Georges St. Pierre, better known to fight fans worldwide as “GSP,” is currently the UFC Welterweight Champion.
His publicly stated goal is to retire as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and, at a record of 23-2, ESPN currently ranks him as the #3 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. I think he’ll get there.
His intellect–and consistency–is what separates him from the brawlers. He has a scientific approach to winning.
This isn’t limited to training. He considers nutrition a critical part of his fight prep, just as important as being in the cage. In this respect, 2009 marked an inflection point. That year, after successfully defending his Welterweight title in his second fight against BJ Penn, GSP hired Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrition to help him gain lean muscle tissue and improve his recovery abilities. Berardi, in charge of the nutrient science, recommended that GSP hire Jennifer Nickel and Rosario “Ross” Gurreri, two chefs in the Montreal area who worked at Cavalli and Bice restaurants, for his meal preparation.
In the next 8 weeks, GSP gained approximately 12 pounds of lean muscle and bulked up to 195 pounds. His upgraded speed and power helped him to dominate every subsequent opponent, posting a 5-0 record since 2009.
This post will walk you through how GSP ate during his 2009 transformation…
While he no longer has a private chef for everyday meals, GSP still consults with Berardi and still flies Jen and Ross to his hotel the week before a big fight to cook for him and his entourage.
First, we’ll look at GSP’s meal plan.
Second, we’ll look at how your design your own version using Dr. Berardi’s guidelines.
What Does GSP Eat?
Below is the 2009 meal plan designed for GSP by Dr. Berardi.
It’s based it around “anytime” (AT) and “post-workout” (PW) meals. He gave the guidelines to Jen and Ross and they prepared a menu of roughly 30-40 items that adhered to the calorie and macro-nutrient (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) requirements and ratios. Berardi explains the basic approach:
“Georges’ baseline menu is about 3200-3500kcal per day, with around 250 grams of protein, 350 grams of carbs, and 100 grams of fat. PW meals are higher in protein and carbs, while being lower in fat, and eaten right after workouts. AT meals are higher in protein and fat, while being low in carbs.”
The brands and products mentioned are those Berardi recommended for GSP. Though Berardi formulated the original Surge Recovery product while wrapping up his PhD studies in Exercise and Nutritional Biochemistry at the University of Western Ontario and Yale University, he has no financial interest in the products.
Editorial note: In the descriptions, I use both “GSP” and “you” interchangeably, assuming that you might want to duplicate this for yourself.
3 Meals Provided by Ross and Jennifer
– 1 lower carb anytime meal to be eaten whenever you like: 650 calories – 60g protein, 40g carbs, 30g fat
– 1 lower carb anytime meal to be eaten whenever you like: 650 calories – 60g protein, 40g carbs, 30g fat
– 1 high-carb post-exercise meal to be eaten immediately after training (a recipe that can be eaten cold): 700 calories – 60g protein, 100g carbs, 10g fat
You’ll find two sample recipes at the end of this post.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
2 Daily Super Shakes
GSP made sure to drink shakes every day, to get sufficient protein between meals. Here is his plan:
1 super shake at a time, between meals, mixed with almond milk or water. This was used to wash down 4 fish oil capsules
– 1 scoop milk-based protein powder
– 1 scoop greens supplement
– 1 cup frozen mixed berries (use “mixed” to avoid developing food intolerances from eating too much of a single variety) 282 calories – 18g protein, 25g carbs, 12g fat
Berardi’s suggested products: Muscle Milk protein powder from CytoSport, greens+ from Genuine Health, Flameout fish oil capsules from Biotest.
GSP added protein bars in addition to his two daily shakes. Here is his daily feeding schedule.
Before training: ½ protein bar . Recommended Brand: Finibar from Biotest: 125 calories – 7g protein, 20g carbs, 4g fat
During training: 1 workout drink. Recommended brand: Surge Workout Fuel from Biotest: 85 calories – 8g protein, 21g carbs, 0 fat
Immediately after training: 1 workout drink. Recommended Brand: Surge Recovery from Biotest: 330 calories – 25g protein, 44g carbs, 1g fat. Followed by a post-workout meal 1 hour later.
Optional: 1 Additional Meal
If you’re hungry, eat 1 additional meal per day. It can be whatever you like, as long as it’s lower in carbs and higher in protein and fat. Given GSP’s leanness, he was given more latitude, as Berardi explains:
“The rule was to eat everything on the menu and then, if he wanted anything else, he could have it. Some days that meant Subway, other days McDonald’s. It didn’t matter. As long as he got his required food in each day, he could eat whatever discretionary calories he wanted. He ended up reporting that he had a few extra meals a week. But he was pretty satisfied from his normal menu, so he didn’t need to use too many discretionary calories.”
Approximate Total Baseline Intake: 3104 calories – 256g protein (30%), 315 carbs (40%), 99g fat (30%)
Q&A With Dr. Berardi–How to Mimic GSP’s Results
What guidelines should someone use if trying to replicate the above?
“When determining a client’s macronutrient split, at Precision Nutrition we use body-type specific guidelines. In essence, we plan someone’s nutrition according to their somatotype, as follows:
Ectomorphs — around 25% p (protein), 55%c (carbs), 20%f (fat)
Mesomorphs — around 30%p, 40%c, 30%f
Endomorphs — around 35%p, 25%c, 40%f”
Ectomorph – Thin build, challenging to put on weight (muscle or fat); Example: long-distance runner.
