GAVIN Bilton’s road to becoming one of the strongest men alive has been a winding one.
The 6’6″ Welsh Riese, also known as “The Bull”, may only be 34 years old, but he’s seen more than most people have in their lifetime.
Initially a bricklayer, he followed in his brother’s footsteps into the army.
Bilton was a member of the Welsh Guard for thirteen years, toured Afghanistan twice and even served in the Queen’s Guard at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle Wales Online.
Bilton was also previously a rugby playerafter playing for Caerphilly, Bridgend, Swansea, Newport and Bedwas and spending three years in the Welsh Premier League.
For most of his rugby career, the lock weighed approximately 264 pounds giants live.
An indentation weight training followed, with Bilton gaining as much as 452lbs in mass – although his peak is said to be 474lbs.
To get to that weight, Bilton’s calorie intake increased to 8,000 to 10,000 per day.
He explained to Wales Online that he had to “change almost everything in my life” to “follow my dream”.
He explained: “I want to press up to 200 kg (441 pounds) to make myself even stronger.
“I eat pretty much whatever I want and try to get in 8,000 calories a day. When I compete, I increase that to 10,000.
“I eat about six meals a day and have a protein shake by my bed when I wake up at night. If not, it’s the first thing I drink in the morning.
“You have to fuel up throughout the day and be incredibly disciplined with your food.”
And it’s not just Bilton’s diet that has changed, but also his wardrobe and possibly even his home.
He said: “I had to buy a whole new wardrobe, get a new bed and mattress, and I even considered moving into a bungalow so I wouldn’t have to go upstairs.”
Bilton’s commitment quickly paid off, being crowned Wales’ Strongest Man in 2021 and Britain’s Strongest Man in 2021 and 2022.
He was also voted the strongest man in Europe and the strongest man in the world four times each and finished eighth at the ESM.
And Bilton’s love for the sport is evident after declaring in a Video on his YouTube channel made for the Welsh Armed Forces in 2019: “Nothing comes close to the passion I have for the sport and I don’t understand why.
“I do not know why. Maybe because I’m doing so well and I don’t wake up on a Sunday morning like I’ve been in a car accident like I would have if I’d played a game of rugby.”
However, Bilton’s journey to becoming Strongman was not easy.
In 2021, he suffered a heart attack “from consuming excessive amounts of caffeine to combat fatigue and prepare for competitions,” forcing him to take a break from competing, per Giants Live.
Even so, Bilton said WSM Champion Mitchell Hooper In 10 minutes starring: Gavin Bilton that: “If I had to do it all over again, I would do it the same way because I think it made me a much better athlete, because it makes me more responsible, because I wasn’t what I should have been doing.
“I just got into this ‘bigger is better’ thing and it was just the food, the training was just hard, hard, hard and show after show after show.
“And it’s so sad that it took something so serious to make me realize it’s not like that anymore.”