On this episode of the Riton Podcast, host Brady Speth and guest host Jerimiah Alexander speaks to long time friend Bill Kazmaier! Listen to the incredible stories from the Worlds Strongest Man!
Be The Riton Revolution.
Brady Speth 0:08
Welcome, everybody to Riton Podcast. Super lucky today, my co host for some of these events, Jeremiah Alexander is on here. That’s not the lucky part. The lucky part is we’re sitting here talking to the one and only Bill Kazmaier. He’s he’s joined us from the beaches in Hawaii. So he’s got a little bit better background than we do. But yeah, Bill Kazmaier World’s Strongest Man. Just all around good dude. Somebody I’m proud to call a friend. Huge fan of Riton been a supporter of us for a long time. Welcome to the podcast. We’re happy to have you here.
Bill Kazmaier. 0:42
Thank you so much. warm, sunny day, of course. Here in Kona Hawaii. I’m not sure you guys are in Arizona.
Brady Speth 0:50
I’m in Arizona. Jeremiah is up in Utah. So we’re getting we even got a little snowin Arizona. So
Bill Kazmaier. 0:56
Might be a little bit cold there. But yeah, I’m soaking up the sunshine for you guys. Got the tan going on.
Jerimiah Alexander 1:03
Bill I have to as I see the the ocean behind you. I have to ask you. I heard a story years ago about a goldfish eating contest. And it seems only fitting that we hear we hear about that why you sit with the ocean as your background?
Bill Kazmaier. 1:19
Well, I’ve heard so many people say they can eat 1000 goldfish, but they came out of a white and orange box. My story’s a little bit different in that there was a grand opening of a pet store. And I was up against some really fierce competition. How many goldfish can you eat for $400? Well, guys, it was at a time of my lifting career where I was unemployed, living in a gym, pretty much homeless and needed, needed that money for rent. So I bellied up against this tough competition. You know, one of those kids was eight years old. He ate his own age, he ate eight goldfish and was proud of it. Another boy was 12 he ate about 20 goldfish. Then we got up to the oldest kid in the crowd 18 he ate 200 goldfish. And after about an hour
Brady Speth 2:15
threw up 200 goldfish
Bill Kazmaier. 2:17
It was a 2 hour competition. So what I did was I waited till the competition was halfway through and everybody was done. And I took buckets of 50 goldfish. And I simply poured off the water. Gave them some Gatorade because it was a sporting event. And then put some lemon juice in there and realized that that made them extremely agitated and excited.
Brady Speth 2:41
Bill Kazmaier. 2:42
50 at a time till I got to 500. Then I said what the heck. Put a double dose and give me 100 at a time. 500 more. With 1000 in my belly. I kept him down for the two hours. But if you’ve ever looked inside of a goldfish tank when the pump wasn’t working, and you see this cloud of little tubes in the corner. That’s what most of the goldfish is made up of.
Brady Speth 3:09
Bill Kazmaier. 3:11
Goldfish food. Excrement. Well, that was in my belly along with digesting bones and scales and it started to rumble. I made a big mistake, and I didn’t drink any Gatorade or water when it all came up. And it hurts.
Brady Speth 3:31
You got a $400 rent money though.
Bill Kazmaier. 3:33
Yeah, not exactly. It was a it was a savings bond that matures in three years. And the cash value after two months was worth $270. So I believe I kind of got robbed from the little kids, which is kind of true. They had a roof over their head. Three squares on their table every day and were being taken care of by the family in Southern California. For myself, I was trying to find an apartment.
Jerimiah Alexander 4:09
It’s gotta be a good source of protein. I have 1000 goldfish in your stomach.
Bill Kazmaier. 4:14
Yeah but if they don’t stay down, you don’t get much from it.
Brady Speth 4:20
So on the
heels of a goldfish eating competition, why don’t you talk to people? I’ve always been fascinated. I know mean you and me and you and Jeremiah as well. I’ve had conversations about just the lifestyle what it’s like doing the World’s Strongest Man, the I don’t think people truly understand the dedication to training to to nutrition to fitness. Give us a little glimpse into what that is like and kind of that regimen.
