The LA Beast, ranked 17th in the world, is the 3rd and final featured eater in our holiday special. Check out our interviews with Miki Sudo and Matt Stonie if you haven’t already. The beast is a big man with an even bigger appetite. Having been in professional circuit for close to 2 years he’s has been able to maintain his position in the top 20 as well as develop a huge following on YouTube. A glutton for pain LA Beast is willing to take on any challenge even if kills him. I was able to chat with him and got a glimpse into the enigma that is the LA Beast.
Mondo: You’re a fairly muscular guy, how do you balance your eating challenges and competitive eating with your workout regimen?
Beast: I’m 29 and ever since I was in high school I’ve always had a work ethic going into the weight room. So I have been lifting weights and doing cardio for the past 13 years. It’s like a religion for me; instead of going to church I go to the weight room. I know I eat crazy stuff like 110 chicken nuggets. Stuff that’s not too healthy but I do maybe one or two of those a month. Every other day during the month I’m on a high protein diet; lots of egg whites, strawberries, and healthy things. With all my weight room work ethic everything kind of balances out so I’m pretty healthy.
Mondo: Basically your challenges are your cheat meal for the month or every couple of weeks.
Beast: Yeah, I guess you could say that.
Mondo: You went from eating Fatburger’s XXXL burger on a lark to becoming a major presence in youtube and competitive eating. What would you say has helped you become as successful as you have in your career?
Beast: At first I ate that fatburger. It’s a 3 and a half pound hamburger and I ate it in 40 minutes. I thought “If I can do this without even practicing what if I actually practiced and worked at it.” Then slowly over the past few years I’ve just gradually gotten better. With the competitive eating I would train. I would stretch my stomach by eating 7 pounds of cantaloupe 3 times a week. I’ve really put in the time and effort to increase my capacity for these eating competitions. For youtube, I don’t know. I think of crazy stuff to do. I don’t know how to explain it.
Mondo: I personally think it has to do with your personality. From what I have seen in your videos and setting up this interview you seem like an extremely down to earth & nice guy. You’re in it for the fans and they all appreciate you’re that kind of person. So maybe that’s why they flock to you, at least that is what I think anyway.
Beast: Yeah. I like to listen to the fans and respond because without the fans I wouldn’t be growing like I’m growing. The fans help motivate me to go above and beyond what I think I can do.
Mondo: A while ago you were ranked 16th by Major League Eating but have since moved down to 17th. Do you have any tactics or plans to move back up next year?
Beast: I think when the rankings came out the first time I was ever ranked and I was ranked at 16th I thought “Oh boy, that’s a pretty high ranking for a guy who’s been doing this for 2 months.” I knew that I would have some tough competition, as a guy who was ranked a little higher I had a target on my head. Since I’ve joined within the past year so many really good competitive eaters like Jeff Butler, Miki Sudo, and Juan Rodriguez have come in. All these guys are getting better. You know what, the competition is tough. I like being the underdog. I like moving down a spot because it gives me something to work towards. I just have to keep my head down, stay focused, train, and come to the tables ready to go.
Mondo: I like that attitude. Going back to your Youtube channel, what would you say has been your grossest challenge to date?
Beast: The grossest? It may not seem that bad but for me I’m not good with texture; Slimy, squishy stuff. I ate a 40 ounce jar of mayonnaise and it was a struggle. Besides that one, chugging the olive oil. Everything else wasn’t too bad. The mayonnaise and olive oil were the grossest challenges.
Mondo: I actually re-watched the mayonnaise video last night. I’m not a fan of mayonnaise, I don’t touch it. So just hearing it in the video I was a little grossed out. I don’t blame you.
Beast: Yeah. It has a gross, squishy, sound to it. It’s so disgusting.
Mondo: Are there any challenges you regret doing at all?
Beast: Yes. I recently ate two of the hottest chili peppers in existence. The thing is the spice just sits in your stomach and you get these major cramps. I guess it’s what it feels like when women go through during labor. It’s painful in there. I was pretty much on the toilet for 8 or 9 hours pooping it all out. I regret doing spicy challenges although somehow I seem to keep on doing them.
Mondo: A friend one time bought ghost pepper sauce and at the time I had no idea ghost peppers were as spicy as they were. So I put a bunch on my food and 15 minutes in it hurt so bad I to sit down. I was tearing up and sweating wishing someone had told me beforehand.
