Bigger, Faster, Stronger


 It is nearly a weekly occurrence that I hear the words, “I eat tons of food but just can’t gain weight.” Often times it is in conjunction with those who want to be a key player in their sport, or more athletic, or faster on the field of play. Take your pick. In the majority of those cases, as we know, a gross misunderstanding ensues of what “eating a ton” actually looks like.

BTW, this mostly applies to boys and men but not always. I have seen girls/women refuse to eat, even when they have ended up in the hospital so they don’t get bigger. Yet they whine when coach won’t let them play. Mind boggling. But that’s not the point of today.

Today is about BIGGER, cuz there’s a reason it’s listed first in Bigger, Faster, Stronger. Ya think? Is it possible that faster and stronger comes when we decide to fuel our bodies to get BIGGER? And yes, bigger is subjective. There are people out there who are incredibly athletic and explosive at lighter weights, they’re called wrestlers. Or weightlifters. But don’t misunderstand a weight class for small. The lower weight class athletes have packed on as much muscle as possible on their small frames.

My Hungarian training partner, Mari, has added 16 kilos to her former fitness competitor frame and sits at 66kg now. Guess which body she loves more? Yup, the strong one. The BIGGER one. I am in awe of her progress. I guess eating to get BIGGER and training with a World Champion weightlifter while being completely dedicated has it’s benefits.


But Mari understood that she had to get BIGGER in order to get STRONGER. Duh.

My first question to someone who wants to get BIGGER and train is always, ‘What’d you have for breakfast today?’ The usual answer is something like, “Wellllllll, I really don’t like breakfast.” Huh. Okay, ‘when is the first time you ate then?’ We then go down the list of food for the day:

9am: Granola Bar, maybe a banana thrown in.

Noon: Regular lunch, piece of pizza with some fruit.

Dinner: Ya know, supper food but I eat a lot of it.

Ummmmkay, but you can’t train here to get FASTER and STRONGER cuz you are refusing the process of getting BIGGER. Like Katy, where this status update showed up on her Timehop yesterday:


This was after a training session in which she power cleaned a light bar and oooooooh so slowly and gracefully laid down on the ground afterwards. Which prompted the conversation of why I couldn’t train her. Well, some talking and tears later, she promised to eat; log her food; and take this BIGGER thing seriously so she could train. And she did. I’m very proud of her. She still has a healthy grasp on what fuel is needed to feel good even if she’s not training as hard as she was then. Winning.

If FASTER, STRONGER is a priority, BIGGER can’t be skipped. Really. It’d be like singing that ABC’s song and skipping A. What’s the point? You’ve just skipped the most important letter, why continue?

THIS, is first breakfast (yes, the Hobbit’s had their shit straight when it comes to food):


This is second breakfast:


This is first lunch:


This is second lunch:


This is snack:




Just one of the plates, come on, two would be silly.

Don’t forget the night night snack…


And there ya go. If you don’t eat anything even resembling the above, don’t tell me how much you eat. Cuz you’re lying. Oh I know, you don’t mean to. You just don’t know. But now you know. Also, don’t tell me how much you want to get faster or stronger without giving a concerted effort to eating. You won’t get BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER and you’ll blame me when it’s actually YOUR inability to accept eating food.

The other day we were on an errand running marathon. At some point, I realized that it’d been a couple of hours and we weren’t even close to being done. Since I was driving, I declared a snack stop. We buzzed into Wendy’s (have you ever had one of those little mini-Frosty’s? They’re delish.) I actually got a mini sammich, Matt got three or four mini-burgers and then I get to Oz (reminding him that this is a snack break) and he orders this:

biggeroz Because for the Ozman, this is a snack.

 I have seen Oz demolish a 30 ounce steak without skipping a beat. The dude eats and yes, his big ‘ol Polynesian frame helps him out a bit. But Oz likes BIGGER. The stronger and faster is something he’s working on and he has some amazing help in getting there. But BIGGER? He’s on it.

True story.

My body is like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don’t think about it, I just have it.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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