By Danni Levy
Photography by Simon Howard
At the height of his Strongman career, the giant Eddie Hall weighed in at 196kg. He now sits at 158kg and sports some seriously enviable abs. Here’s the Muscle and Health lowdown on how the Beast slimmed his physique.
“When I won the World’s Strongest Man I was almost 200kg,”
“When I won the World’s Strongest Man I was almost 200kg,” begins Eddie. “Right now, I weigh about 158kg, so I’m 40 kilos or so down, but I’m still very strong in the gym. I’m benching a quarter of a ton and squatting 300kg.”
Packing the meals in is all in a day’s routine for Eddie, whose calorie intake has halved since making the transition to lean and mean.
“I’m benching a quarter of a ton and squatting 300kg.”
“In my Strongman days I was consuming upwards of 12,000 calories a day,” he says. “That was just a constant cow grazing. All-day from the second I woke up to the second I went to sleep I’d have meals. I was probably eating eight meals a day with snacks in-between and lots of liquids like high-calorie smoothies. Now, I have four square meals a day and five protein shakes in-between, to make sure I don’t dig too big a hole. I’d say I’m on roughly 6,000 calories a day right now. That’s half what I was eating when I was the World’s Strongest Man.”
Eddie’s weekly training schedule ensures he retains strength and muscularity.
“In my Strongman days I was consuming upwards of 12,000 calories a day”
“I’m doing two weights sessions, two swimming sessions, and five boxing sessions. Essentially, I’ve removed two weights sessions and added a bit more cardio and mobility work. It’s all about keeping sharp and maintaining the muscle mass.”
“I genuinely thought I could like run through walls”
Being leaner makes lifting cars and other awe-inspiring feats of strength less of a common occurrence, and as a result Eddie’s ‘God complex’ has dwindled.
“Getting in cars, getting on planes, even getting dressed can be a task and a half when you’re that big.”
“When I was World’s Strongest Man I was walking around as a 32-stone bloke of pure muscle and I genuinely thought I could like run through walls,” he says. “That’s how big and strong I felt. I had a bit of a God complex in a sense. I mean, you do when you’ve got the title of the World’s Strongest Man. When you’re walking around and you’re like, ‘I’m the World’s Strongest Man,’ it’s a great feeling. I will say though, it’s a very uncomfortable life being that size. Getting in cars, getting on planes, even getting dressed can be a task and a half when you’re that big. Putting your socks on is a mission!
“I do feel as though I’m going to claw back a hell of a lot of years on my lifespan.”
“Life is far more comfortable now and I feel a lot fitter and healthier. I do feel as though I’m going to claw back a hell of a lot of years on my lifespan.”
His new-found lease of life has created unfamiliar routines that Eddie plans to continue in the long-term.
“I’ve found a new love for is walking,” he says. “Just taking my dog and going for long walks and plodding away is great. I’m talking power walks at a really good five mile an hour pace. I love doing that and it’s something I’ll definitely keep up regardless. Swimming is also something I’ll always continue to do and have done my entire life. Even when I was training for Strongman, I swam at least once a week. Swimming and walking are the two things I’ll definitely keep up.
“I bought my house in December 2019 and then the COVID lockdown hit in March 2020. I immediately thought to myself, ‘right, I need to get some kit in here,’ and within a couple of weeks I had a full gym, a full recovery room, and a boxing room. Now I’ve got a spa in the garden too with my own swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, cold pool, swim bedroom, everything! I’m very comfortable at home that’s for sure. I’ve literally got all the kit here you’d expect to find in a big commercial gym so I’m very lucky, very blessed.”
Revealing potential bodybuilding plans, Eddie says having an objective at all times is fundamental to keeping his body fat levels down.
“Because of my appetite I pack on fat really easily,” says Eddie. “I’ve got a very sweet tooth. I like my sugary foods and fruits. There’s going to have to be an objective like stepping onto a bodybuilding stage. Otherwise, I’ll just sit and eat and put a lot of weight on.
“I can put weight on like a pregnant woman”
“The thing is, I can put weight on like a pregnant woman, like so fast. That cake at the weekend, I couldn’t just have one piece, I’d have to have half of it, you know? Then that’s like the whole week’s training and diet out the window.
