T Nation

Massive Eating

Just like to say “right on”! to John Berardi for beginning the “Massive Eating” article. I think everyone thats training needs to get their diet and activity levels in perspective. Being an ISSA student and knowing Fred Hatfields work I did notice a similarity between John’s article and Dr Squats Zig Zag diet. Although John’s article is still not done, I think he’s trying to deliver the same message to lifters out there.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to hear or read Dr Hatfields observations, he’s also big on ATP/CP pathway of muscular energetics and how they relate to activity. I think this basic premise is almost always overlooked by people trying to gain muscle. It’s great John’s also opening peoples eyes to this and the relationship with their training. Glad to see writers of T-Mag delivering the importance of what science has to offer to ambitious and serious lifters out there. Keep it up! JBud

I’ll second that notion! JB has done one helluva job with the Massive Eating program and everything else he’s contributed. It’s very difficult for people to figure out their calorie needs to achieve certain goals, particularly based on the standard multiply bodyweight by 12, 14, 16 It’s a matter of estimating individual needs and the formulas and explanations presented thus far by JB are about as on-target as you can get. JBud, I have read a good majority of the ISSA manual and have frequented the good Doc’s site and actually attempted the Zig-Zag diet. It’s very precise and detailed to figure out the exact caloric requirements, but it’s probably the absolute best way to maximize muscle mass while minimizing body fat accumulation. I can now pretty much eat for my activity level, and instead of just splitting up my calories evenly I can pretty much divy them up according to my requirements for the next 2 or 3 hours. Looking forward to Part Deux, JB! Hopefully we’ll see it this week…

Timbo, I agree with your comments of the Dr. Hatfield’s Xig Zag Diet method. In fact, I was planning on using a combination of JB’s massive eating with Dr. Squat’s “Rules of Performance Nutrition.” Mainly basing each meal’s calorie level on your activity level instead of six even meals. I wonder what John thinks about that approach. Sure it can be more complicated, but it makes sense to do so.

Warrior…I personally don’t see too much of a problem or contradiction with that plan–of course, you’re not exactly looking for my opinion:-) The only recommendation I would have for Dr. Squat’s plan is regarding the preworkout meal. I’m not certain, but I remember when I was incorporating that approach I was under the impression that the pre-training meal was the biggest–in order to maintain the integrity of eating for my activity. That was an absolutely ridiculous amount of food (usually over 800 calories plus a glucose drink during training). Although my energy levels were pretty good, it was difficult to train with all that grub in my system. I would recommend a much smaller percentage of calories, especially so the system is clear for the most important meal of the day==>post-training. I have currently been using just a protein shake (actually the hydrolysate) about an hour before training–about 30 or so grams of protein. The rest of the day, I think you’d be good-to-go using the eating for activity plan:-)

You’re right Timbo, Dr. Squat does recommend an obscene amount of calories for preworkout meal. I think this needs to be a personal choice as to what your own body can handle or is comfortable with. I also do the same as you, taking in a protein shake an hour or so before training. I think it’s tough for your digestive system to try and handle all those calories while a good portion of blood is going to working muscles. I also think some people can get away with it. Maybe a two-hour transition to training would work better for 800+ calorie meals. Although, I recently attended an ISSA seminar with the “good Doc” and he did mention this same scenario. He’s also an advocate of the preworkout shake as opposed to a monster meal. I think he’s right on the money with the activity/meal science though, just as JB is. Like most other aspects of nutrition and training, I think you have to “experiment” before coming to the best personal conclusion. JBud

Hey JBud, I noticed you are working on an ISSA cert. I just signed up last week and I received my course materials two days ago. Are you going for the CFT or are you doing something else? I thought about doing performance nutrition as well. How did you like the seminar? I have a list of all the upcoming ones, and I would love to attend one that Charles Staley will be at. Boulder, CO is closest to where I’m at. I see there is a seminar in Vegas Oct. 6-7…I suppose this will be the same weekend T-Mag decides to have their next seminar.

Hey Teddy, glad to hear you signed up for the best cert course available! ISSA is unparalled and unmatched, which is most likely why you decided to go with them. I guess I was lucky to get Fred as my seminar leader for the Boston area. He’s a wealth of experience and knowledge, but also a regular guy with passion and high T-levels to boot. The seminar is a real eye-opener and makes you rethink your current health and fitness goals. Fred will show you things in the gym that you’ve never seen and also all the problems with most all commercial gyms. The course itself is the most complete compilation I’ve ever experienced or probably ever will. I’ve also been told that the test (taken on the 2nd day of the seminar) is the most difficult in the industry, far more scientific than ACE or others. ISSA started the personal-training business over 10 years ago, and they go above and beyond to help they’re members. I’m also looking forward to attending a T-mag seminar, Ian King, or Charles Staley, all of whom I draw ideas from. Good luck! JBud.