Bill Kazmaier. 4:46
Well, coming off the goldfish eating story as the World’s Strongest Man when you wake up every morning. You slide off the edge of the bed. Your head hits your hands. You say a prayer Thank you, Lord for this day of how to make this day the best day of my life. As a matter of fact, every day in every way, I want to become better and better. But then you got to go to the head and to the frigerator to get a glass of milk. But there’s a wall between you and the fridge, and a hallway that goes past the bathroom. As the World’s Strongest Man, you can go through the wall to get to the fridge instead of going down that long hallway, or taking a left and coming back at yourself. That’s one of the biggest dilemmas every morning. Do I go threw the wall. Or do I go take a leak first. Never a problem when you run out of gas, you got a harness in the trunk, you just pull your car to the station. You can pull that along ways, Life and Times, of being the World’s Strongest Man. Gosh, humble beginnings of course, being homeless after college, being taken in by Dr. Terry Todd at Auburn University, given a place to stay car food training table at the university, and a chance to become the strongest, not only world powerlifting champion a couple times, world record holder benchpress deadlift total in the super heavyweight class with three times champion of the World’s Strongest Man, first time I went it was third place. I kind of lost interest and didn’t really know what the events were. By the final two events. You see they were tug of war and squat. I kind of blew my wad, so to speak, competing, in the deadlift, the car deadlift with Don Reinhold. He was the world powerlifting champion, I think four times world strongest man the year before. And I basically made him quit in the deadlift. I went 900 he went 900. I went 960, which was so so hard to put his hand up and said if he wants it, he could have it. Well, that was kind of my Pinnacle, that 1979 event. I ended up with a tug of war against John Gold football player. And I was gassed and I was hurting. And I sort of gave up then, but the years following at 81, 82 I dominated. In one of the events I beat the second place winner by 27 and a half points. Now the television company tried to make it like it was a rivalry. Geoff Capes the silver medalist in the 1980’s shotput a 70 footer against Kaz the world powerlifting champion 27 and a half points behind. Dude, that ain’t no rivalry.
Jerimiah Alexander 7:34
That’s no rivalry.
Brady Speth 7:35
That’s an ass kicking.
Bill Kazmaier. 7:40
Lately though, the last 10 to 15 years and more you know 20 years as ESPN, ABC NBC commentator for the World’s Strongest Man getting the hang out. Guys like Nick Best, Brian Shaw. Žydrūnas Savickas, Magnus Samuelsson, Magnús Ver Magnússon, you know the group.
Brady Speth 7:59
Bill Kazmaier. 8:00
That was a good run. Six times competing in the competition was fun. But when they brought me back, they stopped inviting me for four years, because I was too dominant. When they brought me back, they wouldn’t tell me the events. They were well trained by Jón Páll Sigmarsson. And needless to say, I took a second and a fourth. So out of six times it was a second, third, fourth and three first’s. You know, as being a former World Strongest Man, you kind of have no such thing. This, like there’s no form of President. You’re always called Mr. President. Everybody calls me The World’s Strongest Man. Even though it’s been 40 years since I’ve been in my pinacle. I now get to travel the world, commentating doing different shows and seminars, sharing my talents and understandings and interpretations about strength and physical training in the culture. With many different people. The most rewarding times are really going to 10 schools and Y.M.C.A.’s in one day. Speaking motivational stuff on shooting for the stars and soaring with eagles and hanging out with the condors, and staying away from chickens and fairies and being the best you can be every day in every way. So I kind of like records that was, could be broken, but try to break 15 in 30 hours, South Carolina 18 times in 32 hours in Indianapolis, Indiana and Seattle, Washington. 27 speaking engagements in three days. Wow. telling kids, using the strongest words in vocabulary. I can i will i can i will i can it will, Alexander.
