Weaver places 5th in world eating competition
Mary Beth Sallee
Hart Co. News-Herald
For Bartley Weaver IV, life isn’t just about the end goal but rather the journey along the way.
A Cave City native, Weaver’s journey has led him to build quite the resume. He was once a Trooper for the Kentucky State Police, has been the Titans Hyperion mascot for the Tennessee Titans, competed on NBC’s Titan Games with The Rock, and has turned pro in bodybuilding. He is currently an online coach, a personal trainer, the CEO of a supplement company, and is growing his businesses in Tampa, Fla.
“All glory to God on this one,” Weaver said of his journey. “One opportunity has seamlessly lead to the next opportunity.”
For Weaver, that next opportunity led to perhaps an unexpected one: professional eating.
While working out at the gym every 4th of July, Weaver would see Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest on television. He decided that he wanted to be there as well and eat alongside the legendary Joey Chestnut. Weaver began competing at local contests, winning money just to eat a cheat meal.
“Once I learned how to eat faster, I entered a pro contest and beat multiple pros,” Weaver said. “Major League Eating extended me a three-year contract to compete as a professional on their circuit.”
Just as Weaver had to train as a body builder, such was the case for professional eating as well.
“There’s many different ways to train. There’s no textbook, so there’s a lot of trial and error,” Weaver explained. “You have to think about what is most important to eating hot dogs fast, and work at improving that. I like to focus on capacity by stretching my stomach and jaw/tongue strength for biting and swallowing faster.”
Last year was Weaver’s first time competing at Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest. He consumed 29 hot dogs and finished 7th in the world. This year, Weaver competed once again and was focused on a top 5 finish. He accomplished that, improving by 12 to eat a total of 41 hot dogs and claim 5th place in the world.
“It made all of the hard work worth it,” Weaver said. “I trained hard and never missed a day the last four months. It was an honor to hang in there with the best in the world, including one of the most dominant athletes of all time – Joey Chestnut.”
Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest has come and gone for the year, and Weaver will now work to get in great shape and compete in a bodybuilding show to “prove to others that where the mind will go the body will follow”.
“I love a good challenge, lofty goals, and the chance to become better at something I’m passionate about,” Weaver said.
As Weaver continues onward, he stated that he is thankful to everyone who has supported him along his journey.
“If you have fed me before, this one is for you!” Weaver said. “I’ll continue to work hard and attempt to maximize my potential…I’m happy with the goals I’ve accomplished, but I know there is still work to be done to fulfill my God given talents.”