Mesomorph – Muscular build, can lose or gain muscle easily (fat gain minimal); Example: sprinter or gymnast.
Endomorph – Large build, easy to put on weight (both good and bad); Example: shotputter or football lineman.
“Since GSP is a clear mesomorph, that’s why his split looked like it did. As far as calories, for most people wanting to gain weight, we’d multiply body weight in pounds x 20-22 to determine the total. This would have put GSP at 3400 to 3700kcal to start with. However, he was chronically underfed leading up to us working together, so jumping all the way up to 20 or 22 would have probably led to fat gain. So we chose a multiplier of 18 to start with. This ended up being perfect for him, based on the outcomes described above.”
How much did GSP weigh when consuming the above?
“We started this plan about 2 months before a training camp when he weighed around 183 lbs. In the 2 months leading up to camp, the plan took him to about 195 lbs. At that point his weight stabilized, which was perfect going into camp. We didn’t want him much heavier because it then might be too hard to cut to 170.
In the next 3 months, the diet stayed the same, but the high volume of camp helped him come down to about 188 the week before the fight. That made the cut to 170 pretty easy. We did the cut from 188 to 170 in 5 days (from M-F). Then in 24 hours (from F-Sa), he rehydrated to about 188 lbs for the fight.”
How is the Food Prepared?
In 2009, when the GSP experiment began, Jen had the entire professional kitchen of Bice to herself in the morning and prepared 3 meals for Georges during that time: a post-workout meal (that could be eaten cold, so he could have it directly after his workout), a dinner meal, and a breakfast meal for the next morning. Meal prep took between 2-4 hours.
Jen shopped for 100% organic foods, cooked the meals, and had someone else deliver the meals to Georges’ gym once a day. Georges, having eaten breakfast and workout shakes, would eat the post-workout meal directly after training in the early afternoon. These below answers and suggestions are from Jennifer, who has been a chef for 12 years and now runs a private catering business in Toronto.
Equipment and Methods
First, Jen has the right gear for the job. In Jen’s tool kit are:
– 7-9” chefs knives (MAC MTH-80 8″ Chef’s Knife, which “stays sharp longer than any knife I have ever used”)
– Kuhn Rikon vegetable peelers
For cooking methods, Jen explains the basics: “It’s important to have access to a stove-top grill (she uses a Le Creuset cast-iron “griddle”) and a bamboo steamer. Having this equipment makes it easy to cook fast meals because they are stationary and easy to clean, so you don’t have to mess around with pots and pans.” These cooking vessels stay on the stovetop and are quickly cleaned on the stovetop so there’s no sink involved.
“For example, if I were making grilled tuna with Asian greens and sweet potato, I would station a steamer and a cast-iron grill on the back burners of my stove, steam the potato first and then use the same steamer to cook the greens. Using equipment like this guarantees that you won’t be slopping extra cooking fat in your frying pan or killing your green vegetables in boiling water. It’s fast and easy.”
“In terms of buying fruit, always buy what appears to be heavy for it’s size. And for vegetables, look for bright colors and perky leaves. Fish should have glossy flesh, bright eyes and have the slight aroma of sea water. Meat should be freshly butchered whenever possible and should be devoid of any sulfur-type smell or brownish, greenish tinges.”
Above all, according to Jen, try to incorporate more fresh herbs, spices and vinegars into your shopping list. “It’s amazing how much flavor (not to mention health benefits) you can get from these ingredients without having to add calories.”
Prepare certain things in bulk so that you have them for the week, something like braised lima beans or lentils, which can be used later in many recipes. “If you store them in their own cooking liquid in an airtight container in the fridge, they have a surprisingly long shelf-life.
“This is an important step for having access to nutritious carbohydrates, especially if you don’t have time to cook them throughout the week. The same beans and legumes can be used for so many different recipes, so that’s a huge time saver.”
How Much does it Cost?
Having a private chef may seem like it would cost a fortune—and a single, full-time person definitely can. Rates (by hour and year) vary widely depending on location, but a good starting point is $50,000 per year. If that’s your preference, you can search here by state for chefs.
But there are other options–you can search on Craigslist or use meal delivery, which is what Phil Caravaggio, CEO of Precision Nutrition, does. He stopped cooking years ago to focus on business and other priorities.
Phil uses Essential Meal Delivery out of Toronto: “The meals cost $13-$17 each. Every week, I call them and tell them my goals (intermittent fasting, Paleo, etc.) and they make a menu based on my food likes and dislikes. Then they’re delivered to my apartment every morning, and I get a bill at the end of the week. I only have them delivered Monday – Friday. I save the weekends for going out and cooking with family and friends.”
Depending on where you live, there are a variety of options: check out Home Cooking for You and Dine In 2Nite, for instance.
For those who want to get a private chef for as little at $5 a meal, there is a real-world Craigslist template in The 4-Hour Workweek. I’ll expand on this in future posts.
Sample GSP Recipes
Grilled Tuna with “Recovery Salad and Soy-Ginger Vinaigrette” – Post-Workout (PW) Meal
Calories: 758 / protein: 60g / carbs: 100 g / fat: 10g
– 160 grams fresh sushi grade yellowfin tuna
– 100 grams cooked lentils
– 190 grams cooked quinoa
– 28 grams shelled edamame beans
– 28 grams shaved red cabbage
– 30 grams dried apricots or prunes, chopped
– 50 grams cherry tomatoes, cut in half
– 28 grams sliced red onion
– 1 teaspooon extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
– 1 teaspoon grated ginger
– 1 tablespoon chopped coriander/cilantro
– 1 tablespoon chopped green onion/scallion
– 1 handful baby spinach
Directions: Set your grill pan to medium heat. Grill the sliced red onion, dry, until it starts to char and wilt. Remove from the pan and chop. Turn your grill pan to high. Prepare the salad: In a large bowl mix together the lentils, quinoa, edamame, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, and chopped red onion. Cover and set aside. Prepare the vinaigrette: in a small bowl mix together the olive oil, soy, vinegar, ginger, coriander, apricots, and green onion.
