Why Do Strongman Look Fat? – [Here’s Why]

Many people have pointed out that strong men look fat.

The reason may be that they are fat.

Some claim it is just because of the angle of the photo.

But some point out that this is not always true, as many people are thin but still look fatter on camera than in person.

Whatever the reason, it has become an ongoing debate as to whether or not this sport needs to be changed.

Why Do Strongmen Look Fat?

There are many reasons why strongmen appear to be overweight or ‘fat’. Some of these include muscle-bound competitors with high body fat percentages, water retention due to subcutaneous fluid overloads, weight gain due to increased muscle mass, or weight loss from dehydration or injury recovery periods that may not allow for intake of enough calories to offset the deficit.

Reasons Why Strongmen Look Fat

why do strongmen look fat

Now we’ll look at the reasons why strongmen seem to be overweight. There are a number of reasons why these men may be a bit bigger than the typical person, ranging from their food to their genetics.

1) Genetics

Genetics can play a big role in how muscular someone is. Some people carry the gene that makes them more prone to weight gain and bodybuilding-related fat accumulation.

This can be a blessing or a curse, depending on if you want to look like the next strongman competitor or not.

2) Diet

The diet of a strongman is often very different from the average person’s. They will be eating more calories and higher amounts of protein, fats, and carbs in order to maintain lean muscle mass and support their strength training; this is one reason they may look fatter than most people with biceps like Popeye’s 🙂

3) Muscle Mass

Muscle grows when we exercise or when we eat more protein than we need because it needs more calories in order to grow in size and strength.

This means that if someone is eating enough protein but they aren’t exercising, then they will.

4) Training

Strongman training can look like a contradiction in terms. They are some of the strongest athletes on the planet, but they also tend to be the most overweight. How is this possible?

The answer has to do with something called the strength-to-weight ratio.

While professional strongmen might not be as thin as marathon runners, they are much more muscular than your average Joe or Jane.

This means that it will take them less time to get stronger and achieve their goals, while also being able to carry more weight in a competition setting.

5) Societies Expectations

Society is a fascinating thing. We all tend to bring certain assumptions and prejudices with us wherever we go.

This is never more evident than in the realm of strongman competition.

When most people think of a strongman, they see a big, bald man who can’t do anything except lift weights and eat doughnuts.

But, as it turns out, such preconceptions couldn’t be more incorrect.

The Science Behind Why Strongman Look Fat and What it Means to Your Diet

Athletes and strongmen who train to be strong and muscular seem to have more body fat than those who participate in other sports.

This is due to the fact that they must carry greater muscle as part of their work. However, it is not as easy as it seems; there are certain biological reasons behind this as well.

Because of the kind of activity they perform, they need a lot of energy, which can only be obtained from carbs, implying that they will also consume a higher carbohydrate diet.

Because of the absence of protein needs for muscle development, higher carbohydrate diets are often high in fat content.

Importance Of Diet For A Strongman

The diet for strongmen is complex with many aspects to take into account. First of all, they need to have a lot of calories in their diet.

There are two types of calories- Macronutrients and Micronutrients. The most important macronutrient for them is protein, which increases the muscle mass and the synthesis of various hormones in the body that correlate with muscle growth.

On top of that, they also need carbohydrates in order to regenerate their muscles after intense training sessions, which means that they should avoid too much fat in their diet.

Advantages Of Including Extra Weight in a Strongman

Although the weight of the strongman may seem to be a disadvantage, it actually has several advantages. The extra weight will help to build muscle and increase strength.

It will also help to put on mass which will allow the strongman to have more power in his or her arms when carrying weights.

The extra weight carried by the strongman will also help with body composition.

This means that if they are trying to lose weight, they can gain back some of their muscle while still losing fat.

At this point in time, it is not uncommon for people who are looking to build muscle or lose fat without gaining too much fat themselves, to include extra weight in their workouts.

Strongman vs Bodybuilder [KEY Differences]


Is Being Fat as an Athlete Even That Big of a Deal?

Gaining weight and shedding fat is also the highest concern for many people. Stronger and leaner, it’s the best of all worlds.

However, everyone’s aspirations and expectations vary, and for certain individuals (including powerlifters and strongmen), intensity is the name of the game.

Body and beauty take a back seat and aren’t as critical to some individuals.

This goes even deeper for elite strength sports, where athletes can deliberately add on weight to get an advantage over others, they couldn’t care less about how they appear.

Are strongmen considered obese?

Obesity is common among pro-strongman athletes and superheavyweight powerlifters because, in order to get as strong as possible, incorporating fat together with muscle is unavoidable.

Lifters who are heavy in their weight division carry relatively less extra body fat in the lower weight groups (97 percent of powerlifters).

Are strongmen healthy?

Strongman as a discipline is not linked with many fatal health problems.

The most serious “health complications” are joint and tissue injuries caused by pulling uncomfortable, ridiculously large loads for as long as possible.

Are strongmen stronger than bodybuilders?

It takes a ton of calories to achieve the strength standards needed to be called an elite-level strongman.

Strongmen are much tougher than bodybuilders and they prepare for maximum power, while bodybuilders only show off their sculpted muscles.


Strong men often seem fatter than they are because they have a lot of muscle across their midsection to hold their bodies upright when doing hard presses, squats, and deadlifts.

To the untrained eye, it may resemble a potbelly when coated in fat.

Powerlifters consume plenty to ensure optimal strength increases, and often create weight, in order to obtain the most strength possible.

Bodybuilders feed to maximize muscle gain but not gaining weight.

Bodybuilders, on the other hand, go into a cutting process in which they concentrate on removing weight.

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