Former professional runner and two-time Olympic medalist Nick Symmonds has transformed his body since his athletic career ended, packing on muscle and pivoting to powerlifting. In his most recent YouTube video, having fully subscribed to the powerlifter’s adage that “mass moves mass,” Symmonds sets himself the challenge of gaining as much weight as possible in the month leading up to his first competition.
In order to make the experience as enjoyable as he can, Symmonds initially considers going down the “dirty bulking” route, where you can eat pretty much whatever you want, in high volumes—but after his first meal of 20 McChicken sandwiches, he begins to do some research and changes his mind.
“I learned that while this may help me put on weight, that fat won’t help me move more weight,” he says, deciding to take a more balanced approach and place himself in a caloric surplus for the 30 days. “For the first time in my lift I actually began to keep track of my daily caloric intake,” he adds.
Here’s what Symmonds’ typical daily diet looks like for the month:
- coffee and supplements
- peanut butter on toast
- post-workout shake with whey protein and creatine
- green juice
- chicken, rice and beans
- 1 can of tuna
- steak or burger with salad and potatoes
On day one, Symmonds weighs in at 190 pounds with a body fat percentage of 18.2%. After 30 days of bulking and lifting, he has gained 5 pounds. “Mostly muscle, a little bit of fat,” he says. “But whatever I got, it’s going to have to move as much weight as I can in my very first powerlifting competition.”
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