Saturday, October 12, 2019

A Good Diet for Bodybuilding Success - Bradley Steiner (1970)

Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed

If you were ever invited to join a top Mr. Universe or Mr. America champion for dinner, you would probably sit at the table for a while, astounded, trying to convince yourself that this guy was going to eat all of the stuff that was in front of him! 

There's just no denying that the big boys EAT big, and with few exceptions, eat mostly good, wholesome foods. It's true that quite a few physique men rarely touch supplements, but with very few exceptions, they all eat plenty, and that aspect of bodybuilding is just as important to them as the actual training. 

Why? Because to a great degree, the foods you eat determine how strong and muscular you will ultimately become. You are what you eat. Eat junk, and you'll look like junk. Eat lots of nutritious food, and you will be strong, healthy and fit. 

Heavy weight training is half the means to a massive herculean build. Diet is the other half. Don't be deluded into believing that soft drinks and pizza are all that you need, in addition to training, for bigger muscles. Granted, there are some very few natural supermen who have perfect metabolism, bone structure like oak trees, and the muscle quality of Bengal tigers, and they can get by on a diet that's not so good. They pack on muscle no matter what garbage they eat. I happen to know a fellow like this, and he is the bane of my existence! He can take it fairly easy in the gym and still gain, while I'm grunting and groaning for another quarter of an inch on my arm! At any rate, he can do it. I can't. You probably can't and most people who work out can't. Personally, I'd lay odds that even these "super gainers" would improve a lot faster if they watched what they ate, and put out 100% in their workouts, to take full advantage of their natural potential.

Incidentally, if you want to see someone who has both natural potential for super size and strength, and who WORKED UP to his potential, take a gander at Reg Park, Britain's living Hercules! Words can't describe him. Photographs don't do him justice, and at past forty years of age he has more pure muscle than three average Mr. America contestants! Park ate like a horse to get as massively muscular and powerful as he is today, and he's tossed around super heavy barbells like a cop twirls a four-pound nightstick. If you're in doubt as to the importance of nutrition, Park is a living example of what proper nutrition means in a heavy training program. You've got to eat well for maximum gains. 

I know someone who's been working out with weights for about two years. He trains heavy. He's got a good build, but it's nothing spectacular. He wanted to look like Mr. Universe, though, and he asked me one day to help him organize a program for really massive gains. 

"I want to get huge muscles," he said. "So tell me how I can train for them." 

"Charley," I said, "You're already training for them. You do lots of leg and back work, you train hard, you use heavy weights and you work out regularly. Your training program is fine. The only thing you can do to improve it is keep adding weights to your exercises."

"But I'm not gaining fast enough," he protested. 

"Jeez, how fast do you want to gain?" I said. "You're getting there." 

"Look," he said, "Is there or isn't there anything I can do to pack on more muscle, and to do it FAST?" 

"As far as your training goes, no. But you might try examining your diet for deficiencies that are holding you back. It might be a lack of the nutritional elements your body requires that is blocking fuller gains." 

"Aw, my diet's okay," he said. 

"What did you have for lunch?" I asked.

"A meatball sandwich." 

"And . . ." 

"A glass of water." He smiled. "A cool glass of water." 

"Charley, that kind of eating is no good for anyone . . . let alone a weight lifter." 

"But I had a big breakfast." 

"What did you have?" 

"A bowl of cereal and a glass of milk." 

"That's real nice, Charley," I said. "My grandmother is pushing seventy-eight and she eats a better breakfast than that." 

"Yeah?" he said. "Is she a bodybuilder?"

"No, Charley, she's not a bodybuilder." He had a broad smile on his face like he just cracked the funniest joke in the world.

"Look," I said, "You've got to start eating right if you want to make more progress." 

He grimaced. "Health foods, you mean?" 

"Health foods, scmelth foods," I said. "You need lots of good, solid chow. Carrot juice and sunflower seeds won't give you the muscles you want." 

"So what will?" 

"Eggs, whole milk, lean meats, thick soups, cheese, fish, poultry, whole wheat bread, fresh vege . . ." 

"Hold it, man!" he shouted. "If I eat like that I'll have to get a second job just to feed myself." 

"Nonsense," I said. "Just stop wasting money on junk foods. Good food is cheaper, anyway.' 

