Got Beef? Guest Blog from Joe Giandonato



No the title and content of this article isn’t in response to the comments recently made by a few seasoned strength coaches about the industry’s up and comers, rather it covers something that all of us – including established pros and the game’s neophytes alike, will be doing over the summer – grilling.

Few things in life are better than enjoying a fat piece of steak and washing it down with a cold beer. I know endorsing the consumption of the latter seems pretty contradictory, given my article on T-Nation a couple months ago. But anyways, I’ll take a few minutes of your time and school you up on cow meat. So grill virgins, people returning from a failed vegetarian diet, and guys that are going to be cut loose in the grocery store by their women and charged with picking up a bulk of the holiday cookout’s food at the meat counter, better listen up!

Cuts of Cow Meat

Finer cuts, which include porterhouse, sirloin, and tenderloin, are found in the cow’s hindquarter. These cuts carry the least amount of fat compared to other portions of the cow. A three ounce serving of top sirloin will pack roughly 180 calories, 7 grams of fat, and over 25 grams of protein.

Rounds, also found on the cow’s hindquarter, are cuts of meat nearest the cow’s tail. They pack a bit more fat per three ounce serving (8.5 grams) and are consequently slightly higher in calories – about 190 kcal, with protein hovering still hovering around 25 grams.

Flank, which is found in the cow’s groin and underbelly, also in the hindquarter, is a bit leaner than rounds at 7 grams of fat per three ounce serving, lower in calories (around 160) and contains slightly less protein (23 grams). Thinner flank is usually used for corned beef. Yum!

The cow’s forequarter contains some of the juiciest cuts of steak, which include ribs and chuck. Rib isn’t all that bad, but the sodium of the marinade its roasting in is usually the killer. Three ounces of trimmed rib meat runs about 180 calories, through 8 grams of fat and 24 grams of protein. Chuck packs the most calories (280 kcal) and fat (20 g) per three ounce serving of the abovementioned cuts and is best used for long roasts, slow cooking, or braising. It usually makes up a bulk of ground meat, which is a mixture comprised from many cuts of beef and used for beef patties (burgers) and meatballs.

Many people consider ground beef unhealthy; however, three ounces of lean ground beef, which is made up of leaner cuts, may only contain 140 calories and fewer than six grams of fat per three ounce serving (95% lean ground beef).

Hopefully the information above will help you better navigate the meat section at your grocery store and satisfy you and your cookout guests during the grilling season.

Happy grilling and enjoy your summer!

Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS (31343)

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Todd Bumgardner
M.S./ CSCS/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance/ Ginger
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M.S./ CSCS/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance/ Ginger

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