The Monster Among Men apparently wasn’t The Monster Among Kids as Braun Strowman says he was average-sized throughout most of his childhood. It wasn’t until a high school growth spurt came along that helped him reach the size he is today.

Strowman talked more about growing in spurts when he joined the Not Sam Wrestling podcast.

“I was really pretty much a normal sized kid for a pretty long time, probably till I reached 12 or 13 where I hit this crazy growth spurt where literally like in two years’ time, I grew a foot and gained 80 pounds. I graduated high school at 17, I was 6’5″ and 305 pounds at 17. It took a while to sculpt myself and lots of time at the gym stacking bricks up to build this meat castle that I’ve turned into today,” said Strowman.

“I’m actually down in weight. When I competed in the World’s Strongest Man [2013] the heaviest I ever was at 418 pounds. I was miserable. My girlfriend at the time had to tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over because I was so big, but God bless was I strong. I don’t miss being that big at all. Constantly wearing sweatpants and 5XL t-shirts that looked terrible, but I’m pretty happy where I’m sitting at right now. I am sitting at 345, 350, healthy and everything feels good. My knees and feet don’t hurt as bad, but it’s part of the territory that comes with being big. Just something you deal with.”

Strowman transitioned from being a Strongman to being a professional wrestler thanks to Mark Henry and others who were scouting him. But his interest in pro wrestling actually predated him being a Strongman and he just needed the means to be noticed by WWE.

“As a kid, let’s be honest, what young boy doesn’t watch wrestling and say that this is what he wants to do? So, I watched it as a kid and yeah, I wanted to be a wrestler, but I didn’t know how one becomes a pro wrestler. I grew up in a tiny little town of Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, and no idea how to get involved in pro wrestling. I wanted to but I just didn’t know what to do,” admitted Strowman.

“Luckily, I was working at a nightclub in downtown Charlotte and met a couple of guys that competed in the Strongman Competition and noticed that I was a larger human being than normal and asked me if I wanted to come down and give it a try. I have always loved watching Strongman. It was the same thing as pro wrestling as I didn’t know how I was going to get involved with it but it kind of fell into my lap.”

After training for two weeks, Strowman won his first Strongman contest and eventually became the fastest American to earn his pro card. That then opened up more opportunities for him in the Strongman world which then led to WWE noticing him.

“I think I started in a little less than two years I earned my pro card in Strongman and I was in Los Angeles, California in 2012 for The World’s Strongest Man and Mark Henry was there along with [WWE Talent Relations] Canyon Ceman were there recruiting. I met them and exchanged information with Canyon, that was in September of 2012. They wanted me to come down to the FCW building since The Performance Center wasn’t around back then. They wanted me to come down to the FCW down in Tampa, Florida. I walked around and cut a promo and they offered me a deal,” said Strowman.

“I kind of waited because I was prepping for the Arnold competition in 2013 so I kind of waited. It was my last Strongman contest and unfortunately it didn’t go as I wanted. I tore my bicep trying to break the world record on an Atlas Stone. I got that fixed up and that was in March of 2013, July 4th in 2013 I moved to Orlando, Florida. July 8th, 2013, I started at The Performance Center and here we are today.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Not Sam Wrestling with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Peter Bahi contributed to this article.