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Canadian bodybuilder Chris Bumstead walked away from the Mr. Olympia competition with his third consecutive win in the Classic Physique category last month, and celebrated with an epic cheat meal—but his diet leading up to the big day was, as you can probably imagine, a whole other story. Bumstead recently shared a look at what he eats on an average day in the lead-up to a physique show, and in a new video, British bodybuilder and YouTuber Brandon Harding is recreating that pre-competition routine.
Harding starts the day by getting some steps in, as Bumstead begins every morning with some light cardio. "One of the things that's really hard to do in the off-season is consume all the food you have to," he says. "So doing some sort of activity in the morning is going to make you a lot more hungry for the day."
The first meal consists of 2 whole eggs along with 150 grams of egg whites, bacon, and some homemade banana oat bars courtesy of Bumstead's girlfriend Courtney King, which Harding manages to replicate in his own kitchen.
Meal number two is a bodybuilding bro staple, chicken and rice, cooked with ghee butter, which Harding substitutes with coconut oil. "I think I'm going to start saving some fats for this, because it smells amazing," he says. "When you start a bulk, you don't want to just slam your calories up super high, it's going to take a while for your body to digest... If you want to increase, increase slowly."
The third meal is the pre-workout meal, comprising ground turkey and sweet potatoes, which Bumstead douses with a mixture of sriracha and ketchup. "Typically, I wouldn't eat three meals and want to train," says Harding. "I actually like to train after meal number one or two. I don't like training with too much food in my stomach."
He follows this with Bumstead's push workout, and once he has a decent pump, he attempts to reproduce some of the three-time physique champion's classic bodybuilder poses.
The post-workout meal is wholeweat pasta with tomato sauce, vegetables and more ground turkey. And then the fifth and final meal, and Harding's favorite of the day, is chicken quesadillas with homemade guacamole, followed by another banana oat bar.
"It's really enjoyable, lots of clean calories," says Harding. "If you do maintain your off-season in this manner, you will make a serious amount of gains... You'll almost lean gain, in a way."
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