Patrick O'Dwyer made history when he claimed the title of Ireland's Strongest Man for the fifth time. He spoke to Jen Zamparelli on RTÉ 2FM about his the competition and the hard work it took to get him there. Listen back above.
"It was one of my goals originally, coming into Strongman, to come away with the record amount of Ireland's Strongest Man wins," Pa told Jen.
Growing up on a farm in West Limerick, the 36-year-old says he was leading an unhealthy lifestyle in his early years that frequently saw him out on the town, "nearly drinking seven days a week".
When his girlfriend became pregnant, however, he decided it was time to put down the pints and pick up some healthy habits.
"That was of a Monday evening, just as I turned 21 years of age, and I've never gone more than two or three days of missing the gym. The rest, as they say, is history."
Many years later, now weighing in at an incredible 23 stone, the 'Limerick Lion' says that his journey to being crowned as Ireland's Strongest Man five times over began just a few years into his training.
"I was exceptionally strong, I suppose it came from my farming background, and this local competition came up in Cork once."
"When I got there - I was only doing it for the craic, just something to do - there was twenty-something guys there who were all bigger than me at the time. I came third in that competition and after that I didn't quit it."
Joint 5th at Europe's Strongest Man— Pa O Dwyer (@PaODwyer1) September 5, 2021
A mistake cost me the podium which was only 2.5 points away but every time I go out there against the best I get stronger and faster..
I will soon be king ??
Another fantastic show by the @GiantsLiveWSM crew pic.twitter.com/zlfXdM65UF
Many years on and many pounds of muscle gained, Pa has competed in competitions across Europe and the UK, and says that he loves the thrill of performing in front of huge crowds. The behind-the-scenes work needed to get competition-ready, however, is less than glamorous.
According to the Limerick man, going from 11 stone to 23 stone took "about 14 years of hardship" and his diet can be best described as "disgusting".
"Running up to last week's competition, I was eating close to 10,000 calories a day," he told Jen. "My breakfast is 12 large eggs, a litre of orange juice, eight Weetabix in full-fat milk and a protein shake. Alone that's just over two and a half thousand calories."
"I get two meals in, then I go for a snooze, then I get my third meal in and then I go and train," he adds.
After filling his stomach with what seems like a week's worth of food, Pa undertakes a four-hour long training session to ensure that he can not only lift weights but run at a substantial pace.
Anybody else feeling queasy?
To listen to Pa speak about his breakfast with Arnold Schwarzenegger, lifting cars, and his future competition goals, listen back to The Jennifer Zamparelli Show here.