Just like other sports, strongman is also one standing out sport of its own uniqueness. The name does give you a clue of what it is. It is about finding the strongest man on this planet earth.
Here, crowning the chief of strength involves press logs, carrying cars, deadlift, pulling planes and even raising atlas stones on a competition for victory. It’s not surprising that this kind of exceeding strength demands for a corresponding enormous fueling.
A strongman’s diet can go up to 6 times of a common man’s diet. Most of us averagely consume about 2000 kcals per day. While, strongmen like Brian Shaw swallow a whole 12,000 kcals per day. Interviewed through a video, Brian said ‘I am just eating to be the strongest human on the planet’. His objective is obtaining power and facilitate performance; nothing weight cut or calorie deficit.
Another American strongman by the name Robert Oberst claims of getting down 20,000 calories meal to his belly. To put it into perspective, it is about 10 times amount of an average man’s diet a day. Jokingly, he said if the average guys could eat his style, they would lose that average feature of them for long.
Based on USA’s number 2 competitor, he makes it work through a six-meal plan every single day. His wife however reveals that it is more of seven when the midnight snack is counted in. A footage of Oberst’s weekly grocery bill read $450 after racking them up.
What diet plan attributes to a strongman feature?
Strongmen mainly eat for strength and performance. They might look a bit bulkier but they are also under athletes’ category.
The pioneer of the Juggernut Strength System, Chaw Wesley Smith put it in order by saying that a strongman combines both strength and technical abilities of the previous endeavors topped with great alactic requirement, lactic volume and aerobic capacity. Essentially, strongmen should not only lift but should be able to move. What does this mean? It means that strongmen have to cover every macronutrient bases. They technically need enough muscle glycogen sourced from carbohydrates to lift and rep-out. In addition, they should also have ability to tap into the flowing creatine stores for single big and heavy lifts.
Robert Oberst says of himself to be a machine and a vessel to work. He gives a metaphor of a body in likeness to that of a car. He says, if anyone wants his car to run well, then he has to better fuel it; and that is the likeness of a human body.
What does it mean by ‘it’s not just about size, but performance too’?
When we talk about this, it is not absolute talking. It’s just that a balance of both size and performance paly an intermediate role to your success. In some way, size may attribute to function too.
Hafthor Bjornsson, the World’s Strongest Man 2018 winner, dominates strength at his behemoth six-foot-nine and a weight of 180 kg. While, Brian Shaw who has for four-time championed WSM and three-time championed Arnold Classic, is six-foot-eight tall and weighing over 200kg.
It was a no joking mission when we said that giants of these caliber roamed the earth. Basing on top competitors storylines, their sizes aid them by leverage assurance. So, for almost all strongmen, their diet gets tuned to establishing a balance between big enough and not too bulky.
This sport is all about getting the weight where they can effectively perform with a reduced level of unnecessary body fats. One need to move quite easily. These giants will also be forced to nimble because some of their events cover longer distances. Maybe it is not like a gymnast but it’s enough to carry a yoke for some substantial number of yards. A fat man is challenged because he struggle a lot to make two feet.
Essential Foods For a Strongman
Men who have no idea of a strongman’s lifestyle will make a same known misconception. They think any giant man they see out there must be eating anything they want. And by the way, who wouldn’t want to be kind of a strongman? It is a sure fun. Before he had his knowledge on eating patterns, Bjornsson had the same mindset. He used to eat pizza, pasta and any other meal he would land on just to grow bigger. But his mindset is way different now. He eats to become a better athlete and not just a bigger person. He has further become so conscious of what he eats that can support his body.
Below are some of the essential foods a strongman should eat.
Carbohydrates forms a huge meal segment of the strongman’s diet. Carbohydrate get broken down to avail the strongman’s big muscles with glycogen, glucose and energy. Strongmen tend to mix their carbohydrate sources to get a combination of both simple and complex carbohydrates.
