Robert Oberst is an American Strongman, born on 20 December 1984, in Santa Cruz, California USA. He’s known for being a World’s Strongest Man’s competitor, and for appearing in the History channel’s show “The Strongest Man in History”.
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Robert Oberst was born the eighth of ten children of Kathy and Jim Oberst. His huge family includes four brothers – Dave, Mike, Shaun and James, and five sisters – Wendy, Amanda, Emily, Julia and Jamie. Although there’s no information about Robert’s primary education, it’s known he was considerably taller than most of his classmates by his 12th birthday, already 6ft 1in (1.85m) and weighing 220lbs (100kgs). His strong build made him suitable to play football and compete in track and field while attending Aptos High School.
He was an avid swing dance competitor as well, winning many trophies in it until he was 19 years old.
After matriculating from high school, Robert continued with football in College, playing as an off-lineman. Graduating from Western Oregon University with a major in history in 2008, Robert tried to enter the National Football League (NFL).
Although he didn’t make it into the League, he’s thankful for the time he played football: ‘In my opinion football is the best sport to put you on the right path in strongman. Yes, even better then power lifting. I have faster feet and a better mentality from football. (…) The one and only con from coming from a football background is we don’t dead lift in football. We power clean and snatch. I had a lot of problems with dead lift at first as do most football players, especially those who played as long as I did.’
Debut as Strongman
Robert started working as security at a bar, meeting amateur strongman and co-worker Evan. His friend’s enthusiasm for strongman competitions led Robert to start training in it, unofficially breaking the established record for amateur’s Log Press of 330lbs (150kgs) the first time he tried it, impressively lifting 350lbs (159kgs).
Oberst remembers the event with humor: ‘The first time I ever touched a log, I broke the amateur record. I then asked him (Evan), ‘Is that good?’ He told me to ‘piss off,’ but I was hooked after that day.’
Robert trained continuously for four months after that, obtaining a Pro-Card in his first show in 2013, qualifying for national and major events.
After attending Giants Live in England, he was told to participate in the World’s Strongest Man event, in which he impressively hit a feat as rookie when he turned out a finalist.
Ever since 2013 Robert has had a proficient strongman career, breaking records and placing favorably in many competitions.
Besides his first unofficial record in Log Press, he also has hit impressive numbers in other fields while working out behind closed doors, such as dead lift with 880lbs (400kgs), bench pressing 650lbs (290 kgs), 950lbs (430kgs) in squat, and finally 490lbs (220kgs) in the overhead press.
In 2015 he officially broke the American record at the Arnold Strongman Classic Australia in Log Lift, with 465lbs (211kgs). Such an achievement was significant to Robert in a personal way, and considers it his proudest moment: ‘I was in Australia, in front of the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, breaking the record for Max Log. This is mainly because the former record holder, Mike Jenkins, was someone I greatly admired and respected. Jenkins had passed away, so when they handed me the award, I looked up to the sky in memory of a great competitor. They caught this moment on camera with a picture, and that is my favorite. Now after holding that record for three years, I want to keep it for Mike too.’
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However, this record was taken from Oberst by Rob Kearney, who surpassed it in April 2019 with 471lbs (214kgs): ‘I had it for several years, and not being able to defend it was very frustrating it.’ he confessed, though he promised to work on breaking the world record.
Since his official debut, Robert Oberst’s proficiency has made him capable of many achievements as strongman. In 2012 he not only won third place in America’s Strongest Man competition, he also achieved first place in San Jose Fit Expo, and in Dallas Europa that year.
In 2013 he effectively increased the number of competitions in which he participated, winning first place in Giants Live Las Vegas and Odd Haugen’s US Open MAS Wrestling Championship, and second place in America’s Strongest Man.
The same year Robert debuted in international competitions, including China’s Strongest Man in which he obtained third place, and was placed sixth in Giant’s Live British Open, and ninth in World’s Strongest Man.
In 2014 he was placed second in America’s Strongest Man, and eighth in Arnold Strongman Classic. In the latter competition though, he surpassed his previous numbers the next year when he obtained third place. Robert won sixth place for two years consecutively in Giants Live North American Open, and increased his numbers in World’s Strongest Man in 2018 when he was placed eighth.