Grill the tuna evenly on all sides, seasoning with sea salt as you go, until rare or medium rare. Remove from heat immediately and slice into 4-6 thin slices. Mix half of the vinaigrette into the salad. Spoon the salad onto a plate of raw spinach. Plate the sliced tuna on top of the salad and garnish with the remaining vinaigrette.
Steak and Eggs Anytime Meal
Calories: 700 / protein: 60g / carbs: 40g / fat: 30g
– 150 grams mashed steamed sweet potato or squash
– 200 grams of veal tenderloin
The crust/rub for the veal:
– 3 chestnuts, dry roasted, peeled and chopped
– 1 teaspoon old fashioned or dijon mustard
– 1 tablespoon honey
– Salt and fresh cracked pepper
– 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
– 50 grams wild mushrooms like chanterelle or matsutake, brushed not rinsed
– 1 teaspoon cider or red wine vinegar
– Fresh herbs like basil, parsley and/or tarragon, roughly chopped
– 1 egg or 3 quail eggs
– 5 spears steamed asparagus or broccoli
For full meal plans of competitive bodybuilders aiming for sub-6% bodyfat, see “The Last Mile” chapter of 4HB.
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.
Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)
127 Replies to “The Diet of UFC Champion Georges St-Pierre: How He Transformed Himself”
Cool! This was in the BitTorrent stuff!
Tim, what are you doing for training right now and do you ever modify slow-carb depending on your training?
Perfect, I’m doing intense cardio exercise right now in conjunction with eating healthier and will be drinking more protein shakes to gain the build.
I’m an ectomorph, but want to eliminate more fat so doing intense cardio for the next 2 months and then bulking up with weights. Been day 20 so far, and expect to see amazing results by day 100 and beyond.
Always wanted to do some boxing or MMA training on the side as well. Good article.
Great post, Tim. I haven’t watched a ton of UFC but in the matches that I have watched, GSP was always my favorite (and he always won).
Thanks for the specificity. So great to see exactly how a world-class athlete eats and trains.
I agree, so many times these articles just gloss over exactly what someone is doing, leaving you to fill in the blanks – so, yes – thanks Tim, this level of info is great, why I keep coming back to this blog, reading posts that are several years old!
Great post Tim. That recovery salad looks excellent! Go GSP 🙂 !
The muscle milk reference scared me a bit -and i personally dont trust cytosport even though they say arsenic and heavy metals in the mix are now under control. Tim and Kevin make mention of some good organic protein in the latest Random show. I am an endomorph and loose and gain quickly but plateau easily – i have to switch up the diet and exercise regemin to get consistent results trending one way or another!
I’ve read this article 4-5 times now, I never get tired of it- so awesome. I have had one question about it, maybe now’s a good time to ask. Anyone who knows what they are talking about, please chime in. Berardi set GSP’s calorie intake according to him being an underfed mesomorph (a super active one)- How would we calculate this for say…an underfed endomorph? (gym 5x a week, heavy compound lifts +HIIT, no more than an hour/ day)
Doh- some info that might help- I’ve been eating between 1800-2200 cals a day- current stats are 6’3″ 275lbs.
well they said to gain weight multiply body by 22x’s. You yourself stated GSP is hyper Active and they started him out at 18x’s. Even if you take it down to 14 that is still about 3800 cals for a 275 lb male. It really depends on what your goals are. Muscle gain, fat loss etc…
This is great stuff! Very next level!
Nice post. I saw him in Vegas walking around when he was injured. Yet he still maintained a ripped physique. Looking forward to testing this out..
Can you let us know what page in the 4HWW you reference hiring a personal chef for as little as $5 per meal? I have the original 2007 version and can’t seem to locate it.
Thank you sir!
Chris, it’s in the “Expanded and Updated” edition, which has (I believe) about 100 pages of case studies from readers. Here’s the link:
This has been the old bodybuilding standard for years and years, no?
I’m sorry but stomatotypes
Stomatotypes? Did I misspell “somatotypes”? I couldn’t find the error…
Your bonus info about survival eg billionaire bunker plans isn’t up on the site from your link in the 4 hr Chef ?
PS be great if you did a survival book and included all the best martial arts in the world ! I would buy it and so would a lot off people 🙂
I like the fact he uses mixed berries in the protein shakes as it tastes better and much easier to stick to versus trying to power these down just for the protein.
I have been flirting with the notion of various nutrition schemes to boost my performance. I like the idea of gaining instead of cutting to get to your best performance levels. Still in most weight class sports you will have the cutters, I just think they should change the way they weigh in and make it safer. Just weight in right before the fight, be your best and thats it. Don’t allow the hack.
Pretty simple really.
I’ve been doing pretty much the same thing but at a slighy calorie deficit and I’ve put on alot of muscle while slowly reducing bodyfat. Quinoa is my favorite slow carb, replacing my anytime meal carbs with that has helped alot. Counting macros has helped too.
