The diet that helped Swindon strongman beat the Mountain actually looks awesome
We love a good underdog story. And Laurence Shahlaei is that underdog.
The Swindon powerhouse defied the odds to beat Game of Thrones star and world famous strongman Hafthor 'Thor' Bjornsson to the Europe's Strongest Man crown.
Despite coming in at the heaviest and most muscular he'd ever been at 160kg (25 stone), he was still giving away three stone to the two-time European champ.
But that didn't stop 32-year-old 'Big Loz' beating the 180kg, 6ft 9in behemoth to the title, becoming the first Englishman in 27 years to do so.
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Me with the one and only #got star the mountain @thorbjornsson . This weekend I had the pleasure of competing with this guy. I beat him for the first in over 4 years and like a true champion he didn't make any excuses he came and congratulated me as did all his family. That's a true champ. Saturday was my night and I'm over the moon about it, but this guy is without question one of the best ever and will one day be world's strongest man. #strongman #athlete #mountain #mountainslayer #europes
It comes after a horrific series of injures which has seen him tear both quads, both hamstrings, biceps, triceps, labrum and his lat while deadlifting a world record in 2014. What a comeback!
While we've all seen the monster 10,000 calorie diet that The Mountain and Eddie Hall fuel their terrifying workouts with, we were interested to see what Shahlaei was eating that primed his performance to win ESM at Giants Live in Leeds.
While he's not eating the belly busting amounts of Hall or Bjornsson, he's still packing away an incredible amount of fuel.
He spoke in Coach Mag in 2015 about eating 5,000 calories a day after cleaning up his diet to help his performance.
"Before that I never really cared much about my nutrition – I’d managed to finish fourth at World’s Strongest Man in 2011 without a proper nutrition plan, so I figured I was doing alright.
"And although you need to be big for strongman, having that extra body fat doesn’t really help much, apart from maybe in the truck pull, where you just need to be as heavy as possible.
"The key is to have functional muscle. A lot of people think strongmen are just big brutes, but you need to be seriously athletic too. I’m a lot fitter now, and I’ve noticed that I recover a lot quicker between events, especially towards the end of competitions when a lot of the other guys start to struggle.
But he's stepped things up for his assault on World's Strongest Man 2016, which is just weeks away, and now eats around 7,000 calories.
"This year I've really stepped things up a gear with both my nutrition and supplementation, he wrote on Facebook.
"Although my own knowledge is good and I’ve learnt over the years what works well for me, having the guys from Extreme Nutrition to assist with my diet in the run up to this year’s Europe’s Strongest Man has been invaluable.
"Together we have worked to attain my heaviest bodyweight ever whilst increasing my lean muscle mass and retaining the kind of conditioning I need to move fast with big weights.
"I need to be heavy as it affords me leverage against the brutal weight I’ll be moving in the events this year but I also need to be fit. I am in better shape now and carrying less body fat at 160kg than I was previously at 140kg."
"I have put some size on this year.
"The guys are so big. The Mountain (Hafthor Bjornsson) is about 30 stone and 6ft 9ins and I'm only 6ft 2ins.
"It's pretty much the same every day, so it's easy to monitor what I'm eating. It's not forever, after the competitions I relax my diet for a while.
"My fiancee Liz Mason does a lot of the cooking, but she eats less than what I eat for breakfast in a whole day!"