Jeremiah might be a little bit like shooting that mile shot and hitting the target. You know, three words we use, conceive, believe, achieve, as you did with long range shooting, understanding coefficients, windage, the drop elevation, how to use your optics. We use three words, conceive, believe and achieve. You pick a goal, yours was long, long term long shot, but a goal short term and long you develop a plan to get to the goal. You believe in the plan, you believe in the goal you believe in yourself. Achievement is desire, determination, dedication, and diligence, consistency, and a little bit of hard work and a lot of rounds of your case. And some of that unload, reload. So Life and Times of Kaz, lately it’s been Europe, Asia, here in Hawaii, not a bad gig, running around the world. Being a little bit of a tumbleweed somewhat of a Vega mod vagabond, a gypsy so to speak, and just enjoying the world. The last 10 or 15 years of my life.
Brady Speth 10:51
I like it. You deserve it.
Bill Kazmaier. 10:54
Getting a lot of shooting in a little bit tough here in Hawaii. Yeah, sorta restricted. I gotta tell you though, guys. Alexander as you sent me a 16×24 I put it on top my 300 Win Mag, which if you remember history 40 years ago I received this rifle. 40 years ago it had a synthetic stock a bipod and a bull barrel stainless. The Remington 40X.
Jerimiah Alexander 11:25
Bill Kazmaier. 11:25
but back then with a cheap three to nine Leopold it thumbnail at 105 shots, three touches. With that 16×24 1000 yard pie plate. Looks like it’s right next door. So favorite rifle, my favorite scope. Of course I’m using your 3-9’s on some of my smaller stuff. That little dot three with a magnifier is sitting in my arrow 10 security in the woods with some 22 round mags just in case a brown or Grizz come out of the out of the river or out of the forrest.
Jerimiah Alexander 12:02
Hey if you if you if you’re in the woods and you see Kaz fighting a bear, help the Bear
Bill Kazmaier. 12:10
Give the Bear an extra hand
Jerimiah Alexander 12:11
I had to take the opportunity for that one.
You know Bill I think it’s fair to say to you know, we you you have great confidence in you and you and you speak highly of yourself and that’s that’s notable but you know everyone that was in the world strongman competition everyone that did what you did says the exact same stuff about you. Heart of a champion, probably the strongest man to ever lived on the planet for a number of years. So it I mean, if you’re out there listening folks, these the people that do what he did, said there no one has ever done it better to this day. So
Brady Speth 12:48
Jerimiah Alexander 12:49
pretty, pretty good. pat on the back from your peers on that one.
Bill Kazmaier. 12:52
Oh, thanks. Yeah, Phil Pfister, 06 champion out of China. He lives in West Virginia. He says under that warm and fuzzy skin. There’s a raging animal that still exists. Yeah, but I think there are a couple of unique qualities that I had. And they may have been like purple hearts stuff for strong men. You military guys can relate. I tore off my pectoral. Oh boy. Low batt 20%. So whatever time we have left guys
Brady Speth 13:22
Listen we’ll make it do.
Bill Kazmaier. 13:23
Yep, and we can go again any time I just got to get a recharge. The qualities are this is I think purpleheart. When I told the pectoral off there were four events left. Squat, deadlift, caber toss, and wrestling. Well out of those four events, with no pectoral deltoid damaged bicep just hanging by a thread, you might have think I would have quit. Maybe if I competed, I would have taken seventh eighth ninth place. No chance. When I went to the competition, that was my title, my trophy and my check. I left parts of my body in the field of battle, many times overcoming injury. I took two first, a third and fourth of the next four events. other year I tore both adductors at an 870 squat in a frame with cement blocks. I tore my left adductor so I just wrapped it went 950 which is what everyone would do right. Now the next bit is the deadlift. Well, I can’t bend my legs because my hands are torn. What do you do? stiff legged? 600, 700, 800, 900, then 25, 50, 75, 1025, 1050. Two torn hammies. What do you do the next day when you gotta wrestle John Gamble and Dave Waddington and you can’t even walk. You start banging yourself in the head and screaming ahhhhhhh.
whoops. I guess you can’t do that on the beach. At least without my mask on. If you watch that King Kong against Godzilla. That guy scared John Gamble so much he ran out of the ring.
Jerimiah Alexander 15:01
Bill Kazmaier. 15:02
I just kind of bulldozed him over.