Tim, you are really rocking on the content lately! With the blog posts and MeatEater and Random Show and other random articles… I’m never hurting for something great to read during the day. Plus, I think GSP is and will be the #1 #4# fighter. Especially after reading this article and that video of training. Now I need to get back into shape and the mma gym…
I’m running a “yams for books” contest on my personal site, sweet potato based main dish or dessert recipes, for a hardback copy of The 4-Hour Chef for the best main dish and one for the best dessert dish (one of my favorites is sweet potato so I figured something different was in order). Thanks again for everything!
Sweet potatoes are awesome. I just cook and eat whole, dipping in sriracha.
Nice article but it’s pretty impossible to put on 12lbs of LEAN muscle in 8 weeks. Even with ‘help’ it’s a pretty tough to achieve, especially for someone who has years of training behind them.
12lbs of muscle including water and increased glycogen retention is possible however. Probably closer to a 6 – 4 – 2 split.
Took 23 comments before somebody who actually understands body composition of trained athletes to call BS.
Brilliant yet again brother.. Excellent breakdown of the vital ingredients on all levels.
I’ve been using Precision Nutrition myself for a couple years, and it’s totally changed the way I eat, the way I look and my energy levels. I can train much, much harder, because my body is properly fueled and devoid of any of the midday crashes most people – with poor diets – suffer from.
Personally, I don’t use as much supplementation as the program recommends. I drink one shake per day and eat real food beyond that, because I’ve found that too much protein powder affects my stomach.
It’s true: great abs are built in the kitchen.
I am loving your 4hr chef (as I really enjoyed your other books) but am struggling to find some of the equipment and foods. I live in Mexico but travel up to the US for business meetings from time to time.
It would be great if you could put something on the blog where people could post places to buy the kit and current prices. Might even prompt some companies to provide discounts. Could even work something out for them to advertise your book as it recommends their products.
Just a thought.
Anyway, keep doing what you do, you are an inspiration!
In studying the Lew Archer novels of Ross Macdonald I’ve tried to identify certain characteristics, themes, motifs, images – call them what you like – that crop up frequently throughout the various books. I don’t claim that the following are particularly important or have any special significance or meaning; nor do I say this is a comprehensive list. They are simply some things I’ve noticed in more than one of the novels.
Phil must be doing it at precision nutrition! $13-17 a meal x 3 meals a day x 5 = ~$900/mo !! I hope to get there one day. Love the Precision Nutrition program-especially the super shakes. Thanks for the article!
I WISH I could spend only $900/month on food. I’m closer to $1500. NYC living
Good lord that’s expensive
I spend $1500 a month on food. For me and my six kids. Lol.
on your own Matt or with a food service?
Great stuff Tim!
I’ve been a fan of GSP from the get go (of course I am Canadian), but besides his technical skills, I like the fact that he’s a thinking man’s fighter and true martial artist.
Hello and very informative article.As a retired dancer and wanting to train again.Could you please help with my diet.The professions listed do not include “Dance” and female dance.Still very informative and interesting and never really had the desire to train and eat like a real PRO! This could very well be a new beginning for me in the latter years,still young at “heart”.Thank-You!
Awesome post! Thanks for the great article, it’s just in time for mulch season at work. With these diet guidelines I will be able to maximize the results I can get out of the most physically demanding time of my year.
Tim, what a great blog post. As I read it I’m sitting here chugging down my first of 3 supershakes for the day and chasing it with 4 fish oil tabs.
Yes I’m a student of Dr John Berardi (and his partners in crime Nate Green and Craig Weller). Very smart and inspirational guys.
Thanks for sharing such an in depth write up. There’s a ton of actionable items that can be applied here.
Man I’ve been looking all over for sample GSP dieting regiment. I knew he had it down to a science, but could never find out any more details. This is awesome, thanks for it!! Definitely going to try the recovery salad. Any chance you can post any more sample recipes?
Very interesting. One thing to note, he started at 183, finished at 188 after 5 months. That’s only 5 pounds of muscle assuming he didn’t get leaner. If he did get leaner, he didn’t get much leaner as he was already ripped before.
So bulking 12 pounds netted him 5 pounds of muscle in five months.
Fascinating, Tim. Thanks so much.
Pierre Roy on Strength and John Beradi on nutrition. Hugely impressive.
Greetings from UK and congrats on the new book.
I have just bought the 4HB book and started the slow-carb diet. It has given me lots of energy to wake up in the morning and I have lost 1kg in the first week (down from 74 to 73). My target is to be below 70Kg and reduce 20% fat (22%-24% now…)
All in all, it goes fine because my breakfast has always had eggs – and I’m fine with meat/spinach combination. I’m in the 2nd week now and trying to fit the 4th meal in the day to avoid feeling hungry all day despite the lots of meat eaten…
A quick question: You say we should avoid white carbs; but at the same time you do not recommend in your favourite lists any brown bread or pasta (I mean the real wholemeal ones!). Is there any particular reason?
Other quick questions
– is dark (70%) chocolate good as dessert during the diet days?
– [Moderator: Link removed.] what is the recommended reps for pull ups to increase muscle gain?
– you put hummus as worrying because of overeating – but I could not find the recommended amount (e.g. for a snack with celery or carrots)
This is pretty cool. And honestly a lot more believable than many weight gain stories I hear on the internet.
I REALLY liked the section on ecto/meso/endo and how the diet variations changed. I figured it out after a couple years of trying to gain weight as a skinny kid, but if I read this it would have saved me a few years. Damn, haha.
