How much does a strongman in training need to eat?
The truth is a LOAD of food! It’s quite hard to comprehend how much these guys need to eat, especially at elite level.
Strongmen are big guys who require big appetites to fuel the incredible energy output that heavy lifts and short busts of total body power movements produce.
Strongmen will generally train and compete to maximum muscle fibre output which potentiates a boost in metabolism for days afterwards – these guys are calorie burning furnaces!
The level of training and competitions entered will determine the amount of food required to make gains and increase/maintain strength. Calorie need in some cases can exceed 12,000 a day.
To put this into context – Here is what 12000 calories a day looks like using a typical macro split (standard guidelines – not necessarily what I’d do for with this type of athlete).
🍞50% carbs 6000 kcal or 1500g
🧀33% Fat 3960 Kcal or 440g
🥩17% Protein 2040 kcal or 510g
Trying to meet a high calorie intake is actually quite hard and the temptation is to eat whatever it takes to meet these demands, rather than working out the best way to fuel the body while considering long term health and fitness.
The sheer volume of food needed coupled with the strain of the sport puts strongmen at risk of developing injury and metabolic disorders. Prevention is better than cure so a nutrition plan needs to meet calorific demands in the healthiest possible way and should also encourage regular tests for metabolic markers such as blood lipid, inflammation, blood glucose and insulin.
The exercises strongmen do are not exclusive. Many gym’s now have “strongman” style equipment For those that aren’t your standard strongman, studies suggest that incorporating strongman style exercises into typical training programs can help improve body composition muscular function and performance.