Terry: You recently launched “Lights Out Clothing” into Walmart. Tell me more about the brand and what inspired you to create it?
Shawne: I’ve been doing it for years now selling the brand in stores called Sports Fevers. I’ve had the line in ten stores all over Orange County and some in LA for the past five years. We wanted to do something a little bigger, so we made a deal with Walmart which no athlete has done before.
Terry: Why did you choose to sell your clothing through Walmart?
Shawne: For the past few years I have been getting calls from different MMA leagues wanting to use the brand, but I only want to do it in the right arena. I felt that Walmart was a good fit, because you can’t make a deal with without signing 20 stores. Once it’s in Walmart it’s huge. We now sell “Lights Out Clothing” in 20 stores across California, from San Diego to LA. Currently we are mostly sold out and orders are still coming in.
Terry: You’re affiliated with Ultimate Arm Wrestling League. Why affiliate your brand with this sport over something like MMA, or Football?
Shawne: Unfortunately not everyone is going to be a pro athlete. Not everyone will get the chance to fight in the UFC, or play in the NFL. I want to associate my brand with a sport that the average guy who practices and works on their technique can be good at. I know a lot of great arm wrestlers who aren’t body builders, or pro athletes and their damn good. I think this is a sport that’s going to take off and I felt it was very important to get behind it, because I believe in it.
Terry: How did you get your nick name “Lights Out”?
Shawne: When I was a sophomore in high school I knocked four people out in the first half of the game and ever since people have called me “Lights Out”. I think lights out is way bigger than Shawne Merriman. Sometimes I don’t even attach “Lights Out” to myself, because I think that anyone who is a competitor wants to let their competition know its lights out. The term is used so much in different sports arenas today that I think it’s going to be huge.
Terry: You’re a top notch athlete training on a very high level. Other than weight lifting and speed training what kinds of special training are you doing to keep in shape for this?
Shawne: For a guy my size (6’5’’ 270lbs) it’s important to stay stable and core strong, so in the mornings I wake up and do Pilates. Some of the problems I have had in the past were because I am so big. I have to be able to run with tight ends and running backs to cover them, so it’s important I stay mobile.
Terry: Are you on any kind of special diet or do you eat what you want?
Shawne: Yea. I pretty much eat what I want, but try to keep on a steady program it’s more about consistency. If you have consistency with what your doing you will get results. Whether it’s muscle, strength, or speed growth you need consistency to see results. After each workout I take down about 50grams of protein and then try to stay consistent with my eating habits the rest of the time.
Terry: Have the injuries you’ve had over the years slowed you down as far as your growth goes?
Shawne: For sure, I have had an ace lies injury for over a year and a half now that I haven’t had a chance to take care of. Not being able to take care of it has caused problems with other stuff.
Terry: I noticed you were once an owner of a boxing club. Is this a sport you are still involved in?
Shawne: I’m no longer involved with the boxing club, but I do have some big news coming up soon in the fighting world involving “Lights Out.”
Terry: Is it going to be MMA related?
Shawne: It involves MMA and boxing. We’re going make hand wraps, speed bags, head gear, jump ropes and other types of fighting equipment, everything “Lights Out”. Once it’s final, I will reveal more details.
Terry: Is that something you’re planning to put in Walmart as well?
Shawne: We’ll see how it goes, but my plan is to make the brand as big as possible.
Terry: Who do you think is going to win this year’s super bowl between the Steelers and the Packers?
Shawne: I think it’s going to be a close game, but the Steelers are going to win 24-17.
**Shawne will be at the www.TheFitExpo.com in Los Angeles, California Saturday, January 29th signing autographs and arm wrestling a fan for charity