From the desk of John Drake, Research Director

testosterone programWhen it comes to selecting the best bodybuilding diet plan, a quick web search will show you a hundred different options and opinions to sort through. It can be downright overwhelming. Every athlete, trainer or nutritionist believes their specific diet offers the most benefits, and there isn’t a lot of consensus.

The reason for this is obvious: we’re all different; our bodies are different; our training is different, and it stands to reason that the foods which are optimal for us are going to be different, too. But it can be frustrating, trying to find a diet for your specific training when there’s so much conflicting advice out there. Nobody wants to just follow the herd... blindly following diet trends that, at best, fail to give you optimum energy and nutrition; and, at worst, could be harmful or counterproductive. You want to fine-tune a diet regimen that really works - works for you, and your body’s unique composition.

While genetics, metabolism, and thus results vary, one thing is universal for those of us in the bodybuilding world: the simpler, the better.

When most people think of a bodybuilder at the peak of fitness, they naturally think of Arnold Schwarzenegger. When Arnold was at the top of his game, nutrition and diet were approached from a totally different perspective than that of many today. In most respects, that’s a good thing (although, probably best not to guzzle an entire pitcher of beer post-workout, for example, as the Austrian Oak was known to do on occasion), but taking a close look at how the greats of yesteryear ate when training for muscle and strength gains gives us important insights into how we can apply these tried and true principles to achieve the best bodybuilding results today.


So, let’s look at the nutrition guidelines for a week in the life of The Terminator. Mr. Schwarzenegger's bodybuilding diet primarily consisted of whole, natural foods, avoiding processed ingredients and refined sugars, but not shying away from good, healthy fats. No shrinking violet when it came to enjoying food, Arnold had easy-to-follow basic bodybuilding diet principles, including but not limited to the following:

Some of these principles might seem counter-intuitive to our modern way of thinking and averse to the diet and nutritional advice we’ve been hearing all our lives. And yet, Arnold was the 7-time Mr. Olympia for a reason.

Protein Q&A: How much is enough?

"To gain muscle, how many grams of protein should I be taking in daily? Right now I weigh 175 lbs and I would like to weigh 190."

For serious fitness training, the evidence supporting a daily protein intake in the range of 1.5 to 2 grams per pound of bodyweight is overwhelming. At 175 pounds, you should aim for a daily intake of around 300 grams of quality protein. You can later adjust this amount up or down as your goals / gains dictate. To reach this level, each meal should be focused around hearty portions of your favorite high protein foods like chicken, fish and seafood, lamb, steak and other beef cuts and a few eggs if you tolerate them well.

The right kind of post-workout protein is crucial. Via the workout stimulus, what is called the "golden window" opens. During this time, your muscle cells, quite literally, open up fully for a short time and seek to soak up protein like a sponge. In order to take full advantage of this opportunity to greatly accelerate the growth and repair of your muscle tissue a legitimate, very quickly assimilated protein shake such as MASS PRO Whey must be employed. Table proteins are not suitable here because they do not digest nearly fast enough.

It's also important to note that a couple of daily MASS PRO shakes between meals will help you easily reach your daily protein requirements without having to stuff yourself at the table. It has been said many times; "it is much easier to drink instead of eat a high protein diet". Two scoops of Mass Pro Whey Protein mixed into 3 cups of milk quickly yields a full 75 grams of muscle building protein for your hungry muscle tissue and is less expensive gram for gram versus preparing time-consuming high protein foods.

The Bodybuilding Diet Benefits of "good" fats...

Many of Schwarzenegger’s peers and fellow bodybuilders of the golden era also recommend a bodybuilding diet plan that doesn’t shy away from fats and so-called “unhealthy proteins”- like steak, for instance, which 'The Myth' Sergio Olivia was famous for eating around the clock... Or, enjoying the dark meat of your roasted chicken with the skin on as Tom Platz was so fond of. Sacrilege! ? And yet, so many bodybuilders who have been at the top of their game for decades swear that eating foods like calf liver, whole milk, on-the-bone chicken with skin, etc, are the key to the strength and energy that you need to keep at peak health and fitness. Rather than being afraid of fat, they embrace “good” fats and enjoy the flavor, comfort and nutritional benefits they provide.

Of course, you want to focus on as many whole, natural, beneficial foods to your diet as you possibly can - not just fats. Think whole grains, green leafy vegetables, lean proteins, antioxidant rich fruits, milk products, nuts and beans, healthy carbohydrates; little meals and shakes throughout the day to keep you feeling full, sustained and energetic, to go alongside those healthy fats.

