Former Trainer Rob Kearney Continues to Use Strongman Platform to Lift Others


Credit: Rob Kearney

Former Athletic Trainer turned Strongman Rob Kearney has been making a name for himself since his time working at Williston.

Since his time at Williston in 2019, Rob has been busy with powerlifting as well as being a public presence for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Since leaving Williston in 2019, I have had the opportunity to really push my strongman career to a new level,” Kearney explained.

He was featured on the massively-popular “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast in January of 2020, which he said “propelled my social media platforms to new highs as well as put me more in the public eye as an LGBTQ+ advocate and role model.”

Kearney also is working on writing two books while balancing out his work career.

“While I am back to working full time, my current job allows me the flexibility to still pursue my strongman career to the fullest while also having the stability of a more traditional career as well. Along with work, I am also currently writing two books (a children’s book, and an informational Strongman book), I am working on a documentary, and still run my online coaching business where I coach strength athletes all over the world. .. so life is pretty busy!”

Kearney and his husband Joey recently moved to the Pacific Northwest right outside of Seattle, where took a job as the Director of Sports Rehab at a sports medicine clinic owned by the chiropractor of the Seattle Seahawks.

Kearney said that a typical day starts early, and involves, no surprise, a lot of heavy lifting.

“My typical day starts at 5am with some cardio,” he said. “I then work from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and four days a week go to the gym after work, typically until 9:00 pm. After I get home, I meal prep for the next day and then get to bed!”

Kearney has found much success and notoriety from his Strongman career, and it has also earned him many sponsorships.

“Right now, I am fortunate enough to be sponsored/supported by some of the biggest companies in the fitness industry: GymShark, Animal Pak (supplements), Ziggys Naturals CBD, SBD apparel, ESC Sounds (headphones), and Certified Piedmontese Beef,” he explained.

GymShark is a well-known fitness company that has sponsored bodybuilders in the past. Kearney is the first Strongman to be signed to represent the company.

“As far as GymShark is concerned, I have been working with them for almost a year, and it is honestly surreal! Getting the call from their head of sponsorship and showing interest in working with me was a huge moment in my career. They are one of the biggest fitness clothing brands in the world, and they have been so supportive of my Strongman career as well as my advocacy in the LGBTQ+ community.”

Kearney has turned himself into a social icon with a following of 118,000 on Instagram, but despite his massive popularity, Kearney said he still faces adversity due to his sexual orientation.

“Having a decently large social media following is both exciting and horrible at the same time,” he said. “I am able to use my platform to spread the message of love and equality as much as possible. Along with that comes the negative effects of social media as well. I constantly deal with homophobic/hateful comments and messages. Virtually on a daily basis, I receive some kind of hate filled message or comment regarding my sexuality.”

Kearney said rather than let the hate get him down, it actually fuels him.

“It’s something that I have come to accept and use as motivation in my training,” he said. “To me, there is no better response to that hate than me winning in the sport I love.”

Kearney added a few words of encouragement for his following and how he has dealt with adversity.

“I have lived by a motto the past few years, ‘Train to be the person they said you would never become,'” he said.  “Throughout my amateur career, I was always told I was too small and not strong enough to get to Worlds Strongest Man. I used that as motivation to achieve the success I have in recent years, and that motto can be used in any facet of life. Always prove the naysayers wrong by living your truth, reaching for your goals, and following your passion.”