try. With his size and agility I’m sure he would have had a lucrative pro career as an Offensive Guard in the NFL.
I only wish Dave would have planned his vacation so he could have made it to today’s Dino Grip Challenge. He would have been a MAJOR FORCE in the gifted lineup of grip-masters that are entered in this meet. Hopefully, the USAWA will see more of Dave Brown in the future.