Modern Physique: Nutrition and Supplement Overview

Make the most of Steve Cook's tough workout with this detailed nutritional plan. Here are the numbers you need to get the results you've been craving!

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Since the dawn of time, humans have been hungry for more. The history of our species is the story of our pursuit of food, and of the growing number of options available to us. The development of convenient health foods, along with the skyrocketing availability of nutritional supplements, has created the opportunity to achieve a once unthinkable physique. But far too few people see this opportunity.

Why? In a word, choices. People complain about having too many exercise choices, but in truth, it's the number of nutritional choices in our lives that gets in our way. The modern age is a time of gimmicks, fads, and false advertising. For the next eight weeks, you're going to look past these distractions and focus on the fundamentals to build your Modern Physique!

Modern Physique Nutrition and Supplements Overview
Watch the video - 5:28



The Foundation of Fuel Setting up Your Nutrition Plan

The Modern Physique program is intense, and it's different from what you're probably used to. For this reason, your body will be screaming for calories. And rightfully so! With all the heavy strength exercises and the power movements, your body will need adequate fuel. You're can't just go into the gym and do isolation movements, then keep cutting carbs. This is about high-quality training, along with high-quality ingredients and nutrients to both fuel your workout and get you recovered for your next session.

But it's not just a question of eating enough. Without timely decisions and smart choices, you workouts will suffer, and you will end up dragging through the trainer. So before your first rep, make sure you have your nutrition plan locked and loaded.

You're not going to spend your days counting calories while following the Modern Physique. This is an advanced training plan, and that means you're going to need an advanced nutritional strategy. For my money, there's nothing better than counting your macros.

Protein

To fully support muscle building and recovery, I personally aim for around 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. However, this doesn't work for everyone, for a number of reasons. First, not everyone has an accurate measurement of their body fat—and plenty of people think they do, but don't.

You want to ensure you're obtaining at least 25-30 grams of high-quality protein every 3-4 hours.

Also, as a pro bodybuilder, I'm a pretty lean guy with lots of muscle mass already. If you've got a bit more body fat and are looking to use this program to take your physique where it's never been before, you'd probably be better off taking in 1 gram per pound of body weight. For 95 percent of the fitness population, that's what I'd recommend.

Honestly, what's more important than your total daily intake is the way you spread out your protein among your meals. Specifically, you want to ensure you're obtaining at least 25-30 grams of high-quality protein every 3-4 hours. I recommend doing this across four meals and one post-workout shake. This will help to ensure you're maximally stimulating muscle-building and recovery.

Your post-workout protein should be slightly higher to help compensate for the increase in protein breakdown that occurs as a result of intense resistance training.

Prior to going to sleep, you should consume a blend of protein sources that "flip the switch" for muscle-building and recovery one last time. This is the best time to take in some slow-digesting protein, to maintain a prolonged supply of amino acids to your muscles while sleeping.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates will serve as your fuel throughout this program. Although modern man has access to an unprecedented amount of carbohydrate-rich options, these aren't ideal for every meal. You have to time your intake so you get everything you need, and nothing you don't.

Your carbohydrate intake will be focused primarily before and after training. To ensure you're appropriately fueled prior to training, aim to consume 30 percent of your daily carbohydrates 2-3 hours before. Depending on the time you train, this may be difficult to do. If you train early in the morning or are short on time, aim for 10-20 percent of your daily intake 30-60 minutes before training.

Your carbohydrate intake will be focused primarily before and after training. To ensure you're appropriately fueled prior to training, aim to consume 30 percent of your daily carbohydrates 2-3 hours before.

Here's how a day's worth of carbohydrates could look for a 180-pound male consuming 1.75 grams per pound of body weight, or 315 grams per day. He trains at 6:00 p.m.

  • Meal 1, 7:30 a.m.: 30 g (10%)
  • Meal 2, 11:30 a.m.: 30 g (10%)
  • Meal 3, 3:30 p.m.: 95 g (30%)
  • Meal 4, post-workout: 95 g (30%)
  • Meal 5, 10 p.m.: 65 g (20%)

This is just one way to set up your day. Base yours around what time you train and what works for you. Just stick with complex carbs for the rest of the day, except for your pre- and post-workout meals.