The other caveat is that it’s obviously easy to gain when every meal is ready and provided, handed to you in the proper macronutrient proportions, and then you have a trainer to push you every day and do the books. In any case, very cool Tim! Thanks for sharing.
I couldn’t agree more with your last comment Alex. Check out PhatBurn if your in NY.
Interesting how macronutrient breakdowns vary by body type. That’s something that diet plans don’t incorporate often enough.
I can tell that I’m an endomorph, and – based on the macronutrient profiles listed above – I need to be eating more fats than I am. 40% of your calories is a lot.
Tim, which body type are you?
Tim looks fairly mesomorphic, and has described himself as ‘built to lift heavy things.’
How can you not love GSP? What a class act, great for the sport and would love if more kids looked up to him instead of other sports figures. Great article Tim.
Thanks for the artcile Tim. Haven’t really seen much of GSP’s diet really exposed or looked into much, some great insight. Have seen some of his training though which sparked some interest of mine into Olympic lifting for explosive strength seems to be a smart route to go.
I absolutely adore OptimumNutrition’s lean mass gainer, pro complex mix for a morning protein shake.
Mix with milk or water, add additional powder supplements (like createine if you’re loading or metamucil for fiber) and down it. Mixing up your base from whole, to non-fat milk, to water can help you alter calories.
You can get an easy 70 grams of protein this way. it tastes great, and the protein complex gives a timed uptake period from fast (whey) to med, to long (casein and egg proteins)
Incredible. Tim, as an aside, in a recent podcast you mentioned you knew a few real life Jason Bourne-esque people.
It would be phenomenal if you had a post detailing how one could (as much as possible) become a real life Jason Bourne, covering — however brief — topics like memory, combat, physical performance, multiple languages.
You’ve touched on these topics before bet they beg a deeper dive under the tenet of becoming a real life Jason Bourne.
LOVE that idea Jaicidi! That would be a fantastic subject!
Hey TIm when are you going to do a bit on HIIT? Love your work man, keep doing your thing!
Agreed I would loveTim’s opinion on HIIT vs Crossfit and other workouts out there!!!
Does the arsenic in Muscle Milk give him energy like a car battery? With sooooo many protein supplements out there. Who can your liver trust for purity and how can you trust but verify? I do LEF with Whey only. Any suggestions?
GSP has stated a few times in video interviews that he is an ectomorph not a mesomorph (when being questioned about fighting Anderson Silva). He mentions being an ectomorph and that it takes a lot of effort and time for him to put on weight and hence he is in no hurry for the superfight. He wants to take the time to put on the weight, cause he believes once he does, he will stay at that weight. Just saying.
The steak and eggs anytime meal looks so good! Informative fitness article, thanks.
Hey Tim and All,
I’m precision nutrition certified through Dr. Berardi. I can not say enough about the education you get from them. John does some amazing work over there. Aside from the simple nutritional aspects of it the focus on behavioral change is amazing as well. It is such a well rounded program for not only coaches but also for those looking to improve their health.
Thanks for giving some love with the great GSP example.
PS: I love how 4 hour chef is like a choose your own adventure book. I don’t know if you planned it like this but it works well.
People still have the audacity to still try and email you?
I’m trying to think of who ESPN has in the #2 spot?? Of course, Anderson Silva at #1. Any ideas?
I tried to find the greens+ supp from Genuine Health but it looks like they no longer have it. I’ve been trying to find a good greens supp in powder to add to a daily protein shake. Any other recommendations?
Vitamineral green by HealthForce Nutritionals is awesome and of course Athletic Greens. You can’t go wrong with either one.
Sent you an email titled “Cead Mile Failte from Galway” yesterday via Amy.
Think you’ll enjoy it
You might want to check with her
John Berardi is definitely awesome but I think Mike Dolce is the best in the sports nutrition game, at least when it comes to fighters cutting weight for fights.
I’m interested to try this but don’t understand how this formula works:
Ectomorphs — around 25% p (protein), 55%c (carbs), 20%f (fat)
I see they multiplied his body weight by 18 to get a calories estimate. How do I determine grams of each of the above from that?
After multiplying your bodyweight by 18 to get your calorie level you would would then multiply that by each percentage (Protein 25%, Carb 55%, Fat 20%)
This will give you the calorie amount for P, C, and F
Protein and Carbs have roughly 4 calories per gram and Fat as roughly 9.
So you would take the calorie amount of each and divide by the number given above.
For example 2,000 calories x .25 (protein)= 500 calories
500 calories/4= 125 grams of protein
Just continue that for each nutrient. That’s pretty much the gist of it
Aha that’s what I was missing. Thanks for filling in the blanks for me, it makes perfect sense now.
Is this diet as unique as his training regimen? Doesn’t matter, by now, it wouldn’t be unique as all other players who think these are some of the secrets to GPS’s explosive performance would be duplicating them for themselves. 🙂
Great post, Tim. GSP, I think, is already the greatest. Very excited about the next fight on March 16th.
RE your appearance on JRE and the anomalies of comedy, look up the British stand-up Daniel Kitson. At the last Edinburgh festival people were queuing up days in advance for his shows despite having never appeared on television.
Nice to see Dr JB getting some limelight…was hoping he would have a larger contribution in 4 Hour Body… Really like his precision nutrition approach!
