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Oral Hygiene Habits of the Interesting: World's Strongest Man Phil Pfister

"My hands are so big I have a hard time putting my fingers in my mouth. I can't floss like a regular size person. I have to use a floss handle, but I do floss regularly."
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2012-09-26-image009.jpgQ: How big are you currently?

A: I am 6 foot 5 inches and 330 pounds. When I last competed in the World's Strongest Man competition in 2010 I was 395 pounds.

Q: Do you still lift heavy weights?

A: I haven't lifted anything especially heavy in over two years. I mostly just do range of motion movements and light workouts to stay healthy.

Q: Did you have a ritual before any of your world Strongest Man competitions?

A: I always tried to eat a sushi or sashimi meal the day before a WSM event, it just became a pre-contest reward/ritual.

Q: Have you ever fractured your teeth or hurt your jaw competing or working out?

A: Yes, once when I was just teaching myself to lift and was doing heavy upright rows. I just barely chipped my front teeth with the bar. My dentist was able to fix me up.

Q: With your size and strength, have you ever broken a toothbrush while brushing?

A: No. (laughing)

Q: Are you a regular flosser ?

A: My hands are so big I have a hard time putting my fingers in my mouth. I can't floss like a regular size person. I have to use a floss handle, but I do floss regularly.

Q: Are there any World's Strongest Man events that involve the jaw muscles or teeth?

A: In early world strongman competitions there was a bar bending event. I've heard some of the competitors would wrap the bar in a towel and use their teeth and mouth as a fulcrum point to bend the bar.

Q: What's the hardest event you've ever competed in during the WSM competitions?

A: I would have to say the tire flips. Fortunately it disappeared from competition during my career. It's a great event anyone can practice. A tire is available at no cost to practice with. It's a concrete item, it's not like a gym machine that has no real life relation.

2012-09-26-image008.jpgQ: Overall, did you enjoy your years competing in the WSM competition?

A: Absolutely, but I am very happy to have transitioned from carrying cars to carrying a microphone and doing commentary for the show. I love strongman, but it is a very high-calorie lifestyle! In strongman, just diet and training are more than a full-time job. I succeeded with a lot of cookies, chocolate milk and steak... 8,000 to 16,000 calories per day diet, day in and day out for decades.

Meeting my caloric demand was always a challenge. Starting as a teenager, my metabolism was so fast that I used to eat until it hurt, because an hour later I was hungry. As a strongman, a typical meal for me would be four pounds of steak and two baked potatoes smothered in butter and sour cream. In the earliest stages of my career, a typical bedtime snack for me would be a giant 5,000 calorie ice cream float of half a gallon of Bryers ice cream in a two liter of 7-Up. Another typical early career 4,000 calorie snack was a 1-pound Hershey bar with a quart of half and half to wash it down. Those were the days! Now I tend to eat much cleaner and 3,000 - 6,000 calories per day.