Fats

Healthy fats will be a staple of your program. Their benefits include enhanced absorption and storage of vitamins, and improved synthesis of muscle-building hormones (think testosterone). Fats are essential—and especially omega-3s. I like to take fish oil capsules at least three times a day, with food.

Pair healthy fats with protein, and avoid high-carbohydrate, high-fat meals as often as possible. Healthy fats are a great addition to a lean protein just prior to bed, to provide a steady supply of amino acids to your muscles overnight.

The Post-Workout Shake

One great nutritional advantage we have over our ancestors is that we know some meals are more important than others. Perhaps none is as important as what you eat after training.

You'll take in more protein here than in any other meal during the day, but that's not all. After your intense training, the combination of fast-acting protein and carbohydrates in liquid form will ensure rapid delivery of nutrients to your muscles.

After your intense training, the combination of fast-acting protein and carbohydrates in liquid form will ensure rapid delivery of nutrients to your muscles.

This is the one time of day I recommend opting for a fast-acting carbohydrate, such as dextrose or fruit juice, and mixing it with your whey protein.

Where to Start

Phase 1 of the Modern Physique program is a muscle-building/strength hybrid that will subject you to excruciating eccentrics and intense pumps in the name of muscle gain. You'll be pushing heavy weights for 6-8 repetitions, as well as taking lighter weight to failure in the 15-20 range. To ensure you're able to complete the necessary volume, carbohydrates will be pushed a bit higher than you're used to early on.

Use this calculator to determine your starting macros for the Modern Physique:

Macro Calculator

Weight



Phase 2 will provide a pleasant change in exercise selection and repetition range in order to promote massive strength gains, while continuing to support your muscle-building efforts. You'll have more time to recover between sets, and total volume will be reduced. As a result, you won't need quite as many carbs in your diet. I want you to get enough to recover fully, but not so much that you add excess body fat.

In this phase, protein and fat intake will stay the same, and carbohydrates will get cut by about 20 percent. Cut those carbs from any meal other than the pre- or post-workout meal.

Putting it all together, here's how a day's worth of macros could look for the same 180-pound guy from earlier, on a training day in Phase 1:

  • Meal 1, 7:30 a.m.: 30 g protein, 30 g carbs, 30 g fat
  • Meal 2, 11:30 a.m.: 30 g protein, 30 g carbs, 25 g fat
  • Meal 3, 3:30 p.m.: 35 g protein, 95 g carbs, 15 g fat
  • Meal 4, post-workout: 45 g protein, 95 g carbs, 5 g fat
  • Meal 5, 10 p.m.: 40 g protein, 65 g carbs, 15 g fat

This assumes 1 gram of protein, 1.75 grams of carbs, and 0.5 grams of fat per pound of body weight. But again, this is just one way to set up your day. Here's how it translate to the plate:

Meal 1: 7:30 a.m.
Sweet potato hash:

Whole eggs: 4 large


Shredded cheddar cheese: 1/4 cup


Red bell pepper, diced: 1/2 cup


Sweet potato, diced: 1/2 cup



Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 474
Fat28 g
Carbs32 g
Protein31 g

Meal 2: 11:30 a.m.

Deli turkey breast: 4 oz.


Whole-wheat bread: 1 slice


Almonds: 1.5 oz. (about 32)



Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 422
Fat25 g
Carbs26 g
Protein29 g

Meal 3: 3:30 p.m.

Chicken breast: 5 oz. (cooked weight)


Brown rice: 1-1/2 cups (cooked weight)


Spinach: 2 cups


Olive oil: 1/2 tbsp


Apple: 1 medium



Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 635
Fat13 g
Carbs93 g
Protein39 g

Meal 4: Post-workout shake

1% milk: 12 oz.


Banana: 2 large


Frozen berries: 1 cup



Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 573
Fat5 g
Carbs96 g
Protein45 g

Meal 5
Greek yogurt parfait

Vanilla Greek yogurt: 1/2 cup



Low-fat granola: 1/2 cup


Blueberries: 1 cup


Walnuts: 1/2 oz.



Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 560
Fat13 g
Carbs67 g
Protein43 g

Daily Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 2660
Fat84 g
Carbs315 g
Protein187 g

Although there are specific macro recommendations for each meal, do not stress if you're unable to hit that specific number spot-on. Aim for within 5 grams for every meal, but also do your best to stay within 10 grams of the total daily protein/carbohydrate goal, and within 5 grams of the total daily fat goal.

Customizing Your Macros

The numbers from the calculator and sample day are just a starting point, so they may require some fine-tuning along the way.

The goal of this first phase is to gain between 0.5-1.0 pounds per week. You may feel that 2-4 pounds per month is slow; however, I want as little fat gain as possible, and for this to occur, gaining slowly is best.

The best approach to dialing in your nutrition is to assess your weight change throughout the week. For simplicity, weigh yourself after waking up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then take the average of those weights. Each week, compare your averages. Here's what to do with them:

  • If you gain more than 1.5 pounds: Reduce carbs by 5%
  • If you gain less than 1.5 pounds: Hold steady, and reassess next week. If you continue at the same pace, reduce carbs by 5 percent the following week.
  • If you lose more than 1.5 pounds: Increase carbs by 5 percent
  • If you lose less than 1.5 pounds: Hold steady and reassess next week. If you continue at the same pace, increase carbs by 5 percent the following week.

Phase 2 will place more focus on strength gains and take a maintenance approach to weight change. For this reasons, fluctuations of a half a pound or so in either direction are to be expected. If, however, you notice a major gain or loss during the week, adjust according to the chart above. Remember that your intake will be reduced as a whole in this phase compared to Phase 1 to account for the change in your style of training.

Putting it all together, here's how a day's worth of macros could look for the same 180-pound guy from earlier, on a training day in Phase 2:

  • Meal 1, 7:30 a.m.: 30 g protein, 25 g carbs, 30 g fat
  • Meal 2, 11:30 a.m.: 30 g protein, 30 g carbs, 25 g fat
  • Meal 3, 3:30 p.m.: 35 g protein, 65 g carbs, 15 g fat
  • Meal 4, post-workout: 45 g protein, 65 g carbs, 5 g fat
  • Meal 5, 10 p.m.: 40 g protein, 65 g carbs, 15 g fat

The Modern Physique Supplements

Supplements are important during this trainer, not only to help you power through the intense workouts, but also to recover from them and come back ready for the next day. You're training five days a week, after all!

This stack is designed give you the extra push you'll need to get through the workouts with peak intensity. There's nothing fancy here; just a combination of proven ingredients to ensure you're able to recover between days and continue to put forth your best effort.

Whey protein

Use whey on its own or as part of any meal or snack. It's a perfect choice for both your pre-workout and post-workout meal.

Dosage: 24-48 grams per serving

24g of Whey Protein with Amino Acids for Muscle Recovery and Growth! Go Now!

BCAAs

BCAAs can be taken immediately upon waking, and any time between meals. They're also ideal before, during, or after a workout.

Dosage: 8 grams

8g of BCAA plus Glutamine to Kick-Start Protein Synthesis and Recovery! Go Now!

Pre-workout

A pre-workout should be taken 15-20 minutes before you start working out. I like to take it at the gym, then get on the treadmill or stretch out for that 15-20 minutes, so I'm mentally prepared for what I'm about to go through.

Dosage: 1 serving

Unleashes Amplified Energy, Sharp Focus, and Supports Enhanced Endurance! Go Now!

Fish Oil

I like to split my dosage and take it with three meals, but there's really no wrong way to do it—as long as you do it. If taking it in the morning helps you remember, then by all means do it.

Dosage: 800-1200 milligrams per day

Supports Healthy Heart Function, Joint Flexibility, and Cell Production! Go Now!

Multivitamin

Take a multivitamin with breakfast every day. Make it part of your ritual!

Dosage: 1 serving

Over 75 Active Ingredients and Essential Daily Nutrients in One Convenient Tablet! Go Now!

Main | Program Overview | Supp/Nutrition Overview | Training Overview | Get Started