Bodybuilding Diet Nutrition
The Following is a Sneak Peak of the "No Mistakes" Nutritional Guide To Building Your Best Body Ever!:
“Predicted by the original Iron
Guru Vince Gironda
in the 1970’s, the proliferation of performance
enhancing compounds has left modern bodybuilders
in the dark ages with little understanding of the art,
power and science of proper diet.”
— Vince Andrich
“A Brief History of Bodybuilding Nutrition:
Save Years of Trial and Error by
Understanding the Past.”
In this chapter we will briefly evaluate some of the most
common diets practiced by bodybuilding athletes just like
you. This will enable you to distinguish the ‘No Mistakes’
methods from those of the past . . .and those methods yet
We feel it is vitally important to read this section in full.
Our motivation is that great thinkers often look to the past
for answers. It is through this history of trial and error
that new philosophies can emerge and be fully understood.
|You are literally defined by the food
that you eat...
Like every other tissue in your body, your muscles are composed
of molecules built from common chemical elements — carbon,
hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur and others. These elements
make up the structure of the food you eat at every meal. It
should therefore come as no surprise that when it comes to
building bigger, stronger muscles, the quality and quantity
of food you eat will greatly affect the outcome.
Perhaps this is why you decided to pick up this guide. Indeed,
if you put together your meals haphazardly, not even the most
powerful muscle building supplements or training regimen will
bring about the radical changes to your physical appearance
that you are truly capable of. That being said...
“What’s the ‘Ideal’
Way to Eat for Year-Round Size, Strength and Leanness?”
What constitutes the best year-round eating approach for
bodybuilders and similarly focused fitness enthusiasts? For
many of us, solving this problem has been like figuring out
the meaning of life. That is, until now.
First, let’s dispel a widespread myth. Despite what
you may have been led to believe, (perhaps due to contest-time
photos in the pages of glossy bodybuilding magazines), that
bodybuilders maintain extremely low levels of body fat (3
to 5 percent) year round. Even elite bodybuilders who regularly
compete do not maintain this small percent of body fat all
year. To keep the same weight is unrealistic and may certainly
bring your muscle-building progress to a grinding halt.
On the other hand, many dedicated bodybuilders can maintain
an impressive 7 to 9 percent body fat level year round while
enjoying ‘fast-lane’ muscle-building progress.
To do so, you need to adhere to nutritional guidelines specific
to Cosmetic Bodybuilding™. Don’t
let the name fool you. This is not some fluffed up BS name
for a weekend warrior program (although they need this term
just as bad). It is the core reason most of us train and eat
obsessively, thus it defines our ultimate goal, which is primarily
making cosmetic changes to our bodies.
You’re certainly not alone. Like the two of us, and
virtually all women and men reading this guide, your training
and eating habits are intended to make cosmetic changes to
your body. You want to improve your physical appearance by
making your muscles bigger (possibly a lot bigger) and/or
losing the fat covering them up from view.
Strength, power, aerobic capacity—these and other measures
of fitness are of substantially less importance to you, if
at all. And this is fine. In fact, it’s critically important
that you realize the difference between your cosmetic goals
and those of the performance-oriented person—the triathlete,
the power lifter, the mountain biker, etc. The nutritional
and training guidelines for you as a cosmetic bodybuilder
are often worlds apart from those of the endurance athlete
or others engaged in a sport where physical performance is
what really matters.
To create a body that is a work of art your ‘performance
criteria’ is the mirror. If you want to turn heads all
the time, you’ll need to properly manage your nutrition
and exercise 24/7. Unlike many team sports, there is no party
after every ‘winning’ workout or meal. The game
is always ON. And for most of us, the top of our game is always
one striation, peak or separation away.
Strangely enough, for years registered dieticians and so-called
nutritional experts with letters behind their names have lumped
dietary guidelines for athletes together, or very nearly so.
Yet the cosmetic bodybuilder is quite a different beast...
Nutrition for Athletics & Endurance
The dietary considerations for athletes who are focused on,
e.g., endurance performance or capacity, are not necessarily
the same as for bodybuilders (like us) who solely want to
build bigger, leaner muscles for a better-looking body.
For the endurance athlete (and perhaps many strength athletes),
a diet deriving 60-70% of its calories from carbohydrate,
20-30% from protein and 10% from fat will probably be adequate.
Furthermore, the type of each nutrient consumed may not be
so important. For instance, the bodybuilder who is advised
to avoid high-glycemic (fast-absorbing), refined carbohydrate,
the potential ‘cosmetic impact’ of such foods
may be of little concern for the endurance athlete. In fact,
these foods frequently offer a manner of convenience that
is highly desirable to this individual.
The 80’s Show
As you may already be aware, during the 1980’s, diets
deriving up to 70% of a person’s calories from carbohydrate
were in vogue. This high-carbohydrate model gained popularity
during the aerobics boom of the same era. Support also came
from the scientific community that studied the effects of
dietary carbohydrates on athletic performance (e.g., glycogen
‘loading’). This research provided strong (though
at times contradictory) evidence that a high-carbohydrate
diet could have beneficial effects on endurance performance
Cosmetic bodybuilding is quite a different story, however;
it does not require the dietary carbohydrate intake that might
be necessary to support optimal performance during endurance
sports (e.g., long-distance running, triathlons) or team sports
such as football, soccer and basketball. Thus, many bodybuilders
(excluding extreme ‘hard gainers’) following high-carbohydrate
diets had to rely on strict calorie counting and intense cardiovascular
workouts to achieve the lean, muscular appearance they desired.
