This is Jon Andersen. Retired Pro Strongman, Retired Pro Wrestler, Currently an IFBB Pro Bodybuilder. Ask Me Anything

Jon was a fat, unathletic, fat little boy with a whopping learning disability who was searching for greatness in the bottom of that ice cream container. With very low self-esteem and a weight problem, Jon was a very easy target for neighborhood and schoolyard bullies. Through a series of events, Jon finally said enough is enough and decided to buckle down and work hard for what he believed at the time was only a dream.

As Jon developed a work ethic that was virtually unmatched, he started to realize that reaching his dreams could be a reality. 100% self-made, his journey was filled with trial and error which ultimately produced an organic system of reaching very large goals.

Jon not only became a professional strongman, internationally recognized. He moved on to a bigger platform of wrestling in Japan. He continued to forge his path even further onto bodybuilding, where he became one of only five men in history to earn professional status in one two contests.

Follow him on Instagram for motivation and coaching: Jon Andersen “DEEPWATER” (@thejonandersen) • Instagram photos and videos


Deep Water will be here in your face tomorrow. That’s right.

Got questions? Bring 'em now.


I have a question, but I’m waiting for @T3hPwnisher, @boilerman, @flappinit and @tlgains to ask first


I have been summoned by anna

Thanks for the reminder @anna_5588! I have a lot to say and ask, but I’ll send my essay out tomorrow AM before work haha.

I’m definitely going to be glued to my phone tomorrow

1 Like


I’m a huge fan and have a lot of gushing to do, but I’ll ask my questions first and then gush at the end.

1: What sort of conditioning work did you do during your time as a strongman? You were always in fantastic shape in competition. I read about the Lakspur Stairs in Deep Water and Power Magazine and saw some photos of you pulling a sled in “Personal Best”, but didn’t know if you had any Deep Water conditioning protocols you found effective, or if you relied on gym work to keep you in shape.

2: What is the most flesh you’ve ever consumed in a single sitting?

3: If you follow current pro-strongman, what is something you feel is “missing” from that generation that they could learn from the dudes from your era?

4: The first Deep Water ebook used a percentage based program, whereas the badass/thrive program is more about using a variety of workouts and not quite doing the same thing twice. In your own training, do you make use of percentages, or do you go by feel?

5: What is the hardest event you ever did in strongman? Could be something in training or in a competition, but just something that was incredibly challenging.

6: Do you have any swag I can buy? I missed out on the chance to buy some Deep Water clothing when it was available.

I’m sure I’ll have more.

Fanboy gush, but I remember first seeing you in an IFSA show and thinking “Who the F**K is that and why don’t they talk about him more?!” I was a total Mariusz fanboy at the time, and seeing an American that was jacked as hell and strong as a bull was super inspiring for me. It seemed, at that time, the only strong dudes around had some pretty unenviable physiques, and seeing you put it all together was just awesome. I then read about “Deep Water” in Mark Bell’s Power Magazine and it was just so cool to be able to “reconnect” like that. I bought the e-book on kindle as soon as I could and was blown away when I found out you and I graduated from the same University. I also grew up as a fat kid and could relate so much to the struggles in the book, and, consequently, had been a low-carb dude for a long time as well. It was just so cool to see someone who had gotten so far following that approach.

I’ve run the Deep Water program from the e-book twice and am gearing up for a third time in the next few months. It always gives me incredible results. The nutrition protocol outlined has really turned my life around as well. I owe you a lot Jon, and have sent a lot of folks your way whenever they are looking for guidance. Thanks for being such a positive force.


In regards to programming, what is your recommendation for after running through the entirety of Deep Water? Run it again starting with beginner with heavier weights, or something else all together? As far as goals go: just get as big and jacked as possible, if that helps. On my second week of Deep Water Beginner as we speak.

What would Deep Water look like for someone that had a sport they do 2-3 times per week?

You’re philosophy seems to emphasize “pushing through pain” or “going noting limits”. If I recall there’s an anecdote in the book of finishing a workout despite a pec strain.

When is it okay to NOT go this far?

Have you made any other programs besides Deep Water that are for size and strength?

Also I’d love to thank you for writing Deep Water. I’m on my second run of Deep Water Beginner. You’ve helped a 19 year old get stronger. I also love the youtube videos you post like every morning. They are so uplifting and it gets me fired up for the day.

1 Like

Thanks for doing this AMA Jon. I think it’s awesome that you are willing to take the time to chat with us mere mortals.

I’m on my second run of deepwater, coming up on week 6 of intermediate. I absolutely love the program, book and diet. I love the aesthetic and strength gains and how quickly they show. Both times I’ve run it, I’ve lost weight, lost fat, put on muscle and gotten much stronger. The Deepwater mindset also bled into the next program I ran over the summer… I PRed on every lift (some were quite substantial) and I felt absolutely unstoppable… So, thank you again for designing this program!!!

A couple questions to start off and I’ll be back for more haha

What is your favorite cut of meat?

Favorite deepwater-friendly meal?

If and when you do end up eating carbs, what is your favorite non-deepwater meal?

Going into a set knowing you’re going to go to “that place”, do you find yourself shutting your brain off and just doing the work or focusing more on the muscles and the pain? Keeping calm or getting amped up?

Thank you again!


What’s going down everyone… I’m happy to be here… Let’s have some fucking fun


What’s up brother… So in terms of conditioning… My training methodology is going to keep you in great shape… Doing sets of squats to failure… Doing lots of Volume… Basically it’s a hit high intensity interval training which is far more effective than say cardio for burning fat or staying in shape

1 Like

I have eaten a few kilos of flesh in one sitting but it doesn’t really help much… Spreading your food out of her a much larger period of time is going to be much more effective

Strongman training is affective for just about anyone any age group at any time… It’s functional strength

The new generation of Strongman are so big one of them or not relying on the techniques that we did in my era so yes I actually coach quite a few of the current top guys

The book is a great manual for people to follow… My new generation of thrive comes from a completely different side of the fence… I teach a person how to optimize their bodies based upon the signals their bodies give them so it is a whole new universe in terms of progress and performance

Here is a link where you can buy my deepwater shirts… Thank you for the support brother


Hey Jon,

Had a couple other questions that were already asked. What was your worst injury, and how do you approach rehabbing injuries?

Besides that, thanks for the free Deep Water program - I ran it during the pandemic with a scavenged bar and weights, and squat stands/bench I built out of wood, and it probably gave me the best strength and size gains I’ve had from a program. I’ll be snatching up one of those shirts in the next week or so.

What’s up brother… Yes you can take the deep water e-book and run through all three levels of the training and you will continue to make great progress because each time you redo each section you will have evolved so much in terms of your strength and your conditioning

Unfortunately the diet is set up in such a way where you will have great progress but there will be a place where your body will not continue to make the same type of progress as it will with the training

This is exactly why I developed my deepwater thrive methodology to make sure that a person could continue to make progress with the diet without ever hitting a plateau

1 Like