Brian Johnson, also known as Liver King, is one of the most popular fitness and lifestyle celebrities on social media. Johnson preaches eating raw meat, sleeping on wooden planks, and taking ice cold showers every day.
Although Liver King’s principles might sound ludicrous, the bearded muscle man has managed to amass 1.6 million followers on Instagram, 126K subscribers on YouTube, and over three million followers on TikTok, sharing bits and pieces of his lifestyle on the social media platforms.
Johnson made his social media debut on Aug. 18, 2021. He beat some of the most popular supermodels in reaching the landmark of one million followers.
Liver King is usually seen without a shirt as it could come in the way of him showing off how eating bull testicles can turn you into an alpha human.
“Many Primals have asked “why the name Liver King” and the answer is simple, because “Liver is King.” Our early ancestors always favored the liver first — many modern-day hunter/gatherer tribes still do — along with lions, great whites, and other wild alpha organisms. The liver is a nutritional powerhouse full of peptides, growth factors, and natural vitamins in their most bioavailable forms.”
Nine Ancestral Tenets
Per the social media celebrity, returning to the ancestral way of living can bring the mojo back to your life. However, he acknowledges that most of us don’t want to move into the woods or hunt our food, so he has come up with principles that he believes can improve our health and lifestyle.
“By living ancestrally, we overcome obstacles between ourselves and true health and happiness.”
Liver King preaches nine ancestral tenets that include:
- Sleep: Johnson is a proponent of sleeping at least seven hours every night as it can help your body and brain detox, recover, rebuild and restore.
- Eat: The tenet requires incorporating whole foods, liver, bone marrow, heart, and bone soups into your diet.
- Move: Liver King recommends walking for thirty minutes first thing in the morning, early afternoon, and after dinner.
- Shield: It involves running “from seed oils, excessive WiFi, EMFs, and man-made poisons.”
- Connect: It requires at least 10 minutes of barefoot contact with the earth every day as it can improve your sleep and blood pressure.
- Cold: Includes cold/hot contrast showers for 30 seconds at a time as it improves immunity and vasodilation and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Sun: It represents the natural production of Vitamin D. Furthermore, Live King advocates eating bone marrow for vitamin K, soaking in mid-day sun for vitamin D, and eating liver for vitamin A.
- Fight: Look for challenges and ways of staying out of your comfort zone.
- Bond: It involves spending focused, present time with loved ones and friends.
Furthermore, the paleolithic lifestyle proponent advises logging in 10,000 steps every day. Per Johnson, the human body evolved for scouting, hunting, and gathering, and walking 10,000 steps every day is the bare minimum everyone needs to do for optimal health.
“Every step you take is a step closer towards re-discovering your primal self and paving the path towards better living.”
Controversies Surrounding Liver King
Although Liver King preaches some attention-grabbing tenets, it isn’t his principles that made him an overnight celebrity.
Health and fitness enthusiasts flock to his social media profiles mainly because of his jacked and diced physique and his claims that he has never used steroids.
While Johnson fans, or primals as he likes to call them, defend his lifelong natty status, the Liver King has managed to irk several social media and fitness icons. Joe Rogan, in one of his podcasts, said about Johnson, “He has got an ass filled with steroids, is what that guy’s got.”
Furthermore, Johnson has turned his newfound fame into business success. His supplement brands, The Fittest and Ancestral Nutrition have reportedly become multi-million dollar businesses in a short period.
Brian Johnson wasn’t always the burly bearded man we now see on social media. Before debuting on social media as Liver King, the Texan worked as an executive in a pharmaceutical company.
Interestingly, Liver King barely recognizes his real name anymore because, as he puts it, the Liver King “ripped open a cage and ate Brian Johnson.”
Per the supplement brand owner, he was sad and weak growing up as his father had passed away while he was still young and before he could get to know him. To add to his pain, he was bullied in high school.
