Strongman Robert Oberst from the USA recently won the MetRx Odd Haugen Strength Challenge, in San Jose.
As his star seems to be on the rise we had to interview this giant of a man, whose heart seems comparable to his stature.
Phil Burgess: You recently won the heavyweight division of the MetRx Odd Haugen Strength Challenge. How did it feel to win this? And is this your best result to date?
Robert Oberst: Winning the San Jose Fit Expo felt great.
One of the other heavy weights had beaten me pretty handily in the first show I ever did and I wanted to redeem that loss.
When I was preparing for the last event Odd told me I had already won no matter what I did, but I was not slowing down for anything and won the final event as well.
Phil Burgess: How many competitions have you done before, and how did you get involved with the sport in the first place?
Robert Oberst: San Jose was the 5th show I have ever done. My 4th was the Arnold Amateur World championship where I placed top 10.
I have been in this sport for almost exactly one year.
Phil Burgess: Where do you live? And what do you do as an occupation and to relax?
Robert Oberst: I live in Hanford, California and I work as security guard and I also do in home care for my brother.
To relax I lift weights. Kinda weird I guess, but I love it.
My bachelor party for my wedding a few weeks ago was a day at the gym with my friends lifting cars and seeing who could run with the heaviest yoke.
Phil Burgess: What is your bodyweight and height, and what are your best lifts in the Log Press , Deadlift and Squat?
Robert Oberst: I’m 6’8″ 410 pounds and my best log to date is 425 , but I’m sure it’s higher now as I have just been doing the axle for the last 3 shows.
My best deadlift is 775, but getting better every day and my squat is around 950 pounds.
Phil Burgess: What is you favourite and least favourite strongman event and why?
Robert Oberst: My favorite event is the overhead press because it comes naturally to me. My least favorite would be any hold for max time.
Phil Burgess: Who has been the most influential person in your strongman career, and why?
Robert Oberst: The most influential person in my career is my wife Kristin.
She is amazing. When I come home after killing myself at the gym she takes care of me and when I need a push she’s there for that. I would never make it in this sport or any other without her. She’s my heart.
Phil Burgess: Do you consciously plan ahead what you are going to eat each day, and record the food, or do you have a more casual approach to your diet?
Robert Oberst: My eating plan is kind of my own. I dont eat crap like fast food or even drink soda. I try to eat a lot of clean food. So much that it’s actually a chore to eat. I don’t smoke or drink and I make sure I get my sleep.
Phil Burgess: What other competitions are you looking at competing in this year? And what are your goals for 2012?
Robert Oberst: I will be competing in Dallas on August 17-18 at a Europa show, where I plan on winning my pro card.
Phil Burgess: What bodypart have you had to work harder on and why? And how have you done this?
Robert Oberst: The body part I have had to work on most has been low back.
Coming from a football backround we didnt deadlift often so it was very hard for me when I first started. I got better because I knew to be where I want to be, I need low back strength.
I’m never ok with losing to anyone at anything. I dont care if its checkers or strongman I’m a competitor, so I made myself push to keep up with the guys around me.
There’s always somebody bigger and badder so I’ll never run out of inspiration.
Phil Burgess: What Strength Training sources would you recommend to others, which you have read?
Robert Oberst: I read Louie Simmons blog, more for it’s training tips.
I also listen to anything Mark Bell has to say which lately has been a lot of sense since he started the power project.
I’m a big believer in watching film, just like in football. If you want to do something right watch someone and learn.I’m on youtube way too much!
Phil Burgess: Finally, what do you do the week following a comp in order to recover fully?
Robert Oberst: After a comp I like to give myself at least 3-4 days off and hit the hot tub a lot, then start back up and listen to my body.