One of Australia's Strongest Men
Ever wondered what Australia’s strongest men eat in a day? We chat with Simon Brown, the National Sales Manager at Goodlife Health Clubs about all things training, tactics and food! Simon is competing in the mens under 105kg 2019 Official Strongman Games, November 1-3 in Florida USA.
Take us through the competitions you entered (and won) this year
January - Gold Coasts Strongest Man under 105kg - 1st place
July - Australian Strongman Alliance Nationals under 105kg - 1st place
August - Queensland's Strongest Man under 105kg - 1st place
How do you prepare for a competition?
Training is consistent year round with 5 to 6 sessions per week. Leading up to a competition I will have a 6 - 10 weeks of intensive prep focusing on the competition events. Each week the weights get heavier and workouts become harder so I can be in peak condition to on the competition days.
What does a day on your plate look like?
Competing at 105kg means I have to eat relatively clean most of the time so I don’t put on too much weight. I try and keep my day to day weight around 110kg to 115+kg so I don’t have to diet too much to get back down to 105kg.
Monday to Friday I will have around 5000 calories spread across 7 or 8 meals along with 8 liters of water a day. My day starts at 430am with a shake or green smoothie, coffee and coconut oil before I train at 530am. During training I will consume 50 - 80g of carbohydrates followed with a post workout shake with another 80g of carbohydrates and 40g protein. An hour after the shake around 9am I will have 250g of beef and 250g of rice. I keep carbohydrates high in the morning around when I train so I can replenish and recover effectively. For the remainder of the day I consume higher amounts of fat as I feel it helps me keep energy levels high and focused for daily work tasks. Next meal is at 11am and is eggs, 8 to egg-xact :P. Will either have these scrambled or in a frittata with some veges as eating these plain boiled every single day gets old pretty fast. The next 2 meals are spaced out a bit more to 2.5 hours a part and will be another serving of beef with veges and greek yoghurt with almonds. Dinner will be 250g of lean meat, mostly beef, chicken or salmon with salad or veges and most nights will have a snack before bed.
Weekends I tend to embrace the strongman lifestyle and will eat anything and everything to get my 5000+ calories in. I like having the flexibility with my diet so I can enjoy a few treats each week. A normal weekend treat will be something like a New Yorker pepperoni pizza and cheesy garlic bread from Dominos, 20 plates at Sushi Train or a box of Krispy Kreme donuts.
What does your training regime look like at the moment?
4 days a week I will do 1.5 to 2 hours of weight training which consist of 5 different exercises ranging in reps and weights. Each weight session focuses on 1 or 2 competition events and targets the main muscle groups used in these. Strongman is not just about being strong, to do well you need to be able to move well and fast. So one day a week I do a HIIT style workout at Arena Fitness and one other day doing more active recovery with light cardio, stretching and yoga. During my prep phase I will get physical treatment most weeks like myotherapy, deep tissue massage or chiro so I can train at my best.
What are your tactics/strategy for the big event?
There are six events for the competition:
1. 140.6kg Viking press for reps in 60 seconds
2. 142.9kg per hand Farmers walk for 30m
3. 265kg, 288kg, 306kg and 329kg Deadlift Ladder
4. Load & Drag Medley - 132kg keg, 147kg husafell stone, 136kg sandbag & loaded sled drag
5. 136kg Axle Clean & Press for reps in 60 seconds
6. 181.4kg, 206.4kg & 213.2kg Power stairs
I am most confident in moving events so am planning to do well in the farmers walk, load & drag medley and the power stairs. The area I am focusing on are the two overhead events, the viking press and axle clean & press. Overheads haven’t been my strong point in the past, however have been training these hard and am looking forward to achieving some massive personal bests on the day of the comp!
How important is mindset? And how do you stay focused?
Mindset is everything! If my head isn’t in the right place the weights feel twice as heavy. To stay focused I follow a daily ritual:
1. At least 8 of sleep every night to recharge
2. Visualisation and goal setting
3. Daily reflection highlighting wins and areas to improve
4. Be positive and optimistic every minute of the day. Stress in life, small or large is just an opportunity to be stronger
5. Use music, podcasts and audiobooks to focus
What would it mean to you to win the Official Strongman Games?
Winning the World's Strongest Man under 105kg would be unreal! My goal in competing is to prove that through hard work, everything is in reach and can be achieved. I initially got into weight training from a doctor's recommendation to provide some relief from my rheumatoid arthritis. Not only did the pain subside but I grew stronger both physically and mentally. Now to be at this level 12 years later is truly something I am proud of and something I want my young son Finn to look up to. It means so much to me as a parent knowing that I have the opportunity to inspire my son to have a positive attitude and drive to tackle any challenge he faces head on. Being my first international competition, of course I am going for the win, but my two other main goals are to place at least top 5 and also learn off all the top athletes.