Kilt Clan Profiles showcases the interesting kilt-clad characters that make up the DNKE Clan. This installment takes you in to the world of oldetime strongman Iron Tamer Dave Whitley. Amid heaps of twisted metal, bent iron, kettlebells and sledgehammers, we sat down with Iron Tamer to understand how he became a real-life strongman, learn the secrets to his superhuman strength, and hear why he ditched the pants. –DNKE
A KILT WEARING REAL-LIFE SUPERHUMAN
Damn Near Kilt 'Em: For those who don't already know you, tell us who you are and what you do.
Iron Tamer Dave Whitley: I am a motivational speaker and performing strongman. I bend steel, rip decks of cards, lift heavy things, break chains and perform other feats of strength. I help other people discover and develop their own unique superhuman power.
Iron Tamer Dave Whitley bends an iron pry bar on a TV morning show
DNKE: Most people probably don't think of becoming a strongman, but you've wanted to have superhuman strength since you were young.
IT: From the time I was a child, I wanted to have Super Human strength. I was super fascinated with comic books and superheroes. In 2008 I met a strongman named Dennis Rogers. He helped me start down the path of being a performer.
Strongman Iron Tamer Dave Whitley performs feats of strength wearing a kilt
Today, I make the bold claims that not only am I superhuman, but I'm utterly convinced that everyone has inherent superpowers just waiting to be discovered and developed.
I have been doing feats of strength since 2009 and have travelled all over the USA, Australia, Korea, Japan, Italy, Czech, Ireland, England to perform, speak and teach.
World renowned strong man Iron Tamer Dave Whitley on stage
DNKE: How do you train to become a strongman? What secret can you share with the budding super humans out there?
IT: Most of the training I do is specific practice of feats of strength. The best way to get better at bending steel is to bend steel. The best way to get better at ripping cards is to rip cards, etc. I do other training, but it typically supports building strength for the feats that I do. It is a combination of physical strength, understanding the mechanics of technique, conditioning the body for the stress and pain and having the correct mental state.
The mental side is as important, if not more important than the physical. In order to bend steel (or accomplish anything, for that matter) we must first believe that it can be done and that we are capable of doing it.
Victim of a strong man's training regimen
DNKE: What secret can you share with the budding super humans out there?
IT: Whatever you can conceive and feel to be true in your mind can be expressed as an objective fact. Focus your attention on how you would feel and act if you had achieved the desired goal. The feeling of completion will help you to understand the steps needed to get there. Then take the next small step.
"Not only am I superhuman, but I'm utterly convinced that everyone has inherent superpowers just waiting to be discovered and developed."
DNKE: You've worn a kilt while performing feats of strength for years. Why do you choose to wear a kilt when you're doing your strongman thing?
IT: I was once asked by a member of my audience "Why do you wear a kilt?" I responded "Because it's illegal for me to perform naked. Plus I need pockets and a kilt is anatomically appropriate for a man."
I wear a kilt onstage because of freedom of movement and the powerful visual that it provides. I wear a kilt because kilts are comfortable, and look badass. Also, pants suck, and kilts ROCK.
Wearing a kilt means freedom for strongman Iron Tamer Dave Whitley
DNKE: Kilt people are... different. What make us tick?
IT: We love the FREEDOM. We are concerned with expressing who we are and care not for conformity to societal standards that have nothing to do with us, the people we care about or our happiness.
DNKE: What's your kilt-of-choice?
IT: It changes from time to time, but right now I'm loving The Tactical.
DNKE: Where can people follow you?
IT: IronTamer.com is a great way to see me in action and book me to perform feats of strength at your next event. You can also follow me on Instagram (@irontamer) and I've got a ton of videos on the Iron Tamer Youtube channel.
I actually teach people how to do feats of strength along with my mentor, Grandmaster Strongman Dennis Rogers, in our Oldetime Strongman University workshops and through online coaching. Anyone who is interested in learning can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whitley uses his bare hands to pound a nail through a flaming board
Tools of the trade for strongman Iron Tamer Dave Whitley include playing cards (2 decks - you never know when you gotta tear one...), one bad mother****ing wallet, assorted bent rods, nails and broken chains, and a Greenhorn kilt from Damn Near Kilt 'Em.