Duel: Marc Megna's 6-Week Partner-Based Fitness Plan Nutrition And Supplementation Overview

Training with your partner is essential for building muscle, but so is your nutrition and supplementation! Here are all the details you need about what to eat and how to supp during the next 6 weeks.

Main | Nutrition and Supplementation Overview | Program Overview

The nutrition plan for the Duel Trainer is simple: Stay in a calorie surplus so you can build muscle. Although this is a muscle-building plan, that doesn't mean I want you to fuel your body with anything but healthy food—so don't think you're in for some "dirty bulk."

Well-balanced, nutritious food will help you build muscle, increase strength, and improve performance more efficiently. What you eat matters, so pay just as much attention to what you put in your body as what you put your body through in the gym.

That being said, I don't want the nutrition part of this trainer to be complicated, especially to those who are unused to counting calories or weighing their food, so, you have a couple of options. Option 1 is a more precise, numbers-oriented nutrition program, while Option 2 is much easier to follow.

Both plans require the exact same number of meals and the exact same types of food. You'll eat about five meals per day—three bigger meals and two snacks. Both plans will garner excellent results.

Duel Nutrition Plan Option 1

To begin, fill out the calculator to discover your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). If you have a desk job, I suggest choosing "moderately active" for your activity level. And, because this is a muscle-building trainer, select "muscle building" as your goal. The number the calculator gives you is about how many calories you need per day in order to gain 1-2 pounds per week.

Calorie Calculator


Select Your Activity Level

* Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation

In order to turn these calories into actual food, you'll have to do a little math. You're going to use a 40/30/30 macronutrient ratio (40 percent carbs, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat). Take this macro ratio and divide those calories into them. For example, if you're using a daily total of 2500 calories, 40 percent of them (1,000 calories) come from carbs, 30 percent (750 calories) from protein, and 30 percent, (750 calories) from fat.

Once you know how many calories you should eat, divide that by the calories in one gram of each macro. One gram of carbohydrate has 4 calories, one gram of protein has 4, and one gram of fat has 9.

So, if we continue with 2500 calories broken down into 40/30/30, then 1,000 calories from carbs will equal 250 grams; 750 calories from protein equals 187.5 grams, and 750 calories from fat comes to 83.3 grams. Each day, you'll aim to eat 250 grams of carbs, about 188 grams of carbs, and about 83 grams of fat. Once you know those numbers, all you have to do is fill them in with actual food!

Each week, I'd like you to add about 3-5 percent calories to your diet. So, if your TDEE calculator spit out 2500 calories, add 75-125 calories per day.

Duel Nutrition Plan Option 2

If you don't like to do that much math, or don't feel like spending that much time calculating your food intake, then follow this guide!

Instead of measuring grams or worrying about calories, focus instead on eating lean protein, vegetables, carbs, and fat in every meal. To measure serving size, use your body. For guys, eat two palms' worth of lean protein, two fists of veggies, two handfuls of carbs, and two thumbs' worth of fat for each main meal. Ladies should eat about half that.

Instead of measuring grams or worrying about calories, focus instead on eating lean protein, vegetables, carbs, and fat in every meal.

For your first snack, eat lean protein and vegetables. For your second snack, eat either fat or protein (depending on what you think you need) and vegetables.

Just as in Option 1, I want you to increase your food intake each week. I'd like these increases to come from an extra serving of protein or an extra serving of carbs per day. Remember, these increases are going to compound, so, you'll be eating significantly more calories in Week 6 than you did in Week 1.

I'd like you to eat balanced meals throughout the day. If you miss a meal, don't panic. Just do your best to make up those calories later in the day. Your goal is to keep your body in an anabolic (muscle-building) state.

Here's how a sample day of eating should look:

Sample Meal Plan



Lean protein

Whole-wheat carbs


Morning snack

Lean protein



Lean protein




Protein or fat



Starch or whole grain

Lean protein


I highly suggest that you and your training partner get together at least once per week to prepare meals. If you're prepared for the week ahead, you're much less likely to miss a meal or eat something that won't help you perform optimally. Plus, planning a meal-prep session with your partner will help keep you accountable.

Help keep yourself accountable. Download and print the free Duel Trainer Preferred Food List! Download

Duel Supplementation

Supplementation is an important part of the Duel Trainer because they will help you be in the best position to gain muscle and strength. The more you train, the more likely it is that your body is going to need a little help building muscle and recovering. That said, never assume that the supplements can be used in place of real food.

The supplementation plan in the Duel Trainer is just as simple as the nutrition regimen! Most of us struggle to get enough protein through whole foods, so having a tub of protein available to you for those quick meals or snacks is invaluable. I also suggest taking a pre-workout to help you feel energized and focused for your workout.

However, if you're a regular coffee drinker or don't like pre-workout products, you can skip this one. The last product I suggest is HMB. HMB (beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate) may help your body recover and reduce protein breakdown, allowing for more potential muscle growth.

Supplementation is an important part of the Duel Trainer because they will help you be in the best position to gain muscle and strength.

If you'd like to add other supplements to your program, I also suggest a multivitamin, a fish oil, creatine, and BCAAs. If you choose to use these supplements, I recommend taking the multivitamin, fish oil, and creatine with breakfast. I also suggest drinking BCAAs before and during your workout to help decrease fatigue.

Duel for Gains

By reading this and watching the Program Overview video, you should feel totally prepared for what you'll experience in the Duel Trainer.

If you're ready to get started, download the approved foods list and head to the grocery store—bring your training partner with you! Before you hit the gym, make sure you watch the Week 1 video on the Day 1 page.

Each week, you and your training buddy will be challenged with new training techniques that will give you both the opportunity to improve as a lifter and as a partner.

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