Brady Speth 15:04
Bill Kazmaier. 15:05
So the measure of man, to me is how you react on a bad day. When you service men are over there, and you take a round and you’re severely injured, and you keep coming back. You just suck it up and go. That’s I got a little bit of that in me. But I don’t know, Medals of Honor and Purple Hearts go a long way with me. And I really believe that measure of a man is how you react on a tough mission and a bad day.
Brady Speth 15:33
Agreed. 100%. Well, hey, if your phone’s dying, kind of, we’ll definitely schedule another one. Because I want to we got a lot of talk about so real quickly. Okay, perfect. Oh, no, you’re good. I’m just quickly I know, we talked about it before the show. We’re definitely gonna get you back on again. So I want to I think people are want to hear more of your story for sure. So we talked a little bit about kind of some of the charitable work, you’re doing some of the stuff you’ve been doing the last couple years? Why don’t you kind of dive into that and give people an idea because I love the I love the fact of knowing you as a person and how you kind of said that soft skin on the outside. And in the animal inside. I think that soft skin is speaks a lot of who you are. So tell us a little bit more about that.
Bill Kazmaier. 16:18
Many of the speaking things at the Y.M.C.A.’s are all charitable events and a lot of fun to give back to the youth and challenge them to be champions and winners and give them a kind of a my quest my my take on how to become a winner. One of the nice things I did over in the Philippines was working with a food Relief Program in Angeles City was banana man. Every morning, we go out and feed three to 400 kids, the restaurants would make them somewhat of a chicken poi-o, rice. Banana man would of course, bring boxes of bananas that bring 50 pound bags of oranges. really a lot of fun to see the smiles on these kids faces. They lived in tin huts, no running water. Of course, no bathrooms. They wash in the river, which is fairly polluted. And to see the smile on their face when you bring them food, toys, do activities with them, its truly a rewarding thing. And that’s one of the things I’ve been involved in and you know, I think so much can be said for people who are selfless rather than selfish. Because it goes a long ways when I go to the range. And Jeremiah helps me to shoot far. That mean’s so much because he’s got many, many years of experience. And those things that I never even thought of. Although I’ve been shooting for I guess I’m 67, I’ve been shooting for 55 or more years. But somebody shows me just how it’s done. That’s much appreciated.
Brady Speth 17:56
No, we appreciate it. And I think that’s awesome. You’re over there kind of doing what you can do. I can only imagine you carrying 50 pound bags of oranges and each and walking around carrying oranges.
Jerimiah Alexander 18:06
You have to point out that a Bill is such a competitor. If you listen closely to that story. Banana man brought a box a box of bananas. Orange man Bill Kazmaier brought 50 pound bags of oranges. So in his kindness even he vows to win at all costs and I love that about Bill he’s a winner.
Bill Kazmaier. 18:31
Well if you want a couple of really interesting stories they have to do with weight. And I’m going to take the dumbbells first a man took nine inch cold rolled steel and cut it sliced it milled it put Kaz Fitness on each of the plates and made me a set of dumbbells from 10 to 100. In three trips, three trips from England back to Alabama. I brought over 800 pounds pounds worth of dumbbells, in my backpack, in my hands, in my suitcase which was 70 pounds each. Nobody has ever done it. It’ll never be done before. But even more impressive than weight. Was going into the Rand Refinery in South Africa. You know the place where they smelt all the gold.
Jerimiah Alexander 19:13
Bill Kazmaier. 19:14
They had 70 pound bricks. I guess they were about 30, 35 kilos. They said for 50 years if you could pick up and pinch grip, one of their bricks. You could have it. Wow. I was ready. They roll out the red carpet. It is literally 50 pallets long and 50 pallets wide of gold in this room. I got to the end of the red carpet. I saw the brick and they said Bill, no matter what we’ve said for 50 years. If you pick up that brick, you’re not taking it out of here.
They didn’t realize that in my back pocket I had superglue and I was gonna get that brick.
Brady Speth 19:50
Just super glue it to your hand.
