Fitness YouTuber Will Tennyson has tried the extreme workouts and diets of some of the fittest figures in pop culture, from legends like Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee, to present-day movie stars like Gal Gadot and Henry Cavill. He’s also spent a “day in the life” of former World’s Strongest Man and Arnold Classic winner, Brian Shaw… twice.
Having already attempted the epic 10,000-calorie diet and workout routine that Shaw used while in competition, in his latest video Tennyson takes on the relatively reduced “fat loss” diet Shaw has been using to lean down over the last year, which still involves eating a staggering 5,513 calories per day.
The morning starts with a 1,000-calorie strongman breakfast of six ounces of bison, six eggs, and steamed white rice. “I think I’m going to have to remind myself constantly throughout the day that this is a fat loss diet, because this is a hefty bowl of food,” he says.
Tennyson follows breakfast with a walk (Shaw is a fan of low-intensity cardio) before preparing his second meal; bison patties, rice cakes and pineapple, totaling 765 calories. Shortly after comes the third meal, a pre-workout protein shake, banana, rice crispy treats and peanut butter.
At the gym, Tennyson focuses on exercises which not only build pure strength, but also help to develop stability, balance, and grip strength—all essential in Shaw’s profession. These include safety bar squats, incline dumbbell press, neutral grip pulldowns, and strongman staples like the farmer’s carry, sled pull, and log press.
“I can usually press 180 pounds for multiple reps, so it just shows you, the width of the log makes it so much harder,” he says. “This thing lights your upper delts up… the shoulder pump is next level.”
He adds that the farmer’s carry is a real test of endurance, and by the time he’s completed just two rounds on the sled pull, he’s feeling thoroughly exhausted and the skin on his hands is starting to split. “My upper back right now is fried from the farmer’s walks and sled pulls,” he says. “Those two things alone are a workout in itself.”
For his post-workout meal, Tennyson eats chicken, asparagus, and an entire bag of sweet potato fries, then heads out for another walk to hit his cardio goals before a final meal of more bison patties, rice and salad (919 calories).
“Everyone has their own method to dieting,” he says. “The point is to find a diet that you’re consistent with and you can stick to every single day, because that is the most important thing.”
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