“We could have paid the other athletes their prize money with the amount we spent on food!”
As Britain’s Strongest Man, Tom Stoltman knows a thing or two about shifting some serious tin.
He placed ahead of fellow British stars Adam Bishop and Graham Hicks to become the strongest man in Britain on October 23.
Stoltman’s status as Britain’s Strongest Man follows on from an even greater triumph in July, when he became World’s Strongest Man.
For fuel, he puts away an enormous amount of food – often in excess of 14,000 calories a day.
His dietary efforts are matched by brother Luke, himself Europe’s Strongest Man. Wolfing down this much food is an increase on the 10,000 calorie diets both Stoltman brothers previously stuck to.
The Stoltman brothers make room for food by eating anywhere and everywhere. They sit down for breakfast at the dining table, but when it comes to a pre-workout meal, that is consumed in the gym.
Footage posted on the Stoltman Brothers’ YouTube account shows Tom sinking a protein shake, two punnets of strawberries and a stack of doughnuts prior to pumping heavy iron.
That’s roughly equivalent to the recommended daily calorie intake for adults consumed in one sitting… As a snack.
Back in 2020, the brothers – who hail from the Scottish Highlands – told JOE exactly what they eat in a day. However, they’ve since upped the ante by an impressive 4,000 calories – and it’s paid off.
Last night, Scotland's Tom Stoltman came second in the final of World's Strongest Man ?
This is everything he and his brother eat with their 9,000 calorie-a-day diets ? pic.twitter.com/Fs93Dpoycc
— JOE (@JOE_co_uk) November 16, 2020
The proof is well and truly in the puddings, given their success on the British, European and World stages.
Speaking to JOE alongside his brother Luke, Tom Stoltman laughs as he recalls the details of his whopping 14,000-plus calorie diet.
“Roughly about that, yeah” says Tom when asked if it is true that he is scoffing that much scran each day.
“During Worlds it was horrendous – it was around 14,000 [calories] a day,” adds Luke.
The Stoltman brothers maintained this volume of food in the run up to the recent Britain’s Strongest Man event.
Tom said eating was, in many ways, “the hardest thing” about winning World’s Strongest Man, with the climate in Sacramento, California proving a tougher obstacle to overcome than the actual tests of strength themselves.
“Eating seven or eight meals in 40 degree heat… Jeez, give me weights any day of the week.”
If the sheer volume of food isn’t enough to put you off, the Stoltman brothers also have to deal with the nervousness that comes with competing at the elite level of their sport.
“You do get nervous and the adrenaline spike does subdue your hunger but as athletes we know what to do.”
The Stoltman brothers’ jaw-dropping daily diets are enough to make the hungriest souls blush.
“In the morning, we’d probably have two breakfasts, a lunch before we go out and compete, another one in between the second event and then we’d compete in the afternoon.
“It is about ensuring we’re as energised as we can be.”
For Britain’s strongest man, daily nutrition is a far cry from the super-clean plate of chicken, broccoli and brown rice so typical of the fitness industry.
“I had Five Guys and chips!” said Tom, proudly.
“I think we just lived off that; Five Guys and chips, milkshakes, all that nice, dirty food.”Luke and Tom Stoltman, Britain’s strongest man, together at their home gym in Invergordon, Scotland. (Photo: Reign)
Athletes are catered for at most of the major competitions, but even that wasn’t enough for the two brothers from Invergordon in the Scottish Highlands.
“We’d have a pancake blowout for breakfast,” said Luke.
“They’d put on a big buffet at World’s Strongest Man, but a lot of the time it didn’t have what we needed.”
The brothers took it upon themselves to source extra food.
“We’d order in massive bowls of pasta… ‘Meat Feast’ pasta with three extra meatballs or sausages with bread. Then we’d have double Five Guys burgers with fries, milkshakes, pancakes for breakfast.”
“It was hell, wasn’t it?” Tom added jokingly.
The volume of grub they were putting away didn’t come cheap.
“The bank account took a bit of a hit. We could have paid the other athletes their prize money with the amount we spent on food,” says Tom.
“A lot of the athletes just ate what they were given, but me and Luke put our hands in our pockets and went out and bought stuff. We knew we’d perform better that way.”
— The World's Strongest Man (@WorldsStrongest) April 21, 2021
Success for Tom Stoltman at World’s Strongest Man might have come as a surprise to some, but not for Tom.
”I said in 2019 that I wanted to win World’s Strongest Man in 2021 and to have it happen is unbelievable.”
Both Stoltman brothers are incredibly down to Earth, although their success in 2021 has skyrocketed them somewhat into local celebrities back in their hometown.
“In the Highlands, we’re usually just known as two normal lads,” says Tom. “But now everyone stops for us and people travel up to see us. It’s nice to put the Highlands on the map. We’re proud of where we come from and so we want to give something back to the community.
“For children up here, we want to show them that just because you’re from a tiny place, it doesn’t mean you can’t do something.”
Luke and Tom Stoltman are Reign Total Body Fuel athletes. For more information, visit reignbodyfuel.com.