This era moved us into what is now known as...
Stated earlier was the observation that the media plays a
large role in influencing the popularity of many dietary practices.
It should then come as no surprise that much like the fashion
industry styles come and go and often resurface as ‘new’.
This appears to be the case for the latest trend of low-carbohydrate
Yet unlike an overly simplistic trend in fashion that may
make regular bottom jeans passť and bellbottoms hip,
low-carbohydrate eating does have a plausible scientific premise
(more on this later). This has made it the darling of the
bodybuilding supplement industry—once again. It has
even resurfaced for sedentary folks who use variations of
this diet, such as that popularized by Dr. Atkins.
|It is important to note that as far back
as the 1960's, bodybuilders relied heavily on limited
carbohydrate diets to show off their muscularity.
However, bodybuilders are not exactly sedentary. Indeed,
because of the relatively high-intensity, high-volume nature
of the training we use to build and maintain muscle we rely
on stored carbohydrate energy (glycogen) substantially more
than do sedentary folks, though less than endurance athletes.
In any case, the important point here is that...
Low-Carbohydrate Diets Are Not New!
It is important to note that as far back as the 1960’s,
bodybuilders relied heavily on limited carbohydrate diets
to show off their muscularity. However, as a consequence of
this dietary practice, many of the bodybuilders of this era
lacked modern-day muscle fullness and striations. Just look
at the old black and white photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger
and his cohorts during his glory days of bodybuilding to see
what we’re talking about.
One of the reasons bodybuilders of previous eras lacked the
muscularity we see today may be that these individuals bulked
up during the off (i.e., non-competitive) season and later
resorted to severe carbohydrate restriction in an effort to
shed body fat and water weight rapidly. In addition, the re-introduction
of carbohydrates (e.g., as with pre-contest preparation) was
more of a hit-or-miss art than a predictable science and many
athletes simply did not do so (‘peak’) properly.
Contemporary Diet Trickery
In an attempt to remedy the negative impact of severe carbohydrate
restriction on one’s physical appearance and performance,
many diets presented to bodybuilders over recent years have
recommended periodic carbohydrate overfeeding (or gorging)
to replenish body carbohydrate stores. Such diets include,
though are not limited to: The Rebound Diet by Michael Zumpano,
The Anabolic Diet by Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, The Cyclical Ketogenic
Diet by Lyle McDonald, and the Anabolic Burst Cycling of Diet
and Exercise (ABCDE) by Bill Phillips and Torbjorn Akerfeldt.
Now we are not here to say that the aforementioned diets
cannot work (they can certainly be made to over the short
term). Rather, we wish to point out that, practically speaking,
such dietary guidelines are not easily maintained over the
long haul and are much less effective and more troublesome
than alternative approaches.
Lessons for the Carbophobic Bodybuilder
Simple thinking tells us that since carbohydrates deliver
calories (4 per gram), this nutrient can play a role in promoting
fat gain. In addition, carbohydrates are a primary driver
for increases in insulin levels, which plays a role in reducing
fat burning (more on this later). In an effort to get leaner,
carbohydrates have become the primary macronutrient that have
been reduced in many bodybuilders’ diets. For some,
it has meant an abandonment of any and all dietary carbohydrate
in a desperate effort to lose weight or become leaner. The
result is that muscles lose size, shape and energy. Workouts
can become almost non-existent tiring, and your physique appears
flat and small. This is why in our opinion these carte blanche
reductions in total carbohydrate intake (especially ‘slow-burning’,
low-glycemic carbs) are often too aggressive and leave bodybuilders
with nowhere to go.
The typical rationale is that if a bodybuilder accelerates
fat loss by reducing carbs from 400 to 300 grams per day,
then 200 must be better. The trouble is that when fat loss
stalls, the bodybuilder is compelled to take in less than
200 grams of carbs per day to resume fat loss. Yet research
shows that the body soon begins to show resistance to these
extreme dietary efforts. At this point, the stage is set for
your body to use protein from muscle tissue to provide additional
energy. Needless to say this is not the ideal situation for
anyone who wants to change his or her body composition for
Concerning carbohydrate intake, the
risk of fat gain is ONLY problematic if:
- You are a sedentary person, or a bodybuilder that either
does not train hard enough or frequently enough to expend
the extra calories.*
- You eat too much high-glycemic (fast-absorbing, insulin-spiking)
carbohydrate per meal.
- You eat too much total carbohydrate (of any type) per
- If your caloric intake exceeds your caloric expenditure
regardless of carbohydrateintake, your body fat will increase
in size with time.
*NOTE: Training for the bodybuilder, and its relationship
to the Glucose Economy™ concept (discussed later) will
be covered in detail in the essential companion guide, the
‘No Mistakes’ Training Guide.
A Renaissance in Simplicity
Contrary to popular belief, there are many female fitness
enthusiasts and male bodybuilders who remain lean and hard
year round while enjoying rapid muscle building progress.
What is their secret?
The ‘No-Diet Diet’
What we have found is that these individuals seem to intuitively
stick to pretty much the same eating plan all the time. This
plan is unusually simple and can be maintained quite easily
for the long term. Hence the distinction from diet, a device
that can only be used for the short term due to limitations
inherent in its design and the design of the human body (including
the psyche)! The long-term eating plan we refer to (the ‘no-diet
diet’) will be explained in the chapters that follow
where we reveal . . .
Read more at: "No Mistakes" Nutritional Guide To Building Your Best Body Ever!
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