I recently tried the Bio Trust Low Carb protein shake you recommended in earlier blog posts. It tastes great. But here’s what really concerns me:
This morning I found a warning label attached to the receipt. It cites that that “this product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm”.
Since I’m not much of an expert on this stuff, I thought I’d reach out to you for your (presumably) unbiased analysis. Who am I to believe – the state of California, or this company? Is the government overreacting or is Bio “Trust” no longer trustworthy?
Your comments will put my mind at ease.
Sorry for the shameless plug but I own a company that provides the exact services mentioned in Tim’s article. Check out http://www.PhatBurn.com and email me any questions. We have a team of people happy to help you get to your goal.
oops sorry, guess I read them comment rules too late (after posting) Feel free to delete my post guys and I can re-post without the URL. Thanks
Thanks for the information, this is going to be rather useful for me. I’ve been cramming down 5 boiled eggs and a can of tuna every morning for breakfast to help put on weight, and though it’s working wonders… I’m absolutely sick of it.
maybe you should switch between eggs and tuna,don`t mix it ,10 eggs+greens one morning,tuna+greens next morning
Not related to this post, but..
Assuming that you do all those 30 minute+ interviews for promoting purposes, would those interviews be effective enough using the 80/20 principle?
Tim, I am on day 30 of the “Four Hour Body” diet. I have been very strict in adhering to the list of items (Proteins, Legumes, Vegetables), and have followed the “eat as much as you like of the above items, but keep it simple.” I lost 5 pounds the first week, but have stalled ever since. I work out 4 times a week, am 50 years old, and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Advice?
My 4HC has just arrived today (south america). Happy me, happy dog. You were right, as soon as I saw it, I was like ‘fucking beautiful’
Feel free to use it for a blog post, how much would you pay? 😉
That´s why its the best blog in the world… Love you Tim!
This is awesome thanks, I had no idea GSP ate this much. Definitely learned something new from the way he eats as well.
Can you share the success stories of an endomorph and an ectomorph. Often, I see case studies of success physical transformation who claimed they were a mesmorph.
It is cookie cutter template the fitness industry use to pump their sales. This is probably why the reason average physical enthusiastic and weight loss people struggled due to flawed plan.
“GSP gained approximately 12 pounds of lean muscle”
Haha, no he didn’t, what a lot of nonsense. Unless he’s not natural. If he’s natural then not a chance.
When you read blatant untruths like this it just harms everything else being said.
“GSP was an underfed ecto-mesomorph. Giving him the calories he needed – and having him comfortable with the weight gain – allowed us to achieve speedy results. Not everyone can achieve this. Especially if they’re chronically trying to gain weight. For GSP he was chronically trying to keep it down. And yes, GSP is tested multiple times each year. So it was done drug-free.” (JB: PN)
That all sounds very nice but physiologically it’s simply not possible. So one of two things have happened. My guess is that his lean body mass wasn’t measured properly.
But to reiterate, the stats just fly in the face of biochemistry and physiology.
Oh and as for being clean and being tested, I’m sure he is but testing means nothing. Speak to Conte!
Wow, I didn’t know you can be so precise with food. But 16-17$ per meal is too expensive. But well being a champion costs.
I am a former NFL Player who discovered true health AFTER I retired from the game. This approach can help men and women alike. I agree that Pierre is an animal when it comes to training but I would like to consult with him on his nutritional program because I see some gaping holes.
To Health and Happiness!
Slightly off-topic from this post …
Any thoughts on the Standford study in 2012 regarding hand-cooling in association with muscle fatigue?
I know you mentioned in 4-Hour Body about the cold showers, etc, but this study and product would be for use in between sets.
Anyone else find the post-workout carbs “old-fashioned”, if not just counter-productive to HGH production? Sugar within 2 hours of a workout kills our natural HGH production method.
– can’t GSP get real greens into his shakes? Green supplements are dead.
– whole eggs anyone?
As a proud Canadian I’ve followed St-Pierre for a while now. I’ve always wondered what he went through to get to where he is. I should have known it was Yellow fined Tuna all along. 😉
coming to the end of first week on slow-carb diet & I’m already enjoying finding new tasty ways to eat the right things (a big fan of bean mash) and getting good hints from my body that it enjoys the new regime
I’ve just discovered the wonder of Chicken Saag (no rice) with Tarka Dahl, or a chicken cooked with garlic and spinach with green lentils.. it’s great to know I can add Indian dishes I can have whilst eating out and stick to the regime.. in fact I want to try cook it myself since I have the ingredients at home
just thought I’d share this so people know you can still eat great tasting meals whilst sticking to the slow-carb diet 🙂
Always interesting to see what GSP has been doing, I’ve always thought about how he ate during training getting ready for a fight.
I’m surprised at some of the supplement suggestions though as he was eating all organic foods then consuming greens and cheap protein powders?
Spending that kind of money and attention to his food to have the best I would have assumed he would be given organic hormone free whey no artificial sweeteners or soy etc.
Amazing changes, not a true believer in somatotyping, but his calorie intake with a focus on nutrient timing was definitely what fueled his progressive training.
Either way, great end result. GSP is true inspiration to anyone wanting to better their fitness. Determination of that guy is incredible!
I’m a 47 year old male and I’m having trouble with muscle recovery. Whenever I do anything physical it puts me out of commission for the next day or two. By physical I mean moderate dumbbell workout, or 2 or 3 laps of freestyle swim, or If I were to walk for a half mile, the next day I would be sore to the point of almost cramping.