Having an adequate amount of carbs also enhances a fast recovery for strongman after an intense training. Some research have it carbs enable protein synthesis as others adds that they aid sleep.
Yet another research has also established that carbs boosts athletes’ immune system during intense activities. Clearly put, competitors are less likely to be run down and fall ill.
Some popular carbohydrates in most strongmen diet are inclusive of;
- Sweet potatoes
- Jasmine, basmati, and white rice
- Frozen berries
- Granola bars
- White potatoes
Protein is very essential for every strongman you may know. Strongmen major needs are amino acids which is a body’s unit nutrient for rebuilding and maintenance of the muscle mass. This is the reason to why the strongmen delve on high-quality sources of protein. Majority will choose meat as their greater protein source and complementing it with milk, whey and eggs. For example, Robert Oberst takes eight eggs for his breakfast while Thor sorts himself with six of eggs.s
Eggs and meat have a high-creatine content and therefore very useful for regenerating ATP for muscles in explosive exercises.
Some rich sources of strongman’s protein will include:
- Grass-fed steak (better CLA content)
- Pasture raised hen eggs (higher in vitamin D)
- Salmon (packed with healthy fatty acids)
- Tuna (canned in spring water)
- Whole milk
- Whey protein shake
- Casein (taken before bed for slow release)
- Greek yogurt
- Ground beef
- Lean ground turkey
For some past years one mainstream media told men to keep off fats. But we are revising that and tell you that they are the very integral possession of your health. If you avoid fats, you are bound to getting less strength potential or will hold it back. And, your hormone health will be stricken off.
As a strongman, high-quality fats provides you both energy and protection. As additionally, healthy fatty acids benefits your joints which often get serious hammering during training. This is why most supplements will have fish oil or an Omega fats capsule. Consider that testosterones are fats based hormones. Without fats strongmen are unable to generate the muscle mass necessary to toss kegs sky high because of the need to maximize levels of male sex hormone.
Take chole-ster-ol and testo-ster-one. Do you notice the common ‘ster’ part? Does this give you some understanding?
Always consider fats caloric density. For instance, one gram of fat is equivalent to nine kcalories, making them most dense of all essential macronutrients. Both carbs and proteins produce 4 kilocalories for every one gram. Hiking your fat intake into a caloric surplus in order to stay strong makes fats become very handy. We know that it is very hard to maintain yourself at maximum strength and build muscles less of surplus energy which in growth terms we say absolutely integral.
The popular fats dominant among strongmen’s diet are;
- Fish oil supplements
- Greek yogurt (full-fat of course)
- Peanut butter
- Omega 3 and 6 supplements
- Brazil nuts
- Egg yolk
Benefits from the rest of nutrients
A well-balanced diet of strongman mainly highlights that ‘balance’. Therefore, it is equally important to reinforce your body with a dozen of micronutrients. If you look at strongman’s it is very clear that they don’t skip vegetables.
Below is a list of some sources of very vital micronutrients a strongman may need.
- Vegetables rich in fiber e.g. green beans, broccoli, asparagus, red pepper beetroot, sprouts, bok choy, carrots among others. These help in digestion process.
- Zinc supplement
- Magnesium supplement
- Berries; they are very rich in antioxidants factors
- Fruits such as apple, pears, dates, etc. These are rich in vitamins
- D-aspartic acid which is a testosterone booster
- Sea salt which replenish sodium
- Leafy greens such as kales, spinach, cabbage, etc. They are rich in iron
- Vitamin D supplement
- Essential amino acids (EAA)
Can you eat like a strong man?
If you look at the varieties and types of food taken by a strongman, you will probably notice that a strongman consider dieting as his hardest bit. It can get tough with them when volume of food changes to a full-time endeavoring. However, Brian Shaw quickly points out that it is the feasting part that makes it harder than training itself. He sees lifting heavy objects as his fun as he gets along.
Are you able to stomach it?
That said, do you then think that you can eat the strongman’s diet? It is about struggling, that’s all we say.