Johnson revealed that his life began to change for the better after he started working out in one of his mom’s boyfriend’s home gyms. It wasn’t long before his peers started noticing his gains, and lo and behold, one of them compared him to Mark Wahlberg from his Calvin Klein underwear modeling days, which as per the Liver King, probably changed his life forever. There was no turning back for Johnson after this.
Meanwhile, Johnson got a degree in biochemistry and enrolled in a medical school but dropped out before orientation. The Liver King later went to work for a pharmaceutical company and made a nice living doing so.
Switching to the Ancestral Lifestyle
Per the successful businessman, his kids, also known as the Savage Liver Boys, were the reason behind the family’s initiation into the ancestral lifestyle.
When they were young, Rad and Stryker frequented the hospital due to allergies and illnesses. Desperate to find a way to fix his children’s health, Johnson read Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats and decided to implement some of its findings. The rest, as they say, is history.
“We cut out all the processed foods, we cut out all the liquid calories, the seed oils. We just went to whole foods, chiefly liver and bone marrow. Anything that made sense like, Yeah it’s ancestral,”
According to Liver King, the new diet worked its magic in a couple of days, and the rings around his kid’s eyes disappeared. “They had this new vibrancy, this new energy, this new electricity. You didn’t know they were capable of living like this, with such joy and laughter,” he concluded.
Getting into the Sports Nutrition Industry
Shortly after meeting his wife, the Mr. and Mrs. opened a successful dental practice together. They then moved on to selling nutritional supplements that support the “ancestral lifestyle” to which they had become devoted.
Starting His Social Media Journey
After Liver King saw the benefits of practicing the nine ancestral tenets firsthand, he realized he needed to share it.
“What kind of piece of shit would I be if I don’t model, teach, and preach this to the world?”
The Texas native hired a social media consulting firm to document his life and workouts and started sharing them online.
Liver King Diet Principles
The modern-day barbaric abides by the following dieting principles:
1. Stick to Nutrient-Dense Whole Foods
The ancestral diet favors nutrient-dense whole foods over processed foods. Liver King’s paleo-style diet is limited to animal foods as he believes it is more effective at helping build strength, power, and earth-conquering dominance.
2. Relish Organ Meat
It is no secret Johnson is a fan of organ meat and advises his tribe to incorporate them into their daily diet.
3. Load Up on Protein
Protein is the building block of muscle. Plus, it helps lose fat and keeps you satiated for longer. If your goal is to build muscle mass, your goal should be to consume one gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight. 
4. Don’t Cut Out the Fat
A high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet can help optimize hormone production, reduce blood sugar issues, improve sleep and immune function, aid in anti-aging with improved cellular regeneration, reduce blood pressure, and stabilize neurological functioning in the brain. 
5. Carbs Are Your Friends
Folks pursuing the ancestral lifestyle require more carbs than people on a vanilla diet. Carbs support growth, tissue repair, and fast action energy. Seek clean and fast-burning carbs (fruit, honey, potatoes) for recovery and slow-burning carbs for sustained energy
6. The Ideal Macronutrient Breakdown
Johnson recommends the following macro-split: 40% protein, 35% fat, and 25% carbs.
“I’m not a hospital, I’m not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. I do, however, have a degree in biochemistry,” claims Liver King on his website.
Liver King Diet Program
Although Johnson is as jacked as a pro bodybuilder, he doesn’t eat like one. The Texas native eats three meals a day. His meals are big and nutrient-dense, unlike bodybuilders who like to eat small meals at regular intervals throughout the day.
Meal 1: Breakfast
Liver King’s breakfast comes with a note — “after you’ve earned it through sufficient struggle.”