As with any fitness regimen, there are of course things to avoid. We’ve already covered sugar, but another big no-no (especially in training, but in general for overall health) are trans fats. These are the types of fats that occur in processed foods, deep fried foods, and the like. Copious amounts of these oils and unhealthy fats are very bad for your body, make you sluggish and provide little to no nutrition. They’re bad for the heart and for your gut, too. And they’re the kiss of death for any bodybuilder looking for muscle gain. When training, avoid ALL deep fried and overly processed foods that contain unhealthy amounts of trans fats like the plague.

Now that we’ve talked about the good and the bad parts of your best bodybuilding diet, what does the plan actually look like? We’ve broken down a couple day’s worth of meals below to give you an example of what to follow to inspire optimum muscle, strength and energy. If you follow these basic guidelines, emphasize the good whole natural foods we’ve outlined and avoid trans fats, refined sugars and pre-packaged processed foods, you’ll start to see real results and feel better than ever!

Check out the examples below-

Day 1, Breakfast:


Afternoon Protein Snack:

Best weight gainer powderBlend the following:

*For an essential "cookbook" of easy-to-make muscle building meals, snacks, desserts and recipes like high protein bars, pancakes, brownies, and even things like bodybuilding beef jerky and MASS MAKING mixed drinks Click Here.


Evening Snack Options:

*Daily Reminder: Lots of water (drink half your bodyweight in ounces per day, every day).

Day 2, Breakfast:


Bodybuilding diet plan benefits.jpg

Afternoon Protein Snack:

*For an essential "cookbook" of easy-to-make muscle building meals, snacks, desserts and recipes like high protein bars, pancakes, brownies, and even things like bodybuilding beef jerky Click Here.


Evening Snack Options:

*Daily Reminder: Water! Water! Water! (and more water)

As you can see, this bodybuilding diet is extremely rich in nutrients, promotes a lean and healthy dietary plan while incorporating whole grains and foods such as milk, butter and meats for lots of protein. This diet is easy to follow and will keep you full. You'll benefit from delicious-tasting meals, snacks and desserts without compromising a single bit on the lean, nutritious and healthy lifestyle you must stick to. Best of all, you’ll see great results in the weight room!

A few words about weight training for Size and Strength, and supplements

Simply put, if gaining muscle mass and strength is your goal, then make multi-joint, free weight movements the bulk of your training. Work them to failure, for limited sets, then enjoy a MASS PRO shake immediately afterwards to recover and grow during the 'golden window' as detailed above. Here's how Arnold described truly training to failure: "The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That’s what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they’ll go through the pain."

Regarding supplements- While we've distributed top-shelf Made in the USA sports nutrition since 1993, you'll note we do not offer any sort of "meal replacements". For the best results you should follow a bodybuilding diet plan with lots of protein, some grains, fruits and vegetables for clean carbohydrates, while incorporating whole foods and non-trans fats. High quality supplements, vitamins, protein shakes and the like are great (and necessary) to help push you over the threshold, but avoid gimmicks like so-called meal replacement powders. Instead, eat full and completely every day, using legitimate supplements only - like we offer - to enhance and fine tune your training and diet efforts.

Similar to this advice, Golden Age physique champion Larry Scott was famous for saying "Bodybuilding success is 80% nutrition and supplements", which was controversial and misunderstood. He later elaborated- "When I say bodybuilding is 80% nutrition, that doesn't mean you don't have to workout, just take supplements, eat and you'll gain. What it is means is that working out is catabolic. You tear your body down. You break down muscle tissue. You gain while you rest, recover and build yourself back stronger with lot's of good nutrition. If you just eat a lot of food, you will over stretch your stomach, take in too many calories, be bulky or even fat. You do need to eat good quality foods, 3 times per day. But you can't get it all with just regular food. That is where supplements come in."

bodybuilding diet resultsBy the way- Don't fall prey to the "latest is greatest" supplement mindset. As with the diet above, be smart. Go with the tried and true. Some new, unproven supplement is the least worthy of your attention. Instead, embrace one with an almost 30 year track record of success, MASS PRO Whey Protein. Loved by athletes far and wide, because it is made to give real results. First rising to popularity in 1995 when others faltered, today it's more than ever the ultra-premium protein of choice smart athletes and fitness minded families rely on for great health and wellness benefits.

Listen- We've seen countless flashy supplements come and go since our founding in 1993, while our "newest", MASS PRO Synthagen, first started winning over avid fans well over a decade ago.

In closing for now (be sure to sign up for updates below), always keep in mind the simple, straightforward and sage bodybuilding diet advice from Vince Gironda, the legendary all-natural 'Iron Guru'-

"Eat for nutrition and food value.
Emphasize natural foods, avoid processed foods and eliminate junk entirely."

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