Q: I seen many photos of you, and you’re always in shape. I’ve also read many of your Internet posts about how you stay at a single-digit bodyfat percentage year-round—and you’re still gaining muscle. My question is, What is your everyday diet like? How much and what do you eat to remain lean while gaining muscle?
A: In my younger days I used to follow the traditional protocol of leaning out for shows and then bulking up as much as possible in the off-season. I hit a high of 273 pounds at one point. As time went on, however, I found that method lacking for gaining muscle from year to year and that getting back into contest condition was becoming increasingly difficult.
In addition my career began to dictate that I remain closer to photo-shoot shape year-round, not to mention that not seeing my abs for eight months a year was kind of depressing. So, yes, these days I remain at single-digit bodyfat year-round, keeping my weight right at 235.
I accomplish that by performing at least 20 minutes of cardio work on a daily basis and of course sticking to a very strict, clean, lower-calorie diet at all times. That does not mean that I have given up on building more muscle, despite the fact that I am drug-free, in my mid-40s and not on any kind of HRT. In fact, I believe that I am still capable of adding quite a bit more lean tissue to my frame. It just takes the right mind-set along with a meticulously designed training, supplement and nutritional regimen to accomplish that difficult feat. Here’s what a typical day’s eating plan looks like:
9 a.m.: 20-30 minutes cardio
10 a.m.: 16 ounces scrambled liquid egg whites with either a handful of broccoli or spinach mixed in, 5 slices Ezekiel bread
1:00 p.m.: 8 ounces extremely lean ground beef (from www.SkinnyBeef
.com); medium-sized bowl of green beans, asparagus or broccoli; 1 tablespoon olive oil
4 p.m.: 2 scoop whey isolate protein in water and two tablespoons natural peanut butter or 30-grams mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts)
5-6:30 p.m.: P/RR/S or FD/FS weight training session
7 p.m.: Pancakes from 12 ounces liquid egg whites (www.Muscle
Egg.com), 1 scoop whey isolate and 115 grams quinoa
9:30 p.m.: 8 ounces chicken breast, turkey breast or tilapia; medium-sized bowl green beans, asparagus or broccoli; 1 tablespoon olive oil
12-12:30 a.m.: 2 scoops casein protein in water and 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter or 15-grams mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts)
That puts my macronutrient totals for the day at approximately: protein, 371 grams; carbohydrates, 160 grams; fats, 66 grams. Total calories: 2,718.
It’s that relatively small number of nutrient-dense calories that enables me to gain quality muscle slowly while remaining lean and fit.
I should also mention that up until about eight weeks before a major event, photo shoot or competition I allow myself one cheat meal per week, having whatever it is I’m craving—usually pizza—in whatever amount satisfies me. I believe that boosts metabolism and keeps me on track the entire week.
Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training System” is available at Home-Gym.com. His e-books, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout and The FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout, which include complete printable workout templates and Q&A sections, are available at X-Workouts.com.