FOR most people, the problem is eating too much. For Tom Stoltman however, the big challenge is not being able to eat enough during the course of each day to keep his body fuelled.

Stoltman is not a normal human being. He stands at 6 feet 8 inches tall, weighs over 24 stone and has a wingspan of 81 inches.  And so to fuel a body of this size to lift, push and pull things that average people would not even consider moveable is not an easy task. In fact, Stoltman admits that while eating constantly sounds like heaven to many people, it is, in fact, an almighty chore.

“I eat about 10,000 calories a day,” the man from Invergordon said. 

“For breakfast, I’ll have 8-10 eggs and then throughout the day, I’ll eat chicken, pasta, potatoes, everything like that. I’ll eat every two hours. I eat pretty well- probably 70/30 but it’s hard to get 10,000 calories off totally clean food so I’ll eat some ice cream or something to get my intake up.

“I’m sponsored by a butcher which is lucky because my food bill would be a lot if I wasn’t  - it’d probably be about £300 a week so it’s a lot of money. 

“The worst part of the job is eating – it becomes such a chore. You need to do it though because if you don’t eat enough, you won’t get big and strong. 

“People think it’s great to be able to do it but it’s really not. The first few meals of the day are okay but then later in the day, it’s hard going – you’re eating the same food all the time and I’ll just be thinking, give me a pizza!”

The 25-year-old is nothing short of a man mountain and today, will battle it out for the title of Britain’s Strongest Man. 

The event takes place in Sheffield and Stoltman goes in as one of the favourites. He finished third last year but has his sights set on this year making history by becoming the first Scot to win the title. 

He is in good form having broken the world record for Atlas stones last summer. But the prospect of being the first Scot to become Britain’s Strongest man does not feel like a pressure to Stoltman, despite the fact he believes he can come away the winner.

“I feel strong and fit and am ready to take the title. That’s the plan anyway,” he said.

“I’m probably the favourite to take the win so it’s a lot of pressure. The pressure comes from outside though – I just go to the gym and have fun. I just try to blank it out though and just remember what I can do.

“One mistake cost me last year so if I don’t make any mistakes this year, I believe I’ll win it.”

That Stoltman’s life has gone along this path was something he never predicted. His brother, Luke, was in the sport long before his younger sibling took an interest, with Luke winning Scotland’s Strongest man for five consecutive years from 2013. 

But the younger Stoltman was far more interested in becoming a footballer, and was even invited to join Rangers as a youngster. But as he was still at school, moving to Glasgow was not an option so the football fizzled out.

It was when, he says, he started to get fat he decided he needed to hit the gym and with a strongman as a brother, there was no better training partner.

It was not an easy transition though.

“I started going to the gym and started putting on muscle,” he said. 

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done – it was really tough. But I went 6 days a week with Luke and he was showing me what to do and I just progressed from there.

“I never thought I’d stick to the gym. For the first few months, your body is in agony. And I was at school so I was hobbling every day, I was so sore. But I love it now.”

It would be easy to assume that Stoltman looks at the money sloshing around football and envies how much the players can make compared to being a strongman.

But he is instead hugely optimistic about where his sport is going and the potential he has to earn fortunes in the coming years. With interest really beginning to spike, Stoltman believes that the next few years might just be a golden time for the sport.

“Strongman is a great sport – I think that in the next two years, it’s really going to explode and be huge. It’s growing so much and I think that’ll just keep going,” he said.

“There’s an English guy called Eddie Hall and he’s worth £50 million now whereas five years ago, he was only worth £100,000. 

“It’s really getting big and it’s really exciting to be in the sport just now. It’s going through the roof – now, we can get 15,000 people coming to watch us whereas a few years ago, it was only a few thousand.”

Today’s event is just the start of things in 2020 for Stoltman. In March, he will attempt to once again break the Atlas stones world record and from there, wants to become the best the sport has ever seen.

“I want to be the best strongman there’s ever been in Scotland but also the world,” he said

“We’re pulling lorries and planes and things that humans shouldn’t be able to move so yeah, it is a bit strange. We’re superhuman in a way.”