I do stretch & it does help, but not much. Last week I was painting interior trim for 3 days straight then it took me 3 or 4 days to recover. I eat well, I eat veggies, I eat meat proteins and drink 1/2 gal of water a day. I also take “Country Life Liquid Multi” vitamins daily (which helps me get a deep sleep and eliminates those night time leg cramps).
It doesn’t seem I would need to supplement (as if I were a performance athlete). I’ve always had trouble with recovery, but it seems to be getting worse lately. I really want to increase my physical activity as I age, not slow down. Should I get a blood test? Should I try increasing my protein with a protein shake? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thx
Brian, a blood test is a good idea, to check for deficiencies. Also, you mention that you take supplements, although I’m not sure of the contents in your supplements. For natural energy (without highs and lows) make sure to take a B vitamins complex (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid) in isotonic form for best absorption and bioavailability. Magnesium and potassium also help. I hope you find this information useful.
Hi Brian. I am a 49 year old male, who struggled with the same problem 2-3 years ago. Additional symptoms included low grade, intermittent depression, fatigue and brain fog. With the help of an excellent local physician, was diagnosed with low testosterone. I have been taking a pharmaceutical replacement for approximately 18 months and it has worked beautifully. Exercise tolerance and recovery is back, and other symptoms have all but disappeared as well. I think it’s important to note that I had no sexual dysfunction whatsoever–no libido issues, no ED, nada–even when my serum testosterone was in the low 160’s.
This may not be what is going on in your case, but it is worth checking. Simple blood test. It seems that the incidence of low-T is increasing in our society. I don’t know if it is due to increased awareness of the disorder, or some other factor causing endocrine issues in men.
Anyway, good luck!
Great post came at the right time for me , you never know how many people you can affect with a article .This came at a time in my life when I need to get back to the healthy routine that I followed for many years and loved the results ..a little side tracked over the last few years with the economic struggles of business life and personal balance — time to get back thanks Tim
First of all, let me say that I am a huge GSP and he is one of my favourite athletes of all time. However, the training techniques that he demonstrates in this video are almost criminal in their assault on common sense and science based exercise!!! Why on earth would a person jump up and down from a squat with a heavy barbell on their back unless they lost a bet or wanted to intentionally injure themselves!?
Why on earth would they do gymnastics rings to improve their MMA abilities?
It is an ineffective and unsafe way to build strength AND the skills developed have nothing to do with what happens in MMA!
Why not play golf to improve his MMA?
That’s unique, right?
Yeah, but it’s also stupid.
But, not as stupid as what my beloved GSP is being told to do by these unscientic, uninformed half wits he has coaching him now!!!!!
Clearly, his ACL injury was a result of these mental midgets telling him to do plyometrics and other such nonsense.
I only hope that he can overcome his ridiculous training and get by Diaz.
He might have a chance because I’m pretty sure Diaz doesn’t know the first thing about training either.
Then, after that, GSP fires his camp and has the intelligence and good fortune learn how to train effectively and safely!!!
I am doing your diet quit successfully and want to know if I can use cottage cheese only as an addition but also as a full meal?
And if so: What about all other whey-products like botter-melk? Love to hear from you.
Best ragards from Germany,
I recently read your 4 Hour Body book, Tim. Loved it.
As a guy who spends most of his time traveling around the world, and in the process always having to hunt down some local gym, some of your insights were serious revelations.
The only thing I found missing in the book, as far as amazing ‘body hacks’ go, is eyesight. Myself having gone from being legally blind with a -4D eyeglass prescription, and now seeing REALLY well without glasses, that should have been worth a chapter.
Google Alex Frauenfeld, or the Frauenfeld Clinic. The guy is a wizard, a shaman, a monk on the mountain top of eyesight health. He’s basically retired now, but still does a lot of the get-rid-of-your-glasses stuff via the Interwebz.
Cheers, Tim. Keep it up, always digging your ideas.
I’m about 5’6 and weigh about 132 lbs. I’ve been going for kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu classes for the past 4 months. I train 4-5 times a week for 1 and half or 2 hours. We also do metabolism conditioning 2-3 times a week. I want to gain more muscle as I believe I’ll have more power and strength. I’m in a dilemma as to which protein supplement I should buy. Many suggest whey protein to build up muscle but I read that the muscle goes once you stop working out a bit. So is soy protein a better opiton? Will it help build up muscle and a bit of mass? I am considering either Nutrilite soy protein powder or Optimum nutrition whey protein. Please help me out.
I have the books! The 4HB one says “No fruit”. Does that mean I should NOT eat, for example, blueberries (or, for that matter, other black or deep-red berries)? The reason I ask is that I have just purchased (last week) a really good blender, my purpose being to make smoothies of the green vegetables I hate eating – and I had hoped to throw in blueberries when trying the 4HB programme. THIS blog throws a confusing signal, as it seems to indicate that I COULD include berries. Please clarify. Thank you.
As always your posts are informative, inspirational, and above all not a waist of time. In fact, your posts usually turn out to be great time savers.
As a serial entrepreneur and an RN, I really appreciate your posts.
As far as the diet goes, I think we have to keep in mind that GSP is a full-time athlete. So the calories needed for someone sitting at a desk all day maybe as little as your weight x 12 for men. For women it may be even lower.
Take care my friend,
I am currently around 35 pounds over weight and have started traing in my local mma gym to lose this weight. While I’m working out hard around an hour a day i havnt seen much results in 10 weeks. (I have gained 2 pounds) could you help me with a diet plan (not anything special just some basics i should be eating)
Now this is what you can call the fitness plan of a champion!
