Beginning Strongman

When I purchased the domain name for this site my intention was to write about my personal fitness journey and what steps I have/will taken to ensure that.  However, as I have slowly been working on the site, uploading new content, and working on different workout and exercise plans, my focus has shifted a little bit in terms of my overall goal.  A bit of some background.  One day I was surfing on Pintrest for different one pagers to help me plan my journey and to see how others have done it in the past, or are currently doing it.  Surely the masses can't be wrong?  Right?  While looking at different posts I come across bodybuilding, CrossFit, power lifting, cardio, and many other facets of workouts/goals, but one in particular caught my eye.  Strongman.  The post was telling the difference between bodybuilding and Strongman.

My basic understanding of bodybuilding is this:

  • Focus is primarily on the aesthetic looks of the body
  • Low body fat % (like really low as in single digit body fat percent)
  • Can lift heavy weights, but limited growth due to keeping calories low for body fat percent reasons
  • Makes me think of Arnold...I'll be back

Strongmen on the other hand have an entirely different view on things:

  • Focus is on raw power, strength, and athleticism
  • Body fat percentage isn't really a concern, but getting enough calories for muscle and strength growth is
  • These guys (and gals) are doing unimaginable feats of strengths (think dead lifting cars and pulling airplanes)
  • Wrestle bears in the woods...and win

I was fascinated by this and the more I read online, watched videos, and researched, the more I like the idea of making this my overall goal.  I've always wanted to be strong, but until I read on strongmen I didn't realize I had been doing it wrong all along.  I always felt tired and no matter how much I would try and lift, I would never get over certain amounts.  Come to find out I wasn't eating enough calories or protein to initiate muscle repair and growth.  My weight was just stagnant.  I wasn't gaining or losing any weight at all, which was frustrating for me because I wanted body composition change and it wasn't happening.

What woke me up to this was watching a YouTube video of Brian Shaw and the 10,000 calorie a day strongman diet!  I was like WTF?!?!  How can one man eat that many calories in one day.  That would be like eating 1700 calories per meal six times a day!  Whoa!

After seeing what the professional strongmen eat in a day I decided I had better up my calories from 1500-1800 to over 3,000!  That was a serious adjustment on my part!  From the time I joined the Marines I was always borderline exceeding my weight for my height, and it was a completely different way of thinking.  I was afraid of getting too fat!  Why wouldn't I?  Marines are supposed to be lean and mean.  At this point in my life I just want to be strong and mean.

With this new knowledge in hand I began eating 500-600 calorie meals 6 times a day.  I've had to do a lot of food logging and measuring to make sure I'm reaching my macros for my height and weight.  I'm not going to lie when I say some days are a struggle to get all the food down, but you just have to make yourself eat, especially on heavy training days.  I always knew nutrition was key to a healthy life, but I didn't understand how key it is for muscle and size growth.  Needless to say I eat a lot of protein with rice, oatmeal, or a sweet potato.  I gotta get my carbs some way!

The first thing I noticed about eating more calories was I wasn't as tired as I once was, especially on training days.  My body finally had the fuel it needed to thrive and not just barely make it through the day. Needless to say I am hooked on this type of body development and lifestyle.  The only drawback is the amount of cost for my food and protein supplements.  I can't imagine what it would be for an amateur strongman to feed himself without sponsors.  Who knows, maybe one day I will be there too.!

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