"I dunno," he said. "I've never watched my diet so carefully, and I've gained pretty well anyway." 

"That's true, but you'll gain much better when you do start watching your diet." 

"How much better?" he asked. 

"I can't guarantee you anything," I said, "but if you eat like you're supposed to, you could expect to pack on twenty to thirty pounds of muscle in six or seven months." 

He almost leapt into the air. "Wow!" he yelled. "You mean all I have to do is eat a little more and I'll gain thirty pounds?" 

"You'll have to eat a heck of a lot more than a 'little more'." 

"I will, I will," he stammered. "Just tell me what kind of diet I have to follow!" 

"Stop drooling," I said. I reached for a piece of paper and a pencil. Then I wrote out the following menu: 

Breakfast - 
1 glass fruit juice
2 large glasses whole milk (protein supplement added)
4 eggs (any style)
2 slices whole wheat bread with butter
6 strips of bacon
1 serving fresh fruit

Lunch - 
2 thick sandwiches (tuna, meat, cheese, peanut butter, etc.)
2 large glasses whole milk (protein supplement added)
1 serving macaroni salad

Dinner - 
1 huge bowl thick vegetable soup
1 large serving steak, chicken, fish, or other meat dish
1 large fresh vegetable salad
2 large glasses whole milk (protein supplement added)
2 slices buttered whole wheat bread
Fresh fruit dessert 

Late Evening Snack - 
1 dish crackers with peanut butter
1 large glass whole milk (protein supplement added0 

When I finished writing down the menu and handed it back to Charley, he looked at it, then looked up at me and stared in amazement. 

"Maybe I could set my alarm for three in the morning and squeeze in a late night snack?"

I shook my head. "No, you need your sleep." 

"Now how in heck am I supposed to eat all of this stuff?"

"Well," I began, "you take a knife in one hand, a fork in the other, and . . ."

"Ha. Ha. Ha." he said. "You're a real riot. Only a gorilla could eat like this." 

"Charley, that's a good example of what a superman's diet is like. Plenty of good, wholesome food, no junk. Combine a diet like this with super-heavy, intensive workouts three or four times a week, and inside of a year you'll look like Godzilla. Minus the hair." 

"Well, it does look pretty complete," Charley said. 

"It is." 

Okay," he said. "Starting today I'll try it." 

I'd a a warning at this point for those of you who want to organize a diet plan similar to the one outlined. Don't attempt anything like this unless you've been working out for at least eight months or so, and unless you're training very, VERY hard. With a program of heavy weight training (especially heavy leg and back work) this diet will transform you. Without the hard and heavy workouts you'll turn into a blimp inside of two months. If you're not training very heavy, modify the basic plan so that you get a good, balanced diet, but not the tremendous amounts of food listed. To repeat: 


Charley's been on the diet now for three weeks. He's gained nine pounds. If you train very hard, you might do even better, especially if you haven't been eating well before. 

By following a program of proper nutrition, you'll find that you will increase in strength much more rapidly than usual. You'll be able to exert maximum effort in your workouts and you'll be training harder and harder. Of course, you'll gain very rapidly. 

Like the basic exercises that are the most important in a training program, there are basic foods that are very necessary for proper nutrition. Try to get ample amounts of these foods in your diet every day. Here's a list of what you should be eating: 

Whole milk
Whole wheat bread and cereals
Dated, raisins, figs
Baked potatoes
Cheese and other dairy products
Fresh, raw vegetables
Drink at least six glasses of plain water every day  
Peanut butter
All kinds of nuts

Build your menu around the foods listed and you can be sure that you'll be getting what your body needs for growth, maintenance and repair.  

It might be a good idea at this point to list some of the foods you should avoid. Filling your stomach with junk will only retard your progress, and fill up space that could better be occupied by nourishing food. Avoid the following like the plague: 

Fatty fried foods
Stale foods
White flour products
Candies, cakes, pies, other rich desserts
Excessive condiments

There you have the essentials of eating for a herculean build. Don't neglect your diet. Train hard and be careful of the foods that you eat, making sure to get plenty of the first class fuel that your body requires. You will be richly rewarded for the discipline of careful eating and I wish you all the best of luck in your training efforts. 


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