First time I heard of Kevin, was in a show from MTV called True Life. Some of you may have seen him there as well. Nowadays there is no hiding from Kevin and he is a rising star in the Strongman scene. Kevin was kind enough to have a little chat with me, so: Here it is, the interview with Big Kevin Nee!
By Theo Burggraaff
Beyond Strong: Hello Kevin... BEYOND STRONG would like to thank you for taking the time to talk to us.
Kevin Nee: Thanks for having me!!!
BS: Firstly Congratulations on your stunning performance at this years Mohegan Sun Grand Prix. Was this one of your best performances yet?
KN: Once again, thank you and yes this was definitely one of my best contests. I was a little disappointed in a few things, but I'm still young and I have time to correct these mistakes.
Mohegan Sun Grand Prix '07
BS: We have no doubt you will Kevin. Let's go back a bit. You're still very young Kevin but were you always strong?
KN: Yes, for some reason I was always a little stronger than most and even when I was small, I still had strength that you wouldn’t think a 180 pounder would have. I was also very fortunate with the help I received at such a young age. I had 3 pro strongmen and two of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the US helping me out for free at 15 years old. I was extremely lucky and was in the right place at the right time. I certainty owe a lot to them and will always love them for it.
BS: What other sports did you do?
KN: Growing up I played soccer and basketball, but as I reached highschool years, I drifted more towards basketball and actually became pretty good. I was MVP of my league senior year and was top 20 in the state of Massachusetts. I won many awards for my basketball career and will always miss it. I actually started lifting seriously for basketball.
BS: When did the idea of strongman first hit you?
KN: When I was 13 I started lifting at a gym for basketball and I was extremely dedicated and motivated to become better and stronger. A local pro strongman Bruce Tessier also worked out at the gym and by the time I was 15 he realized how dedicated I was and how much I improved and asked if I would like to try the sport of strongman. I said yes and I never stopped since.
BS: Can you tell us your current stats? Height, weight, age...
KN: I am 6’1” and 282lbs as of now. I am 21 years old and some of my best lifts include a 370 lbs log, 865 lbs deadlift, 550 lbs front squat, 700 lbs back squat, and a 490 lbs bench (but I don’t bench anymore) and a 500 lbs * 2 log floor press. All these lifts were done raw and with only a belt except the deadlift I used straps.
BS: We have a lot of people who want to do strongman but don't have access to the event equipment. What would you say are the most important gym lifts for strongman?
KN: I would say the most important gym lifts would be deadlifts, front squats, back squats, snatches, and clean and jerks. Obviously there are other lifts as well and I could go on forever, but these are the main lifts I stick by.
KN: Like you said, I don’t want to give away too much but I will tell you this: I have three days where I go for power movements and mix them up. These days consist of at least one Olympic lift, two power movements, and one auxiliary exercise. Two days are used for speed and conditioning. And one day is used for pure strongman events.
BS: Has your golf game improved? Haha...we saw you on the Making of the World's Strongest Man at the driving range. How was that whole experience?
KN: Haha that was interesting. That was actually the first time I had ever even swung a golf club. The experience of being at WSM is unbelievable and to say I have reached one of my goals at such a young age is just awesome in my eyes. It is just so awesome speaking and competing with some of the greats and being able to sit back and learn from the best. It is truly an amazing experience!!!
BS: What do you enjoy the most since being a strongman competitor? The travelling, maybe the attention form the ladies?
KN: I absolutely love the traveling and the life experience gained. I have traveled the world at 21 and have learned so much from so many cultures and it is truly an honor to have been able to do so at such a young age. And I can't lie…I do love the attention also hahaha.
KN: I would have to say the culture shock of being in China. I have never felt so distant from home then when I was in china. It is truly a different world and it was an amazing experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it was a bad thing; it was just crazy in general being there.
BS: The sport has a rich history now. Who are your favourite strongmen from the past?
KN: I would have to say my favorites would be Jouko, Kaz, and O.D. Wilson (he was ripped off).
BS: How about today? Who do you admire most in the field of strength?
KN: I truly look up to MP, Misha K, and Big Z.
KN: Well thank you, that means a lot to me. For some reason my deadlift has always been good, even when I was real young. I think the first time I ever deadlifted I pulled either 455 or 495 at like 16 years old. For some reason I have just always had it. Hopefully I just continue to improve. I would love to hit the 1000 lbs mark someday.
BS: How much accessory work do you do such as stretching, prehab work, GPP etc?
KN: A LOT!!!!!!! This is so important and is the most underrated part of our sport. If you want to become strong and stay strong with minimal injuries, you must partake in these activities. They are essential to ones development!!!
BS: Are you going to be competing in Europe at all this year?
KN: I don’t have anything confirmed yet, but there is the possibility of England, Russia, and Poland in the summer time. Hopefully this happens but sometimes it’s hard to get invited to shows when you haven’t really established yourself yet.
Beyond Strong: We wish you the very best of luck Kevin in everything you do and your achievements already speak for themselves.
Kevin Nee: Thank you so much and I really enjoyed doing this interview. I would love to write more for your website so certainly keep in touch. Take care and stay strong,