A Strongman Guide To Diet & Proper Food Intake For Max Gains

Strongman guide

Continue seeing Strongman gains with this diet guide.

You as a strongman clearly have a lot going on. Not only do you have to lift big weight, but you also have to consider the fact that your sport is also quite cardio-based. That means your training must be tailored to a multi-faceted style of sport. What this also means is so too does your diet. Unlike a bodybuilder, you aren’t trying to nail down a shredded aesthetic. You’re aiming to pack on that muscle and get as big as possible while also moving as functionally as possible. And that can be tricky.

With the right diet, however, you start to give yourself the energy to power through absolutely any workout. Along with the wear and tear of daily life, those worries about finding the right diet and maintaining a healthy overall lifestyle can be a thing of the past.

And as you start to compete more and more, you’ll start to find your groove and routines, including those of your diet. Plus, you will find those others foods you love to incorporate into your plan even more.

Let’s take a look at a Strongman guide to diet and what it takes to get enough food for proper intake. The right amount of macros and other micronutrients can work wonders for all your gains and give you the best nutrients possible to see those Strongman gains and results you need to most.

Size & Performance

The challenge for strongmen is that their sport requires them to focus on both size and strength, as well as functional performance. You can be massive beyond belief, but if you can’t move well, those medley events aren’t going to go so well for you.

On the flip side, you can be as agile as possible and still lack strength, losing all momentum on those Atlas stones. The fine line happens when you have to train for both strength, size, and athletic performance. So, while your training is obviously imperative, so too is your diet and your ability to balance all of this into one effective Strongman routine.

Let’s Talk Strongman Macros

When it comes to the amount of macronutrients you consume, you want to make sure you are obviously getting enough of all three. While protein and carbs seem like a no brainer, and of course you aren’t watching your physique like a bodybuilder, fats are huge for giving you cognitive function and energy, especially with those events that include both heavy lifting and cardio-based work.

Let’s take a look at why each of these macros are so important and we’ll give you insight into some key foods from those categories so you can plan a great Strongman diet.

Healthy Foods


Protein will absolutely be essential as this is a source of muscle. Protein is the building block of muscle so you would be neglecting your gains if you decided to neglect protein (1). You want to recover also, and the right amount of protein will help repair those worn down muscles.

Great sources of protein include:

  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Whey Protein
  • Eggs


Carbs are a great source of energy and without them, you start to feel quite lethargic and low on that vital energy. As an athlete you need carbs and making sure these carbs are the right carbs can make all the different for your training and performance (2).

Great sources of carbs include:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Granola & Cereal


Fats used to have that negative connotation with it, but good fats will promote heart and brain health while aiding in energy and cognitive functioning for the best gains. As an athlete needing to remember so many details about certain events, it is no wonder why fats are essential for boosting cognition in a Strongman diet (3).

Great sources of fats include:

  • Avocado
  • Peanut Butter
  • Various Nuts

Strongman guide

How About The Rest Of Those Nutrients

While macronutrients are imperative for any person, not just athletes and let alone a strongman, there are some key nutrients and other foods to heavily consider as you look to optimize this diet as best you can.

Leafy green vegetables along with other vegetables, including but not limited to spinach, broccoli, carrots, and red peppers, are full of vitamins and minerals and will greatly help with your digestive process. In terms of fruits, you want a food rich in vitamins and antioxidants (4), while also having a food with that natural sugar to give you a sweet taste. We’ll get into supplements and the benefits of a great multivitamin, but at least when it comes to fruits, this is a sure-fire way to get all those nutrients taken care of in a whole foods way.

What About Supplementation?

Training and a good diet plan will take you far, but when it comes down to it, a good supplementation plan is exactly what you need. As a Strongman, looking to those supplements that are more geared towards increasing strength, size, and a real bulk can be absolute game changers. These would include anything like creatine, mass gainers, and protein powders.

Creatine supplements are great for increasing strength and size by increasing blood flow through your muscles (5). As a result, you will pack on that lean muscle mass and change your body composition. A mass gainer will be a protein and carb packed supplement for you to take literally to gain mass. As a Strongman, this is exactly what you need and mass gainers will help get you there.

Of course, we all know what a great protein powder can do for your gains in terms of muscle growth and recovery (6). For more of a bulking powder, potentially consider a whey concentrate as this will contain carbs and fat as opposed to its filtered counter part in whey isolate.

Wrap Up

You as a Strongman have a full plate. Cardio, strength work, a proper diet, and the right supplements. But at the end of the day, when all of this falls into place, it will start to work wonders for you. Definitely put a priority on your Strongman diet because this can make or break those gains which lead to those desired results.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Pasiakos, S.; et al. (2015). “The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review”. (source)
  2. Jequier, E. (1994). “Carbohydrates as a source of energy”. (source)
  3. Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School (2019). “The truth about fats: the good, the bad, and the in-between”. (source)
  4. Blasa, M.; et al. (2010). “Fruit and Vegetable Antioxidants in Health”. (source)
  5. Kreider, R. (2003). “Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations”. (source)
  6. Pasiakos, S.; et al. (2015). “The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review”. (source)
Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.