“The Strongest Man in History” – TV Show
Premiered on History in 2019, “The Strongest Man in History” centers on the lives of Brian Shaw, Eddie Hall, Nick Best and of course, Robert Oberst, and their personal journey as strongmen.
Although the show is filled with competitiveness, these athletes’ camaraderie makes the series entertaining and watchable even by non-fans of strongman competitions. The first season of the show had seven episodes, and a second season is expected.
Daily Life Habits and Discipline
Robert’s impressive records have captivated his fans, who not only have huge admiration for his strength, but want to follow his steps as well. Due to this, Oberst’ life habits are often questioned, especially his training and diet.
In an interview with It’s Strength, Robert revealed what his “tricks” are: ‘All you have to do is watch my YouTube videos to see I don’t “trick” the weight up. No split jerk no ducking under the log no tricks.
My “trick” is I work my shoulders like a mad man. I make sure I do everything in the gym the right way. I don’t bounce the bar off my chest when I bench I don’t call something a lockout unless I lock it out, and I don’t train for the recognition of hitting numbers in the gym. I want numbers in shows.’
He also recommended most beneficial workout routines when training pressing: ‘I do feel military press is way more beneficial than incline, and bench press is also very underrated in this sport. Also triceps cannot be over worked in my opinion. My upper body day in the gym has never been less than four hours and I always go home wishing I had hit a few muscles a little more.’
Through the years, his openness about his physical condition hasn’t changed.
Here’s my opinion on the world record deadlift coming up https://t.co/p0d8vbB4d0
— Robert Oberst (@RobertOberst) April 12, 2020
He has revealed he trains in a Hanford’s local gym, and is his own coach. Training alongside his buddies, Robert sets up work-out routines and designs programs to improve his group’s physical condition.
His training when a competition is close is different though. His explosive workouts mean he doesn’t stop, working out for six hours four days a week approximately, using the other days of the week on recovery, which he thinks is the most critical part of training.
Robert follows a strict frills-free, clean protein diet; this includes chicken and fish, along meat, vegetables, rice and potatoes.
Nathan Payton, expert Nutritionist for Strongman competitors, sets diets for Robert to improve his training and old eating habits before he entered competitions. When asked about changes made to his life by Nathan, Robert answered: ‘The biggest change to me is I miss pizza! Anybody who knows me knows I’m a pizza enthusiast.’
Despite refraining from his favorite food, Robert is thankful of Nathan’s help to achieve his purposes: ‘My goals with Nathan are to be as strong as possible as long as possible. I want to finish shows strong.’
In 2012, Robert was interviewed by It’s Strength, revealing the name of his wife Kristin, mentioning her as one of his biggest supports. With Kristin, he has a son named Atlas.
Currently it’s unknown if Robert is still married to Kristin, as he has recently appeared in his Instagram account with another woman named Meghan Esgoda.
Robert Oberst has an estimated net worth of over $400,000, as a result of his successful career as strongman, obtaining top places in many competitions, and for appearing in the TV series “The Strongest Man in History”.
Building solid, muscular bodies is crucial in a strongman’s career. Due to this, Robert Oberst’s huge, strong build is perfectly normal. He’s 6fts 7ins (2.01m) tall, and weighs 410lbs (186kgs). His ethnicity is white, and he has brown eyes and hair.
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Robert’s father was in the Navy.
Robert has made several public appearances wearing pink Chuck Taylors. He has declared pink represents his support of breast cancer’s awareness, as his mother is a survivor of this disease.
His childhood nickname is O.B, which he obtained in second grade and it’s remained until his days as a strongman. Robert is also known as “American monster”.
His goal as strongman is ‘to be the strongest man who ever walked the earth’.
His family is his biggest support in his career. He has said they are ‘obsessed’ with his success, and have done everything in their power to support him.
About the drastic changes he has made to his eating habits, he has said that he does it not only for his career, but also for a different reason: ‘I know that guys like me have all these health problems, and I want to be around for my son.’