Let's take a quick look at some valuable tips that are still ignored even by those competing in strongman at a national level today.
Eat enough protein.
A sad fact is most strongmen don't have enough protein in their diet. I know this statement reads oddly since bodybuilders eat more than enough protein and bodybuilding nutrition
stresses its consumption more than any other sources. However, many strongmen don't even come close to taking in enough protein. As simple as the following may sound, ingesting
adequate protein is still one of the most important nutritional pillars upon which strongman training rests.
I recommend all strength athletes take in daily no less than 1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight. When you are training much harder you can ingest even more. My guess is most
strength athletes on average fail to consume even 0.5 g per pound of bodyweight. This lack of sufficient protein is a big mistake that causes a major reduction in performance.
Protein is needed to help repair and rebuild the muscle fibers broken down during training. Without enough protein in your diet you won't even approach the results you could be
receiving from your training.
Drink your water.
Insufficient water intake is another blunder I see being made all the time. Strongmen should drink at least three liters of water per day. Some trainers I have spoken with are
lucky if they consume that amount over a week long period. Drinking too little water is a major mistake because dehydration causes a severe decline in muscular strength. Whenever
you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. You should be drinking enough water so you don't get thirsty. As water will also flush your organs clean, drinking enough of it is
most definitely one of the most important behaviors a strength athlete can engage in to increase his performance.
Eat at least four times per day.
I know this suggestion appears redundant in a fitness website as most bodybuilders are eating up to eight meals per day. However, the majority of strongmen usually eat just
two or three square meals a day. This latter frequency will only set you up for higher bodyfat percentage and a sluggish metabolism. Strongmen should eat at least four times per
day. In reality they should eat more often, but you try telling them they should eat eight times per day instead of the usual two or three times.
The main point to remember is to eat less at each meal than before but have more meals per day. You will have more energy, your blood sugar level will be stabilized, and you won't
tend to go on eating rampages during which you wolf down a bucket of ice cream and a box of cookies because it's late at night and you haven't eaten since breakfast.
Drink your protein shakes.
This recommendation also appears superfluous on this website, but unfortunately many strength athletes don't use protein supplements. Add to this neglect the fact strongmen don't
get enough protein from their meals, and you have a recipe for a performance nightmare just waiting to happen. Strength athletes should consume at least two or three protein drinks
per day. If you eat four times per day and in addition are consuming two or three protein shakes daily, you have a decent meal plan.
I know this eating plan is a far cry from the accomplishments of bodybuilders who can gulp six to eight meal replacement powder (MRP) drinks a day on top of their meals, but you
have to start somewhere. As most strength athletes don't take in enough protein from the foods they eat, supplementing their food intake with a high-quality protein shake or MRP
is a wise idea. The better brands out there are easy to drink, unlike some that taste like chalk.
Reduce the junk in your diet.
Eating excessive amounts of junk food isn't a major concern of bodybuilders since most of them eat fairly clean year round. However, strongmen have a very bad reputation for eating
junk food and other foods with very little or no nutritional value as though the end of the world was near. I know bodybuilders have a cheat day here and there to break up the
monotony of eating chicken breasts and yams, but many strength athletes eat as though they just got dropped off at a carnival. Many of these guys eat worse than truckers and carnival
The amount of junk strongmen consume is fairly ridiculous, and I have seen poor eating habits at all levels of strongman competition. My last report on the Ontario strongman
championship was an accurate account of some of the despicable nutritional practices that take place even on the day of a contest. I recommend you throw a cheat day into your eating
plan every two weeks to keep your mind fresh and to break up the boredom. However, don't go off on a carnival-food tangent daily or you '11 end up eating like the guy who runs the
Ferris wheel at the local fair.
Take a multivitamin.
Although this piece of advice is very basic, you would be surprised at how many strength athletes don't have a daily multivitamin in their diet. Hell, everyone else takes a multi,
including grandmothers, yet most strength athletes don't seem to pay this requirement any mind. Don't fall into this trap.
You should take a good multi every day to prevent any remaining deficiencies in your diet. Keeping a wide spectrum of micro nutrients in your nutrition plan is very important for your
progress and health. Don't think vitamins are for those babyish bodybuilders and fitness wimps who you see at the gym doing Pilates. Taking a daily multivitamin is essential for
keeping you healthy and aiding the numerous metabolic reactions in the body that will have a direct effect on your strength and well-being.
Change up your plan.
You must have some variety in your nutrition plan. Your eating plan should be changed up to get the best results, in the same way you change up your training. If during a particular
training phase, your diet consists of high carbs, then drop the carbs and increase the fat during the next phase. You have to play around and fine-tune your diet to see what kind works
best for you. Don't believe all those diet books that advise you one kind of diet only is right for everyone in the world.
Such advice is merely marketing hype to help sell books. Each person reacts differently to the same macronutrient ratios, and this reason is why you have to change up your diet to
find out what will yield the best results.
Mixing up the kinds of food you eat is also very important. Don't eat the same old chick-en-and-rice dish day in and day out. Not only will this monotony make you hate those foods but
it will also make you totally abstain from them for long periods of time. Bodybuilders have a reputation for these behaviors, especially with foods such as tuna and chicken. They eat
so much of one item that they wake up one day and can't even look at the food without feeling as though they are going to gag and go into convulsions. The main points are to change up
your diet and to be unafraid to eat all kinds of dishes so you don't get bored.
I have presented some very basic yet very important nutritional tips for the person get-ting started in strongman training. Proper nutrition is at least 50 percent of your success in
any sport, even the strength sports. Make sure you are eating suitably for your sport so you can take advantage of all variables when competition day arrives.