31 Pounds of Meat for 5 Days: Watch Brian Shaw’s Grocery Run

After the training, one of the most fascinating aspects of the sport of strongman is the inhuman amount of food these guys eat. In this year’s fantastic documentary Born Strong, Shaw describes his diet as something akin to “reverse anorexia” and “a necessary evil, so to speak.”

Last time he tallied up his calories for his viewers, he was eating some 12,000 calories per day, so it may come as no surprise that he does his shopping at Costco. The chain focuses on wholesale and bulk goods and is currently the world’s largest retailer of prime beef, rotisserie chicken, and organic foods.

Shaw recently took his viewers for a walk through Costco to show what an average shopping trip looks like for five days of food.

Since he consumes about six pounds of meat every day, Shaw picked up 9 pounds of sirloin and 22 pounds of bison. He wryly notes that every time he checked out, the cashiers used to ask him if he was throwing a party. Nope, just an ordinary week of eating.

It’s a lot of fuel really, but it’s what it takes, it’s what I have to do. With all of the training and hard work I put in, I have to fuel my body up.

It’s definitely a lot of eating, but I go through it all the time. It’s part of the job, really.

Then there’s the cost for five days of food for him and his family: $485.

Obviously it’s not cheap to eat the way I do and consume the amount of food that I do, but (…) it’s the cost of doing business, it’s part of being a strongman and part of trying to be at the top and fuel my body the way that it needs to be fueled.

A final interesting note is that Shaw is crazy about chicken stock, buying carton after carton and saying he mixes it with his steak and rice or his bison and rice all the time. He doesn’t explain why, but in this next video at the 5.20 mark he talks a lot about his deliberately high sodium intake, which may be related.

Right before he uploaded the shopping trip, Shaw posted a video called “Meathead Prep” which shows what he does with all that meat: makes burgers.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out his roundup of a full day of eating, which consists of a surprising amount of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Featured image via SHAWSTRENGTH on YouTube.


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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.