Beast: I guess the only way to understand how bad it hurts is to try it yourself. It’s very painful. God have mercy on anyone who eats hot peppers.
Mondo: Speaking of peppers and dealing with intense pain, you’ve put your body through extreme challenges but have you ever experienced any long term damage or injured yourself for an extended period of time?
Beast: I got hit by fireworks at close range and I got bruises. When I pulled the fire on the kitchen floor something fell and almost sliced my toe off. I was in a cast for a month but other than that there is no long term damage. When I ate 150 warhead candies the acid from the candy burned the top and sides of my tongue right off. I couldn’t eat food for about 3 or 4 days. There’s short term damage but as for organs and such I feel fine. I feel healthy. I do my research too. I don’t want to do something that’s going to kill me. I see if what I’m going to do is safe enough and if it’s too dangerous I won’t do it.
Mondo: That’s good to hear that you’re healthy. So you have a theme song and I want to know did they hit up you or did you hit up them? I want to know how this collaboration came about.
Beast: Which theme song, the metal one?
Mondo: Yeah that one that was on one of your more recent videos.
Beast: I like to interact with my fans on facebook, twitter and instagram. I get messages every day and this guy just approached me. He told me he had a band and wanted to do an intro for me. I thought it was pretty freaking funny and I put it in my video. A lot of people approach me to write original music for my videos but I like the site that I am using now.
Mondo: That’s cool. The song was actually pretty rad and I don’t know if there is anyone else in competitive eating or YouTube food challenges that has one which is awesome.
Beast: There was another guy that does hip hop and rap who told me he loved my stuff and wanted to write a theme for me. It’s pretty cool. He raps about how I eat ghost peppers and 72 ounce steaks. So I appreciate what the fans do for me.
Mondo: I didn’t even know about that one. I‘ll have to look it up. With the way things are going you’ll probably have your own LA Beast mixtape or something sometime soon.
Beast: That would be pretty cool. Just got to take everything one day at a time. If that happens in the future that would be cool.
Mondo: I don’t know if this is still true but I heard you work in the beer industry but going off of that do you play beer pong at all?
Beast: (laughs) I used to work for the beer industry but not anymore since I moved to Los Angeles. I do play beer pong and probably one of my finest eras of beer pong was the summer of 2004. I was just unstoppable. I could just cover my eyes and make a shot. I could say “hey Ron, I dedicate this one to your mother” and then just fucking sink the shot. I think over the years I’ve had too much beer and I’ve killed some brain cells so I’m really not that good anymore but I still play. It’s a fun game.
Mondo: Oh yeah, it’s definitely fun. My friends and I have our own league and we play each other every other Saturday. One of them said I should ask if you ponged. It’s kind of cool that you do play.
Beast: Oh yeah, there is a bar down the road from where I live and a few months ago they had this tournament. I think they have one every Sunday. I stopped by and made to the semifinals and lost. It’s a great drinking game. You get to compete and drink at the same time. You can’t beat that.
Mondo: No you cannot. That’s cool. For a lack of a better phrase I had no idea you were such a beast at playing beer pong. It’s a shame that you’re not at the height of your game but you’re still in it and that’s what counts.
Beast: Absolutely. As long as beer is involved you’re winning.
Mondo: Exactly. I 100 percent agree with you on that. If I may ask as my final question, what do you do when you’re not doing competitions or YouTube related stuff?
Beast: Pretty much that’s what I do fulltime. At the beginning of the week I come up with a YouTube idea and then I’ll brainstorm everything for the video. I’ll have my vision and at the end of the week I film it. I’m pretty much focused on YouTube. That’s what I do in my spare time that is my time. YouTube is how I make my living. I try to aim for 4 to 5 videos a month, basically 1 a week. If I’m not doing that I am pretty much going to the gym. I live right down the street from the beach. I’ll go down and look at the ocean which is pretty cool. I just keep it nice and relaxed that’s what I do.
Mondo: That’s cool. That sounds awesome.
Beast: You can’t beat it.
Mondo: No you can’t. That’s it for my questions. Do you have any final statements or comments for the readers before I call it a day?
Beast: Whatever obstacle that is standing in front of you. Don’t ever let that defeat you. If it’s a ten pound hamburger or whatever with a little mind over matter and anything is possible if you put your mind to it.