A Bodybuilder Is Born: Episode 3 - Eating Is A Job!

In this article you are going to learn why eating is one of the most important aspects of being a champion bodybuilder!

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Article Summary:
  • With training progressing in the gym, Randy needed a lesson on food.
  • A large meal should follow an hour after your post-workout shake.
  • Randy learns that to gain mass he will need to double his calories.
  • Randy had been training with me just over a week now, and was learning a lot in the gym. But I knew that at least half the battle in building the physique he wanted would not be waged at the bench press or squat rack, but instead at the dinner table. We had just finished chest and triceps and slugged down our post-workout shakes of Optimum Whey protein and Pro-Carb. I told him to go home, shower, and meet me at Grassfield's, a local restaurant that served healthy fare in large portions. When I eat out, nothing pisses me off more than waiting a half-hour for my food only to get a plate that looks like a kiddie meal.

    I Hate Waiting A Half-Hour For My Food Only To Get A Plate That Looks Like A Kiddie Meal.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    I Hate Waiting A Half-Hour For My Food Only
    To Get A Plate That Looks Like A Kiddie Meal.

    The shower was needed because while Randy didn't seem to produce an offensive odor while training, I sure do. A pungent mix of ammonia and sour sweat permeates my person after any workout, since I perspire as freely as the late Chris Farley in a sauna. My wife has compared it to the aroma near the monkey cages at the zoo. Fear not, it's nothing some hot water and Ivory soap can't fix in a jiffy.

    At The Restaraunt

    Freshly washed, I met my young charge waiting by the hostess's desk. The hostess, a pretty dark-haired college-age girl, was sneaking glances at him while catching up on her reading assignments. Randy was a good-looking kid and not much older than her. 33 isn't quite middle-aged, but she probably still thought I was his dad as I sidled up. She was new and didn't recognize me from the many times I had eaten there with my family on weekends. My son was known for throwing crayons and forks at the other patrons, the adorable little scoundrel.

    "Two, please."

    She led us over to a table and handed us our menus, smiling to herself as she returned to her post.

    "I think she likes you, young buck," I teased Randy.

    "Yeah, right," he replied, dismissing the idea as absurd. Yes, I had gotten hold of this guy at a perfect stage to learn, before brash arrogance had taken hold of him. Most guys his age I knew who trained with weights were convinced that the female population of planet Earth was universally paralyzed with lust over their buffed bodies. This self-satisfaction made them less than receptive to any form of guidance whenever they were within twenty yards of any reasonably attractive woman.

    Self Confident VS Cocky/Arrogant
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    Self Confident VS Cocky/Arrogant
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    Randy was already looking at the menu, but I never opened mine. I knew what I was getting, or should I say, I knew what we were both getting.

    Post Workout Window

      "We're having the teriyaki chicken stir-fry," I informed him. Randy looked up, puzzled.

      "But this double-burger looks pretty good," he suggested.

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      "No, what you need right now are protein and complex carbs to get your recovery process well on its way. We don't want fat in the post-training meal, because this needs to digest fairly rapidly if we are to take advantage of the window of opportunity to replenish glycogen and amino acids." He didn't argue any further.

      The waitress came by to take our order, and a little over fifteen minutes later returned with two enormous platters piled high with chicken and rice. I checked my watch.

      "We finished training and had our shakes just over an hour ago," I said. "You don't want to ever go much longer than this without eating your next meal, and it should be of considerable volume." I motioned to the dual masses of food laid out on the table. "Just like this." Randy was looking distressed.

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    Timing And Carbohydrates!
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    Forcing Yourself To Eat

      "So you're looking at about sixty or seventy pounds of weight to gain. That's a hell of a lot of muscle weight for an adult to put on. And as hard as you're training, it will never happen without some very dedicated eating on your part. Now dig in."

      Some time later, my plate was bare except for a few clumps of chicken gristle I had spat out. Randy's plate was still about half full, and he was chewing each bite with the deliberate slowness of a cow. He looked miserable, and it was apparent he had passed feeling full some time ago.

    He Was Chewing Each Bite With The Deliberate Slowness Of A Cow.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    He Was Chewing Each Bite With The
    Deliberate Slowness Of A Cow.

      "Where's your appetite?" I asked him, trying to keep the sarcasm out of my voice - which is very hard for me to do.

      "I'm not hungry any more. I can't eat all that food at once."

      "Do you think I really wanted to eat all that food?" I queried. He shrugged.

      "You're a lot bigger than me," he retorted.

      "Now we're finally getting to the chicken or the egg question," I grinned. "Did I eat all that food because my size gives me more of an appetite, or did I get to be this big because I've been forcing myself to eat like this for years?" He was clearly confused.

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      "I'm going to let you in on a little secret, and I don't want this to get out. I really don't have the monster appetite that everyone thinks I do. In fact, I have been forcing myself to eat the amount of food that I know my body needs to grow, even when there were hundreds of times I felt like barfing if I took another bite."

      "So you're telling me I have to cram all this food down now or else I won't grow?" Randy was already turning a little green at the thought, looking to see how far we were from the men's room should he need to make a mad dash.

      "No, but you do need to start training your body to eat greater volumes of food. It won't happen overnight. It's actually a lot like weight training. Week by week, month by month, you try to eat just a little more calories a day. Didn't you figure out that you usually only average around 2,500 calories a day?" Randy nodded with guilt.

    Do You Force Yourself To Finish Meals To Meet Your Caloric Needs?

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    Eating As A Job

    "I hate to say this, but you'll never put on more than a few pounds eating like that, no matter how hard and heavy you train. That caloric total has to at least double if you want to start really gaining. You need to treat eating like a job, getting all those nutrients and calories in on schedule whether you like it or not. You have to think of it as absolutely essential to reaching your goals."

    Randy looked glum now. "Relax, you'll be able to eat more soon if you make an effort to start gradually increasing the size of your portions."

    "I know, it's just that I know it's going to take a while."

    "Hey, I have been trying to make you understand that becoming an elite bodybuilder is not a fast process. You're in this for the long haul, or you're not in it at all." To my amazement, he started eating again.

    "Holey moley, did you get a second wind or something?" He tried to answer, but his mouth was full. The waitress came back with the check. I saw my chance. While Randy's cheeks were still stuffed like a chipmunk's with the now cold rice and chicken, I patted him on the shoulder as I got up and shoved the check toward him.

    While Randy's Cheeks Were Stuffed Like A Chipmunk's I Got Up And Shoved The Check Toward Him.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    While Randy's Cheeks Were Stuffed Like A Chipmunk's
    I Got Up And Shoved The Check Toward Him.

    "You're on your way now, champ." And before he could swallow enough food to say anything, I was off. My work here was done for now, and lunch was on my young friend.