The Duel Nature of Diet: Guns or Butter?: Part 1 of 3 by Louis Costa

The Duel Nature of Diet – Guns or Butter? – Part 1 of 3

By Louis Costa


Guns or Butter.

The Soviet economic/military credo during the cold war. Adopted from The German Nazi party of WWII. Do we make more guns and ammunition to defend our nation or do we feed our civilians and put our effort towards infrastructure?

The Soviets chose to make enough nuclear war heads to destroy the world 80 times over and let their economy crumble.

A bold choice on the part of our vodka soaked comrades.

Really, If you think about the scenario, it relates rather well and is much less doomsday scenario-ish to what we face daily in our pursuit of strength or aesthetics.


8 Months Ago

Do we get strong or become lean?

Guns or Butter?

Mmm, Waffles and butter.

You know,

I swore 8 months ago I was never gonna be that guy again.

The big, fat sweaty, red faced, brute strong dude I had turned myself into over the the previous glutton filled 4 years.

There was a time when I first started gaining weight for strongman when I would wander back to my hometown for a night of drankin’ and carousing where my friends didn’t even recognize me!

“Damn you got big!” – translation – “Your head is now fat”

“Wow, man, you’re thick!” – translation – “Can you stop eating and go sweat somewhere else.”

By the way, ”thick “is the most backhanded compliment you can give a big guy.

It’s like saying, “You have muscle….some where…..I think???”

I noticed less female attention. Sadly

Which, look, I’m not Brad Pitt but I did REALLY O.K. in that department as a young adorable 200 pound Louis.

The difference in drunken slurred “come on’s” had definitely dwindled, while the rate of “Bro” talk had increased at alarming and disturbing rates.

“Bro, What do you bench”

“Broooo, your huugggeee.”

Right. Right. Bro. I get it.

Do they know who I train with? 

Strongmen train with the biggest guys on the planet ! I am usually one of the smallest guys at the big shows and I’m 300 pounds!


Lou – 300 pounds WSM Brian Shaw – 400 pounds

The strongman “Lite weight” category starts at 231 pounds!

Hell, 231 pounds is nearly the exact weight that Arnold won 7 Olympia titles at!

Strongmen are huge Bro!

Is there anything more annoying then having to answer questions about why you are now bald and 300 pounds wearing a size too small pastel colored dress shirt as sweat drips off your forehead ?

Not in this lifetime pal. Believe that.


That thought is somewhat depressing and absolutely hilarious to me when I think about it.

The thing is this, I never had a chip on my shoulder growing up so there was never any feasible reason to make myself abnormally large.

Livin’ life in 9th grade

I wasn’t the fat kid. I wasn’t undersized. I wasn’t really picked on. I had a great experience in high school. Football, Cheerleaders, woods parties and a B average. Does it get better?

Just wait till you apply for college big guy…you just wait .But, no, at the time it really couldn’t have been better.

(*Side Note – I wasn’t really sure I could even read until college)

The “asshole” gene never applied to me, never felt like I needed to prove myself.

On top of that there was just something that seemed so impossible to me being THAT strong and THAT large!



I was a “bodybuilder”. By the term bodybuilder, I mean I liked to do bicep’s on the curl machine, bench press and seated rows.

I was that guy. Never deadlifted. Only Leg pressed. Ran around crazy on the weekend. Total Douche.

So my point is I never needed to add size to get what I thought was lacking out of life. I just did it for the challenge.

Never needed the spot light. Obviously that attention being the main reason most guys wanna be huge for right ?

That’s a scary thought, a few of the nut jobs I know in the biz being analyzed as to find out why they wanted to get big. Whew….good luck with that job doc.

Misguided respect, unwarranted attention and gasps as you waddle into a room?

Never needed it. Despise it actually.


Here is a true story:

I had a girlfriend who’s sister was “talking” with Steve Kirit at the time : he may or may not remember this.

You have to remember Steve was one of the biggest names in Strongman at the time and I believe had just won American’s Strongest Man if I’m not mistaken.

What a huge opportunity that could’ve been for my little teenage self. All I needed was a bit of foresight to ask for guidance.

