This kind of follows on from my question about egg whites, I guess.
I’ll preface this by stating that I am not, nor do I pretend to be, an expert. What follows is just an observation.
I was watching the Pumping Iron 25th Anniversary DVD again, and in particular the superb behind-the-scenes segment, Raw Iron I think it’s called. There is a great scene therein where Arnold, Franco Colombu, Mike Katz, Ed Corney, Ken Waller, and the others, are at a restaurant. It’s supposed to show how much they eat, and it’s effective, as we see each order, in turn, large amounts of food.
However, what I found most interesting about this segment is actually what they were eating. Most of them ordered steaks, but Katz ordered several large hamburgers (sans buns). Corney orders a steak with a tuna omelette on the side. No egg whites. A regular omelette. They then stuff the lot. During Pumping Iron itself we see Arnold and others eating on a few occasions, and it’s always basic foods.
This got me thinking about the changing attitudes to nutrition over the years, particularly in the sports world, and especially in bodybuilding. While it has changed somewhat, the ultra-lean, eating wholefoods mentality of bodybuilding persists to this day.
I’m wondering - is it wholly accurate?
Here is my point: I don’t think anybody on these forums would argue that the builds of the guys listed above, and others like them at the time, were arguably the best professional builds we’ve ever seen. By that, and this is from the viewpoint of Joe Average, I mean the most asthetically appealing. Yes, Arnold was a genetic freak, but some of these other guys were not, and they looked good. Better, they looked relatively normal in regular clothes. Times have changed, and these guys, maybe Arnold aside, couldn’t begin to compete even at your local championships nowadays. But they still had great bodies, and for most of us, are certainly worth aspiring towards.
Given the kinds of food that these guys used to put away, plus the general lack of supplements outside of the basics in their diets, it makes me wonder - do we over-complicate our nutrition? Millions of words are written daily regarding good and bad fats, and oils, supplements, varying kinds of proteins etc etc, in magzines, and on this web site and others, but at the end of the day, is a hgh-volume, balanced diet arguably as good - for the average person - as something significantly more scientific (and let’s face it - expensive)? Can the diet that Arnold and the others were taking in 30-40 years ago that worked so well for them, and others, stopped working? How is that possible?
Looking at this from an alternative perspective, I’m wondering if somebody like Lee Priest has the right idea, and I know he approaches his nutrition, and training, in a similar way that Arnold did. That being, to eat massively off-season, and get yourself into shape at the right times. The Dead Pool commentary on this web site - and others - often include Priest as a likely candidate, but I’m not sure that what he’s doing is all that radically different to what was done back in the 1970s. (Although obviously he does take it to greater extremes.) I’m not saying Priest’s way is the best way per se, but perhaps a middle ground, as with most things in life, is the smarter alternative?
Note: I understand and acknowledge that the use of drugs in bodybuilding has been prevelant since the so-called ‘Golden Era’, but that has nothing to do with nutrition per se. I’m not arguing that Arnold’s diet = Arnold’s body, but I’m just wondering if we take things TOO far, and make it harder than it needs to be.
Reading the posts on here I know there are many people who eat a more basic diet, and many who do it literally ‘by the book’, using flax and coconut oils, hardcore supplementation etc etc. I’m not saying this is wrong - simply: is it necessary?
To conclude: do we need to go beyond the well-balanced, high-volume protein diet, eating 6-8 times daily and allocating 1.5-2.0 grams of protein per pound of lean mass?
Appreciate any thoughts or insight on this.