Steak for breakfast followed by an afternoon pulling trucks.
It’s probably not most people’s cup of tea.
But it’s all in a day’s work for Huddersfield’s answer to Popeye, Matt Simpkins, who’s taking part in his first strongman competition next month.
Matt, 27, took up heavy lifting a year ago after starting his own business meant he had to give up football training.
Now the Bradley decorator is ready to take on some of the meatiest opponents in the county at Yorkshire’s Strongest Man competition on May 7.
To prepare he’s been pulling eight tonne trucks at his friend’s lorry yard and said: “It’s a real buzz getting it moving and when I show the videos to my family their faces are brilliant. My mum was screaming: ‘Is that you?’”
“It’s my first competition but I’m feeling confident.
“I train two or three times a week but long hours painting ceilings is training to me!”
The challenging competition will see Matt attempting a 250kg deadlift, a 104kg atlas stone lift, holding a 15k dumbbell in front of him, holding a 45kg dumbbell over his head for as long as he can, and a 200kg yoke walk which involves walking 40m carrying a 200kg frame.
To be strong and fit enough to do this Matt has to eat up to 4,000 calories a day – double the recommended amount for a man.
On a typical day Matt eats three slices of toast, a can of beans, porridge and a protein shake for breakfast – or two steaks, a jacket potato and porridge.
A typical lunch is pasta – with vegetables, salmon or chicken for tea.
Watch Matt lifting his wife Lauren on his shoulders!
Matt snacks on sandwiches through the day and drinks two to three protein shakes which contain up to 700 calories.
He said: “I’m always eating, anything and everything!
“At restaurants I have the biggest thing on the menu. If we get a pizza I eat a 16in meat feast to myself and then whatever’s left over from the kids!”
Despite his huge appetite, Matt, who weighs 15st 7lb, is only a size large in clothes – but his active lifestyle keeps him trim.
He said: “I’ve always liked the gym and I played football for 17 years but after giving it up I started looking into other hobbies.
“I got in touch with a few professionals over Twitter to get some pointers, and started training at the lorry yard.
“Now it’s gone from a hobby to something more serious.”
It might look dangerous but Matt says he’s never been injured – and says his family is right behind him.
He said: “My family is my motivation.
“My wife Lauren is a fitness instructor – she does my conditioning. We have three children, Lewis, 17, Mia, 13, and Jack, three.
“Lewis trains with me and Jack helps me make my protein shakes. He calls them my muscle man shakes.
“He’ll be at the competition cheering me on. As it’s only my first competition it’s going to be a matter of enjoying myself.
“I’ll have to see how it pans out in terms of the future. Who knows what it will bring?”
Strongman competition factfile
Matt must attempt:
• A 200kg, 30m yoke walk
• Deadlifting a 21”, 250kg weight – as many reps as possible in 60 seconds
• A single arm 45kg monster dumbbell press – as many reps as possible in 60 seconds
• Passing a 104kg atlas stone over a yoke – as many reps as possible in 60 seconds
• Holding a 15kg weight forward over 60 seconds