Peace sign and all

Of course, I had non.

But at their gym in Monroeville, PA, I walked in with my string tank top and saw these giant beasts destroying squats and putting like 500 pounds of plates on their chest just breathing.

“What the hell is this,?” I thought.

They were all big assed, hairy, growling animals with work boots and tattered clothes.

Whoa, this is not what I thought it was.

I politely declined the invitation to train, shuddered at the thought of being like them, while me and my bandana went on over to hit some “heavy” rope extensions.

I thought, “Why would anyone want to do that. “

5 years later…

Cut to me squatting with a 40 inch waist , stained tshirt and just god awfully large ass. Sweating everywhere. Breathing Heavy. Loving the hell out of strongman training. In the background, some 20 year old flexing his 17 inch arms in a cut off tshirt is looking at me out of the corner of his eyes with disgust shaking his head.

So is the interesting cycle of life my friend. It always has the last laugh.

This is where I’ve been at for nearly 5 years now. Battling heart disease and obesity all for the love of the competition that is strength. That is the only draw for me. It is amazing to attempt something thought “impossible”. To battle the biggest beasts on the planet. It’s a rush. It’s engrained in me.

Now, if I get bored; I lose some weight try to look better.  Grow tired of being weak, I gain some weight and get strong.

Guns or Butter.

As this article started, 8 months ago I was doing a fantastic hybrid of crossfit, bodybuilding and minor strength movements at 5 oclock in the morning. Just living the life, working for Sprint, searching every free dating website I could for love. Livin’ the good life.


I went to deadlift.

Barely got 600 pounds off of the floor.

I thought in my head, “ Lou, what the hell. “ 36 pants are nice but you’ve lost your….your…”Lou-ness”

I went to the drawing board. Threw caution to the wind.

If you hadn’t seen me for the last six months, the 50 pounds was a nice accessory to my “look.”

The “look;” bulgy, at best now sir.

Power Gut Power

I changed the diet. Changed the workouts. Went back to brutal and heavy strongman training with a new vigor. I dedicated myself to a “grow” diet and consistent training regimen. Every set I just snarled my way back into the strength game….AGAIN.

It’s funny, now I hear, “Big Lou is back….It was depressing knowing you weren’t …eh….YOU!”

“How did you do it man….. you’re thickkkkk”

“Dammit,” I thought, because we know what that means.

To me, I’m still the wide eyed scared kid in middle school, or the bodybuilder in the gym checkin’ out sweet shoulder veins. I forget this is who I am now. Gone are those handsome boys. My identity is strength. Big Lou. As slippery as that slope is. I embrace it.


So : That Prompted me to write the secrets.

People always ask me with their insinuating upturned eyebrow, “How do you constantly reinvent your bodies look and size?” After fighting the insecure battle of defending myself, I’ve finally decided to divulge my secrets. You guys are going to get a glimpse of how to gain weight for strength and lose weight for the ladies.


THE DUALITY OF DIET secrets will be revealed.


Learn how to diet to gain strength, fit into size 40 pants and gain more bro attention at the bar.

In PART 3: A.B.S.

Chase the elusive mistress, a strength athlete with abs.

Stay Strong,


4 Responses to The Duel Nature of Diet: Guns or Butter?: Part 1 of 3 by Louis Costa

  1. billy reds July 13, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    Good stuff dude.between mikes training article and your diet advice I’m hoping to graduate to size 40 pants also.I really shoot 4 the stars don’t I? Lol

  2. Zach Brodis July 13, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    you rock Lou, i’m with you on eating for performance. there’s no better feeling than lifting heavy and eating large amounts of real food. hoping to see you come out here to compete with us at Occupy Strength in October!

  3. ironmill July 13, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Bill – Thanx man. With my secret recipe for “power dip” coming, you’ll be sure to be in size 40 pants in no time.

    Brode – I am absolutely coming. Lets start hammering out details. Looking forward to it.

  4. Helki July 29, 2012 at 1:26 am #

    Today’s workout 5×5 deadlifts, 4×10 pull ups, 4×10 bent over row, 4×10 TRX Inverted row, 4×10 upright row!

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