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If you've ever wondered what it's like to spend a day eating and training with Eddie Hall, aka The Beast, then wonder no more. Check out the video here:
The former World's Strongest Man told me to be at his house in his homecity of Stoke-on-Trent by 7.45am, and for a brief moment I was struggling to locate the correct address.
That was until I came across a vast property guarded behind an appropriately huge gate bearing the letter 'H' - like some kind of massive metal helipad. There were also two custom-made pickup trucks on the drive emblazoned with the word 'Beast'. So yeah, I was pretty sure this was the Hall House.
The gate proceeded to slowly swing open, followed by the front door atop a flight of steps. There stood The Beast himself, accompanied by his protection dog, German Shepherd Wolf.
Honestly, trespass could never be less appealing.
Eddie then made a clicking sound and his previously ominous-looking canine went all floppy and waggy as he came over to greet us; we were assured we'd be meeting a very different Wolf if we were intruders, though.
The Beast led us through the front door where we met his wife Alex and son Max, before descending downstairs into his gym, crossing the threshold between his personal and professional life. His gym is equipped with everything he could need: a physio room, a boxing ring, and of course, lots and lots of weights.
We were starting the day with a run, but before heading out, we had some vitamins to take. And by some, I mean absolutely f***loads. Somewhere in the region of 30 I'd say.
The 33-year-old opened tub after tub on autopilot, scooping a precise assortment of tablets and gummies into a little tray. I don't know what they all did, but I remember some contained krill and others contained garlic.
Eddie explained that the mission was to create the 'perfect blood', and his doctor has never seen better blood than his.
We then headed off on a mile-and-a-half run, taking turns to wear a 15kg vest (which seemed to double in weight on an incline), with the well-trained Wolf galloping leadless alongside us.
Eddie had to stop his timer though when Wolf dropped a roadside chocolate log, prompting the 6ft 2.5ins behemoth to gip as he dutifully bent down and collected it in a plastic bag. "You never get used to that," he said, before depositing it in a dog waste bin a few metres away; Wolf is very well trained.
As a Sunday League soccer superstar, I didn't find the run too taxing, but I knew the day was young. The first significant obstacle came shortly afterwards while stretching off in Eddie's gym, when he let out the first - but by no means the last - nauseating fart of the day. Now it was my turn to gip. His boxing coach Lyndon would later tell me that Eddie 'doesn't put on any airs and graces for anyone', a fact I was well aware of by that point.
Post-run I was treated to a frankly delicious breakfast of organic sourdough with organic smoked salmon and organic peppers. Eddie's diet is comprised almost entirely from organic food these days, whereas in his strongman days he used to cram in calories with pizzas and cheesecake.
He even drinks specially filtered water with an optimal pH - water which we used on multiple occasions throughout the day to make electrolyte drinks and protein shakes from his very own limited edition drink mix.
For Eddie, it's important that his body is fuelled with only the best, a perfectionism which prompts Alex to brand him a 'diva'.
To finish off breakfast, we had another f***load of vitamins, and the repetitive deliberate gulping was starting to make me feel a bit queasy. Eddie meanwhile chugged down fistfuls of tablets in one go.
Next it was time to head to a local pool in one of the Beastmobiles (I'm not sure if this is a term he uses). It was abundantly clear that he is a regular at the baths, as he parked up right outside the front door and the receptionists immediately opened the barrier as he entered.
After a selfie or two in the changing room, Eddie strutted out to the pool in his budgie smugglers, which literally had 'budgie smugglers' written across the a**e.
You'd think the physique of a strongman wouldn't really lend itself to the water, and so I was hopeful I wouldn't be too embarrassed in the pool. How wrong I was.
Turns out Eddie swam at national level as a teen and he tore through the lane like an extremely hench shark. For every two lengths I managed, he swam four. This aquatic humiliation took place in six three-minute rounds, designed to simulate his much-anticipated boxing match with Game of Thrones star and fellow strongman Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, aka Thor.
I was then tasked with walking lengths of the pool while throwing hooks and jabs - as Eddie held me back with an elastic band around my waist. It felt like using an escalator the wrong way. It also felt like I was some kind of pathetic pet for a Speedo-clad Adonis, and it was extremely emasculating.
Back at the house, Alex cooked up a feast of chicken tacos, with salad, guacamole, the works. The meal was served on plates, which size-wise were more like platters.
It's all relative in Eddie's house, though. Everything is giant: his telly, dog, frying pan, cars, computer, bean bag. The kitchen cabinets were even larger and higher than in ordinary homes. But of course, Eddie ain't an ordinary guy - hence he followed lunch with an hour-and-a-half nap in his hyperbaric chamber, which simulates high altitudes and increases oxygen in the blood, which in turn aids recovery.
Every day in Eddie's life revolves around intermittently pushing his body to the limit and repairing it as quickly as possible. Attack then recover, push then repair, break then fix. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Unfortunately, the chamber isn't big enough for two, so I spent this period walking around the property desperately trying to digest my chicken taco baby.