Sushi, shakes and extra virgin olive oil. Those I love!
I’ve tried a few different greens powders but the only ones I’ve been able to continuously take were FD Greens over at FighterDietApproved. A friend suggested them after finding their FB page. I’m relatively new to supplement shakes/drinks and with other greens I HAD to help mask the taste. I keep a tub at my office and if I miss my mix at home, I can take these with water with no problem or complaint. Like a watered down tea almost.
Read The Way of the Fight by GSP and he’s definitely the smartest fighter in the game. I had no idea that he had such a smart and scientific approach to everything he does. Definitely worth reading.
This is purely a sales article, if you believe this you are naive and uneducated about nutrition.
Are the carbs measured pre-cooked or cooked?
This just shows you how effective the paleo diet is, because this is basically following paleo except for cheat food considered as “discretionary calories”. And a bonus is that is it simple to follow, no wheat, low simple sugars, and no foods with preservatives and artificial sweeteners. This type of diet has been so effective for so many top athletics, Djokovic in tennis is another great example. He has been vocal about how this diet has improved his body and performance.
I follow a similar diet but for supplements, I prefer Vitamineral Greens by Life Force as it is more potent than Greens+ (I believe) and has prebiotics and probiotics, and it comes in a glass jar. For protein, I wonder why he didn’t use an organic New Zealand whey instead of Cytosport (which is loaded with artificial sweeteners, Sucralose and Acesulfame-K). I also wonder why he used fish oil instead of krill oil.
you should eat more fatty food to become fit and healthy just so u know
This is excellent. I.m going to try to amend it for my use. Any ideas on how you would estimate calorie count for an Endomorph but who need to lose a lot of fat?
I am an ectomorph. I cured my leaky gut with a low carb diet, but this article says in order to gain weight I would need more carbs than protein or fat. Is this the best option for Someone on a low carb diet? How will this affect blood sugar and insulin resistance (assuming one is not working out as hard as GSP)?? I feel a normally active person will end up with belly fat and sugar crashes.
Like all your posts this is very cool. My challenge is that I couldn’t eat all that food to begin with – I even have challenges eating the five meals a day on the slow carb diet – I’m just never hungry. Any suggestions for guys who are overweight but really don’t eat that much? Yes – thyroid checked and it’s fine.
Jesus Christ you guys spend a lot on food!? There sure is a lot of emphasis on on nutrition and dieting for professional sports. Well, I guess your income depends on it. Whatever you do for a profession, I hope it pays back in dividends. As for me, I do feel stronger after eating a good meal of assorted foods full of protein and carbs. Of course everyone wants fresh, organic salmon, tuna, and greens; but who the hell has the time and money for all that? Eating healthy and exercising/training/working hard eventually pays off in the long run. It’s pretty much a basic formula of success for just about anyone.
Great article and exactly what people need to hear. Carbs aren’t ‘bad’ they just have their time and place. Can’t argue with GSP’s results!
@Solomon you need to spend the money to get the good stuff! im doing a female body building challenge, and my food bill went up but only by 20% or so.
Hi, well I was wondering about this 5 day and lose 20 pound diet is what kind of food can I eat. With low carbs can I just make a shake in afternoon and drink the same shake for dinner and in the morning eat a egg with tuna and a slice of wheat toast?
If GSP trains multiple times a day, does he have multiple post-workout meals? Above it states he eats just one PW meal a day, and two AT meals.
Love GSP, favourite fighter of all time. Cool to see how a legend can become so. thanks for the article, will have to copy his routine!
The best part of this – it’s not that difficult to follow the diet of GSP. Sure – your caloric needs might be different – but it’s pretty basic stuff. Whole foods that fill you up.
I appreciate the macro ratios, but it seems that every celebrity “diet” or meal plan revolves around some copy and paste plan devised by the supplement industry.
No one seems to address the doctor supervised roid cycles, test-boosters, and other performance enhancing concoctions that have elevated the Chris Pratt’s, Chris Hemsworth’s, Chris Evans’, and all of the other Chris’ in the Hollyworld into lean muscle fitness models. Fighters are no different.
Fish oil caps, protein shakes, oats? No fitness pro consumed any of this pre 1980’s. Arnold ate none of that. Also lied about his steroid use.
Truth is, this fighter eats this stuff on the official paper—though a lot of these sites completely make up the nutrition based on old Muscle and Fitness articles and buy the endorsements—but it ‘s more likely that he does a metric ton of high intensity movement over hours a day and eats everything he can put in his body—right after the “juice” and cortisone shots. There’s a cycle to dense up and then lose bodyweight without sacrificing mass, but I don’t remember the exact science. And no, it’s not bulk and cut in the bodybuilding.com sense.
I’d like one honest article on this topic, from a trainer willing to tell the truth. So we can go ahead and make everything legal and really see the limits of the human body.
Forgot the steady diet of PED’s necessary to utilize a macros plan like that and stay lean year round.
There’s a line of supplements that was created by UFC trainer, Funk Roberts.
[Moderator: link removed.]
His flagship product is the 100% Natural Grass-Fed New Zealand Whey with 0g of sugar and 27g of protein per 30g serving.
what foods do you mean for fat?
This is great TY! Ive been doing mma training for 3 months and I am sore and hungry constantly every day. I guess I haven’t been getting the right nutrition to help me prepare and recover. I will follow some of these tips. -Miklo