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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I’m a journalist and content producer with over seven years' reporting experience on four continents, with most of that spent covering health-related issues. My resume includes covering cholera outbreaks in Kenya and the clubbing scene in Shanghai, which is also where I wrote my first ever health article for an English language magazine. (It was on diarrhea.)After returning to Australia to finish up degrees in Journalism and International Relations I wound up in New York City where I’ve worked for Men’s Health, VICE, Popular Science and others. I try to keep health relatively simple — it’s mostly vegetables and sweat — but I live to explore the debates, the fringes, the niche, and the nitty gritty.