Despite having consumed vast amounts of perfect pH water throughout the day, I noticed my p**s was bright green. And I don't just mean your standard hangover shade of dehydrated p**s, this stuff was neon and blinding. Glowing lightsabers of p**s.
I assumed this was my body rejecting the vast and unprecedented quantities of krill pills I'd been getting down my neck. In total, I reckon I had between 75-100 tablets across the course of the day, which in hindsight was quite trusting of me.
By the time The Beast had stirred from his slumber, my food pregnancy had gone from about six months along down to three; but I was approaching my due date once again when Eddie gave me my pre-boxing snack, comprised of an oat bar and a big old slab of chocolate - organic, of course.
Sparring was next on the menu for Eddie - and mercifully, I wasn't his partner. Instead, it was the job of a young local boxer called Josh, chosen for his Thor-like height.
At the start of the day, Eddie said it wouldn't be a proper day's training if I didn't throw up, pass out or s*** myself, and watching on with a pronounced choccy tummy as the pair knocked seven bells out of each other, I felt confident that I would have ticked off all three if I was in Josh's shoes.
After the sparring was over though, it was my turn to step in the ring, and I couldn't help but remember the story Eddie's fitness coach Paddy had told me earlier about the hilarious time his boss cracked his rib and gave him internal bleeding in the ring.
Thankfully, Eddie wanted to use his time with me to practise evading punches, rather than throwing them, and he immediately urged me to try and jab him in the face. I was reluctant, naturally. Even having been expressly asked to punch him in the face, what if my glove inadvertently flicked a switch and he involuntarily swung a hook back in my direction and span my jaw around my head?
With persistent peer pressuring I succumbed and started jabbing, as he ducked and weaved. Eventually I landed one and my heart immediately sank, but my opponent just smirked, as though I had given him a tickle, so I continued to punch the world's strongest man in the face - an anecdote I intend to dine out on forever more.
We followed this with some combination work and I used his stomach as a punch bag, genuinely forgetting that I was smacking a human body at one point. I left the ring in one piece, having been on the receiving end of a couple of punches at approximately five percent of his max power. That was plenty enough.
Eddie's physio Rich arrived post-boxing and he was greeted with one of The Beast's customary farts. As well as having to work while immersed in noxious gas, the physio told me it was also physically demanding kneading all of the knots out of the man mountain.
It's not as hard now though with new streamlined boxing Eddie, compared to when he was competing in strongman competitions and had a much greater 'fat mass'. Clearly, this wasn't a term that went down well with Eddie. "Fat mass?! Who are you calling fat mass you ginger c***?" Eddie bellowed, his face submerged in the cushioned hole of the treatment table.
Rich also told me that Eddie's physio room contained more specialised equipment than every clinic in Stoke, while Eddie zapped himself with a shockwave machine cranked up way higher than usual levels.
As the evening drew in, we headed across the garden to one of two sort of back garden outhouses. One is home to training partner Paddy, while the one we were stopping by houses a jet pool, sauna and the dreaded cold tub.
Eddie leant against the jets in the pool and I attempted to perch myself alongside him, but they were so powerful that they propelled me towards the other end. Honestly, a frail OAP could be blasted to bits by those bubbles.
Next up was the sauna, which was hard to enjoy knowing the cold pool was lurking around the corner. Having melted like a candle, it was time to climb into the pool, which floats around the 5°C mark. For context, that's f***ing cold.
We stayed in there for four-and-a-half minutes while Eddie talked me through breathing exercises and generally helped me to not lose my s***. We repeated this process once again and I was at last free - but Eddie insisted I only briefly wash in the 37°C shower, allowing my body to get back up to temperature naturally. He said it would help me have the best sleep of my life, and by this point, I was ready for it.
It had been a long day for Alex too, and with it being Friday night, Eddie was happy to go along with her request for a takeaway; however, he said he would be keeping things clean, eating nothing more than two tandoori chickens and rice.
I got out of his hair and let him enjoy his brief daily window with his family, but keen to emulate his day as accurately possible, I ordered myself a big old portion of chicken and rice once I got home.
Barring the cans I had on the train, we lived identical days, and as you can probably gather from this article, I survived to tell the tale. It may well have been a different story if I'd caught him on weights training day.
The aftermath was not as I'd anticipated. Physically I wasn't too bad, with the 7,000 or so calories I'd consumed tiding me over until well into the following afternoon. The main problem was I still had a head full of pool from when Eddie had tried to teach me tumble turns. I subsequently spent the majority of the weekend half deaf, until a huge post-header pop burst me back into the real world during my Sunday morning footie match.
I've also generally felt pretty down in the days since and am currently in the process of researching whether a 'vitamin comedown' is a thing. My p**s is no longer luminous though, so that's something.
You can watch the full video here.
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