Perhaps one of the most amazing bodybuilders of his time, Vince Gironda once said that the secret to successful bodybuilding is 80% diet. Gironda, who was known as “The Iron Guru” within bodybuilding circles for his own personal achievements, later became even more famous for the help that he gave to a new immigrant to America named Arnold Schwarzenegger, who eventually became the most famous bodybuilder ever.
If you look at Gironda’s history between the 1950s and up until 1997, everyone he came in contact with or worked with was a top ranking person in bodybuilding.
After so many years in the industry, Gironda realized that a bodybuilding diet was an essential element in successfully building muscle, and he spent the rest of his career spreading the word of this principle to other professional and champion-level bodybuilders.
A good bodybuilding diet should be comprised of basic nutrients including natural carbohydrates such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy oils and “good” fats such as nuts and other beneficial foods. Supplements should also be included in order to help reduce the volume of subcutaneous fat while assisting in the growth of muscle tissue.
According to Bernard Beverly, a renowned biologist, human tissue is completely biological. What this statement means is that in order to properly develop strong tissue within the body, it is important to consume foods that are considered to be rich in biological content. It can be very confusing to try and get a grasp on what is meant by foods that have a high level of biological content, as many people assume this just means high protein foods. The term “biological content” actual refers to foods that have a protein structure that is very similar to natural human tissue.
When looking at all the food options available that fit this high biological content criteria only one really stands out from the crowd: the egg. Additionally, other foods that are rich in biological content include poultry, fish, steak, lamb, organ meats including the heart, kidneys, livery and sweetbreads, and of course, raw milk. It is a good idea to add in other types of vegetable protein as well as beans and legumes to create a complex layering of good nutrition.
Choose your beans and legumes wisely, though, as high protein items such as soybeans are not necessarily the best choice and only have a biological content of 22%. What this means is that you would have to eat almost 5x as much soy in order to receive all the benefits in the higher biological content meats and products listed above. If you are training for competition level bodybuilding, consuming a maximum of 3 dozen eggs a day is preferable to the use of anabolic steroids, according to the Iron Guru.
The eggs will give your muscles a big boost of useful biological proteins, which can help you to repair any muscular damage from training and increase your overall strength. The 3 dozen egg diet should continue on for about 6-8 weeks, but should then be reduced to about 1-2 dozen eggs a day until you reach your full potential.
There are other bodybuilding diets available for you to consider, many of which focus on fresh vegetables and red meats or a diet rich in fish and dairy products. You need to choose your diet based upon your ultimate goal as each will help your boost your body’s protein intake and help to re-build and repair damaged muscle. While these diets are great workout boosters they should not be used long-term.
Gironda recommended that his trainees take bodybuilding supplements such as wheat germ oil, kelp tablets, desiccated liver and lipotropic amino acids such as choline, inositol, betain and methionine that will help your body to assimilate proteins and boost metabolism. Another special bodybuilding diet was often recommended by Gironda to his trainees as they trained and prepared for competitions, as a way of helping to remove excess subcutaneous fat from their bodies.
This five-day cyclical diet consisted of eating zero carbohydrates for a period of four days and then eating a normal diet on the fifth day. The cycle repeats again, eating no carbohydrates for a period of four days and then eating a normal diet on the 10th day, and so on. This cycle can be repeated with success for as much as 3-8 weeks depending on the individual as a means of effectively burning subcutaneous fat and revealing more defined veins and muscles.
Regardless of which bodybuilding diet you choose to try, your diet should place a lot of focus on good carbohydrates, fiber, fats and lean proteins. The exact formula breakdown of such a diet should consist of 40% natural carbohydrates and 24% proteins balanced with healthy fats and fibers, and restricting any refined sugars or starches from the diet completely.
The 5-day cycle diets, with four days of zero carbs and the fifth day of free eating, should only be used just prior to competition and for no longer than a maximum period of 8 weeks. In addition, supplements that are appropriate to your body’s needs should be taken throughout the training and dieting process.