Bill Kazmaier. 19:52
I couldn’t pick it up. Sorry to say, but I did stack six bricks. 400 pounds of gold on the edge of the table. I then put my fingers underneath it tilted back on my chest. And they said, and I had it in my hands 400 pounds. They said, Okay, if you can carry that out of the building, you could have it. I took two steps, turned around, took two steps back, floped the stack on the table and said, No way. It was about 50 yards to get out of the building.
Jerimiah Alexander 20:21
Bill Kazmaier. 20:22
400 pounds of gold. So Mr. T was kind of the man back in the 80s. He had a bunch of necklaces in the Rand Refinery.
Brady Speth 20:32
I love it. Well, hey, we’ll let you go here in a second. We’d like to kind of wrap up with some rapid fire questions. So I’m going to I’m going to throw some questions at you. And just give me the first thing that comes to mind. I got to hear some, some good answers from you. So I’ll shoot and you, you tell me whatever comes to mind. First one, if you had a superpower, what would it be?
Jerimiah Alexander 20:51
Bill Kazmaier. 20:54
Levitation. Telekinesis was a manifestation of my frustration in my inability to use levitation. I tried to move things with with my mind. So I simply put my hands on it, and made some really big shit.
Brady Speth 21:10
just move it with your body. levitation. I like it. So past present, I guess future, if you could sit down and have a beer with one person, who would it be?
Bill Kazmaier. 21:22
Oh, geez. That’s kind of tough. You know, past one more time with Dr. Terry Todd, for sure. One of the greatest speakers that has ever come across the physical culture, writing books, going to guys, mentoring me, he left us a couple years ago. But that that’s not going to happen. Present, our Ex President Trump the greatest President to ever talk to grace, the White House and future. The aliens? They’re everywhere. I just want to have a good solid conversation like Tesla did. So that I can learn how to invent things maybe like a time machine number,
Brady Speth 22:11
right. I like it.
And I know we’ve had conversations of how many calories you’ve had to eat over your life and when you’re in training. So if you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Bill Kazmaier. 22:23
Fish all sorts of Ahi over here Mahi Mahi by the way, past, present and future, if you don’t mind. I don’t know if he drink’s beer, but would Bill Gates, be somebody want to talk to you. Actually, the one man in my life that influenced me probably the most is a speaker is William F. Buckley. Google and pull him up.
Jerimiah Alexander 22:45
Bill Kazmaier. 22:47
Yeah, just really what an IQ.
Brady Speth 22:49
Nice. I don’t think you have yet. Maybe you have. If you were to write your biography, what what title are you going to call it?
Bill Kazmaier. 23:01
He walked like a Neanderthal. He talked like a gorilla. And he treated women like an Impala. In heard’s of 5000. 1 guy.
Brady Speth 23:19
All right, last one. If I handed you a million dollars cash right now, what’s the first thing you’re gonna go buy
Bill Kazmaier. 23:28
A truck to haul it around so that I could give it to the homeless and people who need it. Because I don’t need it.
Jerimiah Alexander 23:37
Bill Kazmaier. 23:38
I kind of I’m working on my second million actually. Because I gave up my first million. So if I got that first million, I think I’d give it away.
Brady Speth 23:48
I love it. I love it. Well, I appreciate it. I’ll, we’ll kind of leave it there. We’ll definitely find another time to get together. So yeah, go ahead.
Bill Kazmaier. 23:57
Shameless plug 10×42 Riton
Brady Speth 24:01
I love it.
Bill Kazmaier. 24:02
Lens cover all the way and around the neck. When I want to get close in the personal with the boats out there are the surfers Riton paves the way for me. Thank you guys for everything you do. For me, and shooters around the world. Bless you all.
Brady Speth 24:19
I love it. Bill. Thank you so much, sir. It’s always an honor to talk with you here soon. Stay safe. Thank you.
Bill Kazmaier. 24:26
God bless. Bye bye.
Riton Optics 24:37
Thank you for listening to the Riton podcast. Please like, subscribe and review. For more information on Riton Optics visit us at RitonOptics.com that’s r i t o n optics.com
Jerimiah Alexander 25:03
Oh my goodness Bill that’s four hours worth of shit right there.
Brady Speth 25:10
It sucks that his phone was dying, cause he’s a funny son of a bitch.