Albie Mushaney is the world’s strongest Santa Claus.
We know what you’re thinking:
· Yes, this is real.
· Yes, this is freaking awesome.
(Side note: If “Strong Love” doesn’t perfectly personify a ripped Santa Claus, we don’t know what does.)
“It started with No Shave November,” Albie said. “Then I figured I’d keep it through Christmas. But then I decided I wanted to be the world’s strongest Santa, so I had to keep the beard.”
When he’s not the biggest, baddest Santa out there, Albie is a Corrections Officer in Oregon. A devoted husband and father of five, Albie wasn’t always the most confident person, much less the strongest Kris Kringle.
“It started a few years ago,” Albie said. “My wife and I had our last child. I was 41 at the time. I remember sitting on the floor and I couldn’t put my own socks on; I was 400-pounds and my diabetes was out of control. I thought, ‘I’m going to be 60 when my son graduates high school.’ I don’t know many 400-pound 60-year-olds out there.”
Albie began hitting the gym hard and estimates he lost at least 100 pounds of fat while gaining a ridiculous amount of strength.
“I started to get lean,” Albie said. “Started getting stronger. I began competing in powerlifting competitions and placed in many. In fact, I qualified as 7th place in OfficialStrongman.com’s world games. They take the top 30 strongmen in the world. Then I placed 3rd in nationals.
“I think I shocked a lot of people because nobody knew who I was.”
Pretty soon, his fanbase started growing quicker than his beard.
After all, who doesn’t want to see a badass Santa deadlift 700 pounds?
“I became addicted to it all, in a good way,” Albie said. “I became addicted to the training. To the diet. And to be honest, the attention. I see it as a way to inspire people. I mean, I went from not being able to put my shoes on to lifting some of the heaviest shit out there.”
Albie’s desire to be strong came at an early age. As a kid, he just wanted to impress his dad by lifting heavy stuff, which quickly earned him the nickname, “human forklift.” But as his style and strength has evolved, Albie has adopted a newfound philosophy on both powerlifting and life in general.
“Nobody is going to tell me I can’t,” he said. “Nobody is telling me I ‘shouldn’t.’ Or that I’m too old. Or too fat. I know that my life doesn’t depend on lifting, but I pretend like it does.”
Albie says he has one simple goal: to inspire everyone who has sat on the sidelines to get back in the game. Now in his mid-40s, there is no stopping this jacked Santa.
He credits APEMAN with inspiring him to continue giving it his all.
“I dig that they give a multitude of different athletes and sports coverage on their page,” Albie says of APEMAN. “From the so-called ‘little people’ to special needs, MMA and strength sports. APEMAN genuinely cares about people’s personal growth.”
Keep sleigh-ing, Albie.