Bodybuilders. They're big, they're buff, they're impossibly jacked. And while most people assume these toned physiques stem from steroid use, the truth is -- a huge part of having a musclebound bod involves what you put in your piehole.
With the Fitness Universe competition coming to Miami next weekend, we decided to talk to a couple of local hopefuls about what they eat to maintain those perfect physiques. (And no, you can't eat donuts every day and still have a bod like the Rock. Sorry to disappoint.)
First up, we spoke to a dude -- Phil Elbaz, a 26-year-old athlete from Miami Beach. At 5'9" and 178 pounds, he boasts 6% body fat. Find out how he got there after the jump.
More than just a "body sculptor" (his preferred term as opposed to bodybuilder), Phil Elbaz is also a champion cyclist, currently working towards participation in the 2016 Olympics. He's also a 2013 Florida state team sprint champion as a starter (man #1) in a three-man team.
"I don't want to be huge -- I want to have a very efficient, athletic, natural and achievable body for the day to day person. I think that's why I get recognition for what I've done, because I'm all natural," he says.
Elbaz is so natural, he doesn't even take supplements. He also doesn't drink. Make no mistake - looking like him takes more than a little self discipline. He spends at least 10 hours a week cycling, plus up to two hours a day in the gym lifting.
"I personally believe if you want to separate yourself from the average gym look -- if you want to get to a whole other level as a competitor, I don't think drugs and alcohol can be a part of this lifestyle. It cuts into sleep and the way you feel the next day. To do this is a lifestyle."
And a day in the life of his stomach? Seven meals in total.
Meal one: Eight egg whites with three ounces (uncooked) oatmeal.
Meal two: 10 oz. chicken with five oz. of cooked rice.
Meal three: 10 oz. chicken with broccoli or another dark green.
Meal four: 10 oz. red meat (lean steak) with five oz. of either sweet or regular potato.
Meal five: Eight egg whites with three oz. oatmeal.
Meal six: Eight oz. of chicken with broccoli or another dark green.
Meal seven: 10 oz. tilapia (fish) and broccoli or another dark green.
While he is "cutting" (aka dropping fat by cutting out sodium, drinking less water, etc.) this week ahead of the contest, generally he does allow for seasonings and healthy fats in his diet. "I believe in fats like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, cottage cheese and peanut butter -- those five."
Some fitness competitors do the cutting thing for months, however. Which means a lot of unseasoned chicken and dry broccoli.
His body fat percentage? Six or less. Year-round. And no cheat days for Elbaz, although that's his personal choice. He's not into junk food or sweets.
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Bottom line? If you want to look good enough to take a stage, it's so long Red Bull vodkas, Five Guys burgers and pastelitos. Hello George Foreman-grilled chicken and kale. Not an easy sacrifice.
Stay tuned for our second installment, where we talk to a lady on the same topic.