A champion bodybuilder has to have the prerequisite dedicated nutrition to match.
On May 15, 2022, reigning three-time Classic Physique Olympia Champion (2019-2021), Chris Bumstead, posted a video to his YouTube channel outlining an entire day’s worth of eating. The 5,000-calorie-plus diet is part of Bumstead’s ongoing off-season as he prepares for the 2022 Mr. Olympia on December 15-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.
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Bumstead starts the video by saying this is the first time he has shared a “full-day” diet in a while. A quick scan of Bumstead’s YouTube page confirms that assertion, as his last nutritional video was in late February 2022. A new edition came at the continued behest of his 1.75 million-plus subscribers (and counting).
It’s been a minute, you guys always ask for these, so here we are, doing a full day of eating.
Overall, it’s another detailed insight into partly how the top-notch bodybuilder fuels his performance and builds his muscle.
Like many people worldwide, Bumstead starts his morning with a cup of Joe. Though, this isn’t any ordinary coffee. The coffee has mushrooms (which have adaptogens) and chocolate sea salt (which has electrolytes). The thought process behind the mushroom/adaptogen is that it helps fortify Bumstead’s immune system, which research confirms is one of its main benefits. (1)
After he finishes coffee, Bumstead shifts to a “boring breakfast” — a protein shake. The shake consists of two scoops of his protein isolate brand, a scoop of glutamine for fiber, and he pairs that with two whole toasted bagels. Bumstead says he usually has a couple of eggs on the side, but they started not to sit well with his stomach.
As Bumstead notes, food variety can be integral to maximizing an athlete’s training output. One study maintained that a multi-versed diet is especially beneficial for, say, a bodybuilder who might want to consume more nutrients and calories throughout the day. (2)
Here’s Bumstead’s full breakfast — which comes out to 985 calories and 70 grams of protein — laid out:
- One cup of coffee (with mushrooms and chocolate sea salt)
- Two scoops of CBUM Itholate Protein™ and one scoop of glutamine in water
- Two whole cinnamon raisin bagels (with Ghee butter)
Before diving into his breakfast, Bumstead notes he’s not eating as much as he normally does. He makes clear it’s part of an experimental “carb-cycle test” that might let him safely push toward the weight cap he wants and eventually maintain it easier.
After a short break, Bumstead shows off his mid-morning meal — a solid helping of white rice and ground turkey with olive oil. Bumstead says that he recently started eating as much as 350 grams of rice in one sitting, so he now uses the olive oil for a flavor boost.
Here’s this meal — which consists of 796 calories — as it stands:
- Ground turkey — 185 grams
- Boiled white rice — 300 grams
- Olive oil — 15 grams
Per Bumstead, he usually tries to eat at least three times before he heads to the gym and trains, as he “definitely won’t eat three times” after the fact. That makes it vital to get a good bulk of his calories and nutrition beforehand.
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As his final meal before heading out to train, Bumstead opts for a 700-calorie helping of MegaFit’s™ prepackaged steak and sweet potatoes. The bodybuilder says the combo of turkey and white rice, followed by a steak and sweet potatoes, is an absolute “favorite go-to” in his daily schedule.
Meal 4 (Post-Workout)
Bumstead rolls with a tried-and-true 1,155-calorie pasta favorite to feed himself after his workout. It also contains 145 grams of carbs:
- Brown pasta — 180 grams
- Ground beef — 100 grams
- Ground turkey — 100 grams
- Marinated tomato sauce — 250 milliliters
This meal is Bumstead’s densest of the day as it’s roughly 40 minutes post-workout and when his appetite is the biggest. Bumstead’s example lines up with research, which concludes that consuming vital nutrients with quality timing is almost as crucial for potential strength and muscle gains as what an athlete actually eats. (3)
With one more meal to squeeze in before he heads to sleep, Bumstead treats himself to a peanut butter protein bar for a snack before chowing down on another helping of white rice with ground turkey:
- Peanut butter protein bar
- White rice — 270 grams
- Ground turkey — 290 grams
- Olive oil — 15 grams
On the whole, Bumstead surprises himself. His entire day’s worth of nutrition comes out to 5,203 calories, 666 grams of carbs, 290 grams of protein, and 156 grams of fat.
“This is why it’s probably good to track.”
Per the bodybuilder, that is about 300 more calories than he usually eats. It’s also almost double his typical carb intake, too.
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Mr. Olympia Lies Ahead
Bumstead will undoubtedly continue to use his diet in prep for December’s Mr. Olympia. There he will defend his Classic Physique Olympia title and try to make it four consecutive championships. The 2022 Mr. Olympia will take place on December 15-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.
- Liao et al. (2018). A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide. Chinese Medicine. 2018 Nov; 13: 57.
- Embling et al. (2021). Effect of food variety on intake of a meal: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2021 Mar; 113 (30); 716-741.
- Aragon A.A., Schoenfeld B.J. (2013). Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window? Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2013 Jan; 10: 5.
Featured image: @cbum on Instagram