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Old-School Eats: Eat Like Arnold

Eat to achieve Arnold's classic bodybuilding physique with this nutritional fix from our experts.

Douglas S. Kalman, Ph.D, RD
Old-School Eats: Eat Like Arnold

Dear M&F,

I’m sick of fad diets. I want to eat old school like Arnold in Pumping Iron. To do that, what should my meals look like?

—Ryan G., Spokane, WA

What you’re eating now has room for improvement—it’s deficient in fruits and vegetables, and lower in protein than what Arnold would have eaten. In your new diet, the meals are designed to positively impact performance. we’ve also more than tripled your protein intake to give your body the material it needs to build new muscle tissue. Even back then, Arnold knew the importance of nutrient timing, utilizing a post-workout shake to improve the anabolic recovery process; you’re going to do the same. By increasing your protein and supplementing correctly, you’ll be able to introduce a new twist on a tried-and-true eating plan —and pack on slabs of lean mass.

Old Diet

Breakfast

  • 1 bowl cereal
  • 2 slices toast
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 cup (8 oz) orange juice
  • 2 strips bacon
  • Coffee, plain, black

Lunch

  • 6-inch sub on white bread, with 4 oz sliced turkey, 2 oz cheese, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato
  • 1 small bag potato chips
  • Water 

Snack

  • 1 high-carb sports bar
  • Water

Workout between snack and dinner

Dinner

  • 1 small grilled chicken breast, no skin
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 small dinner salad
  • Water

Snack

  • 1 cup ice cream

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