Now I can’t speak on behalf of every bodybuilder out there. Everyone is different and will have different diets, training plans, and ideas on how to achieve their goals.
I’ve been competing for a few years now and every year gets more intense and I get more focused as I get closer to my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). This year I’ve had the help of an awesome nutritionist, Nick at Reynolds Nutrition. Nick has completely changed by diet and how I train.
I used to focus on isolating muscle groups like Chest, Back, Quads, Hammies and Glutes, etc. But this year I’ve changed it up and focusing on compound exercises like Bench Press, Squats, Deadlifts etc.
Compound exercises with progressive overload is probably the best way to gain strength and mass. Progressive overload is all about beating your previous lifts. That can be with weight, or reps, or tempo. But it needs to be more each time. Once I get closer to my next competition and start to diet down I’ll focus more on isolation and bring out specific areas.
I’m eating five meals a day plus having an intra-workout drink, Using the traditional breakfast lunch and dinner doesn’t really fit so I break it down like this:
Meal 1 – Breakfast
Meal 2 – Pre Workout meal
Meal 3 – Post workout meal
Meal 4 – Dinner
Meal 5 – Before bed
Each meal consists of 50g protein, 50g carbs, and 25g fats. How I get to those magic numbers comes from a number of different ways.
Now not all protein is created equally. Protein is composed of up to 20 different amino acids. Every protein source contains some or all of those amino acids in different proportions, so each source of protein really is different. Animal protein tends to be more ‘complete’ in terms of essential amino acids that we need. Same goes for most animal delivered foods like eggs and dairy. However you should not rely solely on animal-based protein, it’s important to include plant-based proteins like pea-protein, legume’s, rice, and beans as these have a good amount of protein and fiber as well as minerals and vitamins that aren’t as abundant in meat.
When we digest protein, what our body actually absorbs and utilises are those amino acids. Each one plays a different role in the body, from building and repairing various tissues, performing vital metabolic processes, acting as progenitor for essential compounds, and even regulating gene expression. We need amino acids to live. Read more about how much Protein you need based on your goal.
Simply put carbs are energy. Carbs are processed by the body and turned into glucose which we use as our ’fuel’. Carbs get a bad rap a lot of the time mainly because of all the refined and over-processed food that’s around. However, carbs are important and need to be part of our diets, depending on our goals. You just need to know which carbs to eat, how much and when. Sticking to whole grains, vegetable and fruit is the way to go.
Healthy fats are a great source of energy but we also need them to help us absorb some vitamins and antioxidants. Omega 3 is vital for our brain function as well as heart and nerve function. We need both unsaturated and saturated fats but we don’t need Trans fats which are found in artificial food sources.
So how does this look like for me day to day?
My first meal is of course breakfast which consists of 5 large whole eggs, 200ml egg whites, and 75g of Polenta or Oats.
My next 3 meals will have 200g brown rice or 250g of kumara, 200g low carb vegetables, and 250g of chicken breast or steak or salmon. Depending on the fat content of the protein source will determine if I have any healthy fats as well, like 150g avocado or 50g nut butter.
I eat roughly every 3 hours and will time my midday meals to when I go to the gym. I try to have my pre-workout meal an hour before the gym, giving my body time to start using the carbs and fats as energy for my workout. My post workout meal is about 30minutes after the gym and I’ll normally try to have a serving of red meat then. It’s important to time your meals for when you exercise, you’ll have more energy and get better results by doing this.
In the evenings I like something different and have a huge sweet tooth so using The Protein Bread Company mixes is one of my favorite ways to vary my diet and feel like I’m having a treat. Whether it’s Peach crumble, Pancakes, or a chocolate tart I know I can create really yummy treats that still fit my macros. This really helps add Variety and takes away the sweet tooth cravings.
Just recently I made Banana loaf using the Protein Bread mix. It was so easy and fast to make and the taste was amazing. Easily the best banana loaf I’ve ever had (if I don’t say so myself) this big call was also backed up by family and friends all agreeing that it was in fact as good or better than any they’ve had before. That’s why I love The Protein Bread co. mixes. They’re just so easy and taste as good if not better than store bought products that are filled with processed carbs and added refined sugars.
To sum up, it’s important to eat a varied diet with the majority of your food coming from whole foods. Treat yourself once a week for 1 meal, don’t make the mistake of dieting hard all week and blowing out in the weekend. Have a burger or pizza or whatever it is your craving, drink lots of water to help your body process it all and get back on track.
Train hard and eat smart.
– Chris Brine