“For the first time in my career, I’ve had a nutritionist. I’ve enlisted Nathan Peyton who’s world-class and I’ve got a blood doctor who does my bloods every quarter too. He breaks down all the elements like the electrolyte levels, the iron, and the zinc and we make adjustments based on the back of that. I’ve got everything in check. During my Strongman days, I was struggling for money. It was really hard to buy everything I needed, do all the recovery things that I needed and buy all the organic foods. Now, I’m in a very comfortable position and I’m able to do all of these things and do them properly. I’m having £15 worth of organic salmon for breakfast every morning. That may seem obscene to a lot of people, and it is, but when it’s your job and you want to be the best at what you do, it’s a no-brainer. I’ll invest anything into my body.”
Aesthetically, Eddie has carved a physique fit for the stage, but he says polishing up his reflection was never a part of the game plan.
“I’ve never trained my abs believe it or not and I’ve never trained my calves and they’re ridiculous as well”
“The physique just came naturally,” he says. “Because of my ten-year Strongman career, I’ve got such a thick core from squatting and deadlifting and running with weights on my back. I’ve never trained my abs believe it or not and I’ve never trained my calves and they’re ridiculous as well, so I think my current shape is a result of an accumulation of what I’ve done over the past year on top of that foundation. As a kid, I was an Olympic standard swimmer. When I was just eleven years old, I was on the junior Olympic team and even then, I had a massive chest, big arms, and a six-pack. That carried over well to Strongman, really well. I’ve just been very lucky with my previous sports and built my body up very nicely as a result.
“There’s definitely potential for me to step on a bodybuilding stage”
“There’s definitely potential for me to step on a bodybuilding stage, but I don’t know if I’d ever want to turn pro and do it properly. I think I’d enjoy doing it for a laugh, just to try it once and do an amateur show or something, but I couldn’t do it how the pros do it. It’s so obsessive to be the best in bodybuilding and I’m afraid I’ve spent too much of my life being obsessive and I couldn’t do that again with another sport. I’m 33 now and I’ve probably lived the life of ten men, so it’s coming to the time where I need to start winding down and thinking about the future and relaxing a little bit more.”
“I’ve spent too much of my life being obsessive”
Despite taking everything he does incredibly seriously and getting serious results to boot, Eddie insists the prospect of Hollywood, like bodybuilding, is just a bit of a laugh.
“Movies are something I’d probably just do for a bit of fun if I’m being honest,” he says. “I mean, The Rock is great, and he’s done amazing things, but I couldn’t be that guy. There’s no off-switch and I like having an off-switch. I think most people have an off switch. You want to get in at some point in the evening, sit down, have a whiskey, and just watch a bit of TV and go to sleep. I’d like to do it but do it in my own way and be chilled. I don’t want to stress myself out and be up at 4:00 in the morning doing workouts. I’ll get up at 7:30. I can manage that. Any earlier than sort of 7:00 and I struggle. I struggle to function for a few hours. I always get to bed at 10:30, 11:00 and I like to get up at 7:00, 7:30. I’ve got a good sleep pattern I think.”
Having found a balance between hard grit and relaxing into Strongman retirement, Eddie relishes his downtown and prioritizes making time for family.
“On the weekends, we try and go out for a meal together as a family or have a Sunday dinner,” he says. “Most evenings I’ll sit and have a meal with my wife, even when my diet is very strict. I always make sure I’m at every family event, but there are no after parties for me because I can’t screw my food or drink up. When the kids have a birthday party and everyone’s sitting there enjoying crisps, cake and whatever else, I’m stuck with my chicken, rice, and veg. I feel like an absolute Mormon. It can be hard.”
HOW HAS EDDIE SHAPED UP?
WEIGHT: 196KG CHEST: 62” BICEP: 24” CALVES: 25”
HEIGHT: 6’ 2.5” WAIST: 50” QUADS: 36” NECK: 25.5”
WEIGHT: 158KG CHEST: 57” BICEP: 22” CALVES: 23”
HEIGHT: 6’ 2.5” WAIST: 40” QUADS: 33” NECK: 23”
Want to punch like Eddie” Revealed: Eddie Hall’s Top 5 Tips For Destroying Your Opponent With One Punch.