Chris Bumstead is the three-time and reigning Classic Physique Mr. Olympia. On December 17, he goes for number four. Bumstead is also arguably the most popular pro bodybuilder in the world. His Instagram account has twice as many followers (9 million) as 7-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath and current Mr. Olympia Big Ramy combined. This is because his smaller but not small body is more appealing to a wider public than the mass monsters of the open Mr. Olympia. But that’s not to say Chris Bumstead isn’t trying to get bigger and better by adding the right amount of muscle in the right places. To that end he recently shared with his 2 million YouTube followers a day’s worth of meals as he ramps up the gains this summer before dieting down for the Classic Physique Olympia.
120 g. blended oats, 2 scoops vanilla protein powder, 1 scoop fiber, 30 g. organic almond butter, frozen raspberries & blueberries, water & 2 ice cubes
TOTALS: 931 calories, 72 g. protein, 114 g. carbohydrates, 23 g. fat
Analysis: This is much more than a protein-and-water shake. It’s a protein-carbohydrate-fat shake. And with a whopping 931 calories, this is a meal in a shaker bottle. It’s the equivalent of a typical bodybuilder breakfast of a bowl of oatmeal (with berries) and a lot of egg whites, but Bumstead finds it much easier to get all the nutrients he wants to start the day by blending the ingredients.
🐓 180 g. grilled, diced chicken breast
🍚 250 g. jasmine rice
🌰 20 g. macadamia nut oil
Analysis: Chris Bumstead pre-prepares this meal with all the ingredients together in a container and heats it in a microwave at the office of his company. He says as he’s eating it: “The key to success in bodybuilding, getting big, is meal prep, so if you go to work bring meal prep.” He’ll often include vegetables, but he left them out on this day. This is a traditional bodybuilding meal of chicken and rice with the addition of the healthy fat of macadamia nut oil.
MEAL 3: PRE-WORKOUT
🐂 180 g. bison
🍚 270 g. jasmine rice
🌰 15 g. macadamia nut oil
Analysis: This is another meal Chris Bumstead pre-prepares and microwaves at work. It’s his third and final meal before working out 90 minutes later. He claimed this should’ve been his second meal, because bison is slower to digest than chicken. Bumstead also said: “I don’t think there’s an optimal amount of food over one meal that you should eat before you workout. It comes down to what your goals are. If you’re bulking, how is it easiest to eat a lot of food? Personally, if I only eat two meals, workout for two hours, then come home, I’m really tired, lazy….With that knowledge, I need to have three meals before working out.”
MEAL 4: POST-WORKOUT
🐓 180 g. grilled chicken breast
🍚 280 g. jasmine rice
🍈 20 g. olive oil
🥒 diced zucchini
🥑 half an avocado
🐤 Yellowbird Serrano sauce
Analysis: Back home after his arm workout, Bumstead’s girlfriend, Courtney King, cooked up a more flavorful version of meal #2, this time with some veggies and her man’s favorite spicy sauce. Bumstead has doubled up the healthy fats with both avocado and olive oil.
🦃 180 g. ground turkey
🥔 300 g. roasted diced potatoes
🥪 almond butter sandwich (with sugarless sourdough bread)
Analysis: Chris Bumstead’s final meal, again cooked by his girlfriend, is something different to grow on as he sleeps: turkey and white potatoes. The almond butter sandwich was a snack (or delayed dessert) 30 minutes after the turkey and potatoes. He said he often has that with his morning shake. After his breakfast with its 72 grams of protein, Bumstead hit 45-50 grams of protein for each of his subsequent four meals.
CHRIS BUMSTEAD GAINING DIET DAILY TOTALS
4133 calories, 264 g. protein, 460 g. carbohydrates, 140 g. fat
The Last Word: “I feel like my metabolism has slowed down,” Chris Bumstead said five months before the 2022 Classic Physique Olympia. “Maybe my body has been putting on muscle mass more easily. I’ve been doing this for more years. I used to have to eat 5000-6000 calories [per day] to look just like this. Now 4100 calories has me put on weight right now. So can’t complain about that. So, this is where we’re at. I’m going to keep eating like this consistently. I’m going to weigh myself pretty much every single day, and tracking it. If my weight doesn’t increase in like two to three weeks, I’ll add 500 calories. Personally, that’s how I do it. I give myself like two to three weeks. If I see no gain, I’ll add some food. If I put on too much weight, I’ll bring it back down.”