Competition Nutrition From A Strongwoman


From Your MW Strongwoman Dietitian 

One of the best things about being a dietitian who also competes in a sport is the ability for me to try all of the recommendations I give to my athletes on myself.

For this Strongman Competition at FitFest in Tampa, I had to weigh in the day before I competed at 165lbs for my weight class (Open Middleweight). I had about 2-3 lbs to cut, which I accomplished by gradually decreasing carbohydrates a couple days before and then water and carbs the day before. As with any female weight class athlete I work with, hormonal fluctuations have to be taken into consideration. I did end up having to do a sweat session in a sauna Friday morning before I weighed in.

Rehydrating and Refueling

After I made weight on Friday morning, I began the fun but also tedious process of rehydrating and refueling for Saturday’s competition. It is crucial to restore glycogen (stored carbohydrate) as well as water and electrolytes after a weight cut. Cue all the food! To make sure I was achieving maximum absorption of energy and also avoiding any GI problems on competition day, I limited fat and focused on protein and foods high in carbohydrates all day.

On Saturday morning, I had my first meal about 2 hours before check ins. It’s extremely important to wake up early enough the day you compete and get carbs and protein in! You also want to start hydrating ASAP, especially if you are competing in a hot environment.

The events for this competition were as follows:

Event #1 – Farmers carry 50ft down and back for time (#105 each hand)
Event #2 – Maximum distance #125 sandbag carry in 1 minute
Event #3 – Log clean & press ladder, 3 reps at each weight for time (#65, #85, #105)
Event #4 – 50ft sled rope pull down, drag sled 50ft back
Event #5 – Max axle bar deadlift

I won the first 4 events and tied for 1st on the axle bar deadlift!

Keep Refueling

In between each event I made sure to get some simple carbohydrates in (body armor, pretzels, grapes, energy balls) and water + electrolytes (liquid IV is one of my favorites).

With placing first in this competition, I qualified for Nationals in 2024! See y’all there 🙂


Shannon Palmer

Sports Nutritionist, Crossfit and Strong Woman Athlete

"If you exercise on purpose, you are an athlete. Prioritize your nutrition to improve your performance in the gym and everyday life."

Female athlete sprinting in black background

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