- 6 farm-fresh eggs
- 30g protein shake w/ ice cold Mountain Valley Spring (mineral) water
- 100g homemade whole greek yogurt w/ 30g maple syrup. The Liver King mixes 5g creatine, 10g collagen, 30g almond butter, 20g ghee, and 2g Redmond sea salt in his yogurt
- 2oz raw liver, maple syrup (sprinkle Redmond sea salt)
- 1oz raw bone marrow, maple syrup (sprinkle Redmond sea salt)
- 1/2 pint of farm-fresh raw milk (usually milked that morning)
Note: If Johnson feels full, he mixes the shake with milk instead of the Mountain Valley Spring water.
Meal 2: Lunch (Post Workout)
Johnson’s message for the second meal? “After strenuous exercise. Dominate.”
Meal 3: Dinner
Liver King steps away from his early caveman habits for six days a week at dinnertime and cooks his food before eating. However, he prefers his dinner raw on Thursday.
- 16oz of full fat, cooked red meat (e.g. grass-finished rib eye, grass-finished ground wagyu or short ribs, ground organs including liver, spleen, pancreas, heart, and kidney)
- 2 to 3oz of something raw like raw bull testicles, raw sweetbreads, or raw heart
- 1 avocado with 100% genuine olive oil and Redmond salt
Note: Johnson allows himself sweet potatoes topped with maple syrup and crunchy sea salt, but only if he has earned it.
Must Read: Is Bone Marrow Good for Bodybuilding?
Liver King Workout Program
Like the other Johnson popular for his badass physique, Brian leaves no stones unturned during his workouts.
Brian Johnson’s training regimen is an adaptation of the Westside Barbell Conjugate method because he believes it’s the most badass methodology in strength.
Johnson trains every day, sometimes twice a day. Even on a rest day, the primal is always moving. This is what his training regimen looks like:
Metabolic conditioning, focusing on muscle hypertrophy. Think:
- Upper body push
- Several dynamic and plyometric movements
Wednesday: Rest Day
It includes several miles of walking in the sun, followed by some sprint variations on the assault bike, rower, or ski erg. The combination simulates a successful hunt. Johnson breaks his 24-hour fast after this training routine, obviously after he feels like he has earned it.
Metabolic conditioning, focusing on hypertrophy.
- Upper body (focusing on 1RMs)
Metabolic conditioning, emphasis on hypertrophy.
- Ring muscle-up
- Heavy ball cleans
- Hand-stand walk
Saturday: Rest Day
Saturday is Liver King’s favorite workout of all. The Super Barbarian, featuring numerous strongman movements and finishing with core.
Note: The Barbarian is a trademark Liver King exercise that involves holding a 70-pound kettlebell in each hand, strapping 20-pound ankle weights on each leg, carrying 70 pounds in a backpack, and dragging 120 pounds on a sled behind you for one mile.
Liver King plans on taking the Barbarian global, dragging his sled across international landmarks like the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal. “These would be incredible things to do to connect with people,” he said.
More slow miles in the sun, and some non-negotiable Tabata push-ups. Then, Liver King calls it a week.
Liver King Supplements
Liver King and his tribe prioritize meeting their daily micro and macronutrient goals through a nose-to-tail diet and only rely on supplements to fill in the gaps. Here are the supplements Johnson uses:
- Ancestral Supplements Minerals — Nature’s whole food electrolyte and mineral complex
- Ancestral Supplements Beef Organs
- The Fittest Whole Beast Protein
- Vitamin D3
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Are Liver King’s ancestral lifestyle claims genuine or is he the biggest brofessor of our generation? You be the judge. However, there is no denying that Brian Johnson is one of the most dedicated and passionate individuals in the health and fitness space.
Liver King is specific about his diet and lays out everything you need to know about following an ancestral diet, from what to how much you should be eating.
Finally, if you were to take one thing away from this article, let it be this:
“I always say you’re either growing or you’re dying.” — Liver King
- Halton TL, Hu FB. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Oct;23(5):373-85. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2004.10719381. PMID: 15466943.
- Innis SM. Dietary omega 3 fatty acids and the developing brain. Brain Res. 2008 Oct 27;1237:35-43. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.08.078. Epub 2008 Sep 9. PMID: 18789910.