10 (or so) questions with...Nick Brewer
By Steve Lange
Rochester Magazine: Could you lift me over your head right now?
How much do you weigh?
NB: Very easily.
RM: OK. I probably weigh closer to 200. And I would be very squirmy.
NB: I can overhead press 320 pounds. Even with the squirminess, I could do it.
RM: Where are you from originally?
NB: I was born in San Diego, but I grew up between there and England and Lebanon, mostly.
RM: How long were you in Lebanon?
NB: On and off for 13 years. It was a tough place. Lebanon is an active war zone. It’s been an active war zone for years. Civil war, civil unrest. People hate each other. You can imagine my brother and I—two guys from San Diego, British-American kids—growing up in a really small town in Lebanon. It was tough. I think that’s what got me really interested in strength. I had to be strong. I needed to be strong to fight off these people. People who didn’t like you because of the way you looked or didn’t look.
RM: What brought you to Rochester?
NB: My brother got a job here at IBM and I had just turned 18 and it was time for me to go to college, so I moved from Lebanon in 2006 to be close to my brother.
RM: Are you bilingual?
NB: Trilingual, actually. English, Arabic, and French. It seems like everyone in Lebanon can speak at least three languages, usually those three. There are times when you can hear all three languages in one sentence.
RM: I read that when you went to London to compete in a Strongman Contest last year, you sold everything you had to make the trip.
NB: I did. I sold my car, a Ford Escort. I went over there for a month and stayed in London. I just had one room for a whole month. I didn’t have a refrigerator, didn’t have a microwave. The only way to keep my milk cold was to put cold water in the tub and keep my milk jug in there.
RM: How was the event?
NB: Excellent. I finished ninth, which was great. I was voted “Man of the Match.” But when I came back, I had nothing. I had like $100 in my pocket, no job, no place to stay, slept at friends’ houses. At one point I was working three jobs with no car, taking the bus everywhere. But I somehow managed to eat every three hours and go to the gym everyday.
RM: So, was the London trip worth it?
RM: Any other events in the near future?
NB: Unfortunately, I just don’t have enough money to pay for them. My food costs twice my rent. It’s a lot of money to compete. I need to get some exposure and get some sponsors. I’m ranked tenth in the state.
RM: Are there any other Strongman competitors from Rochester?
NB: I am the only one, and I am the strongest man in Rochester. No one is anywhere close.
RM: Well, I haven’t really done more than just dabble in it, so ...
RM: I’m going to give you a series of three Strongman events. Tell me which isn’t real.
RM: Fingal Fingers, Fridge Carry, Mobile Home Toss.
NB: Mobile Home Toss.
RM: Right. Hercules Hold, Deadly Thumbs of Death, Keg Toss.
NB: I’m sure the second one’s not real, but I didn’t hear the third one because I was laughing.
RM: I’ll only read them once.
NB: The second one.
RM: Yes. Atlas Stones, Farmer’s Walk, Cow Beheading.
NB: Cow Beheading, though now that you say it I don’t know why they don’t have that.
RM: I’m going to try and guess the last two movies you saw at a theater. [Staring at him.] Sex and the City 2 and Eat Pray Love.
NB: That is absolutely true [laughing]. You’re absolutely dead on.
RM: What were they really?
NB: Probably The Hulk and Hellboy.
RM: You work at Chester’s?
NB: I’m a waiter at Chester’s and I’m also a personal trainer and a strength and conditioning coach.
RM: How many hours a day do you work out?
NB: About six days a week, three hours each day. That’s only at the gym. But then you have to do your events training with the actual implements you use in the Strongman competition. The big concrete boulders. Flipping the 1,000-pound tire, pulling the truck. Some other guys and I do that in Kellogg—we have a barn over there and we train every Sunday morning for four hours or so.
RM: How much do you eat a day?
NB: The things I do are big calorie burns, so I eat about 6,000 calories a day. Three pounds of meat every day, usually chicken. Usually two pounds of sweet potatoes, easily. I cook my own food. It’s very healthy, but very bland.
RM: What’s the best meal at Chester’s?
NB: Rotisserie chicken, for sure.
RM: Are you married?
NB: Not married. I’m single right now.
RM: When I did a Google search for “Nicholas Brewer Rochester” I found out that there was a famous area artist named Nicholas Brewer in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We have a piece on him on pages 16 and 17. Do you do anything artistic?
NB: I guess I’ve always been artistic. I used to write poetry. I was an award-winning poet. I used to write a lot. I used to draw very well. I was going to do tattoos. Portraits were my specialty. RM: Maybe you’re related to him.
NB: Maybe something was passed down.
RM: Team Edward or Team Jacob?
NB: I don’t follow that.
RM: I don’t either. My daughter told me to ask you that.
NB: Probably Jacob.
RM: Yes! Edward’s oh-so-white skinned and always wearing his male lipstick.
NB: Not the pale sissy, no. I want to be the guy who turns into a werewolf and rips somebody’s head off.
RM: Yes! Jacob rules! Edward just drives me crazy with his stupid pale face and his oh-so-red lips!