Thinking Outside The Box When It Comes To Nutrition with IFBB Pro Brad Rowe

Posted By Brad Rowe on April 14, 2019

As bodybuilders (all male or female categories fall into this) we get so consumed by….well consuming so much food. For the most part the food is high protein and high carbs because that’s the only way to make growth correct?

We need to have protein so our body can break it down into the amino acids needed to rebuild the tissue we are breaking down during the training process in hope it creates larger muscle fibers. We need those carbs so that our body can break it down into glucose in order to provide the energy needed in order to train and to power those rebuilding processes.

Over time an excess of proteins and carbs can do a number on our bodies. The pancreas gets stressed as it tries to produce insulin to keep up with the constant flood of carbs. Our bodyweight begins to jump a bit and we also retain more water which can cause increased blood volume which puts more stress on the heart and the kidneys due to increased blood pressure. This leads to potential for a diabetic state (body can no longer control blood glucose levels properly) and potential for heart and kidney problems. Too much protein has been theorized to be very acidic for the body which effects a great deal of chemical processes our body must perform and also can put stress on the digestive system if things are not passing properly. I don’t buy into the stress that excess protein has on kidneys due to particles entering the blood stream, I think that is an extreme case.

So we have all been engrained that we need to eat 6-8 meals a day in an extreme caloric surplus in order to build quality tissue. I have been experimenting on myself for going on 8 months of the anti-bodybuilders diet and I have not seen any decline in my physique at all.

I have dabbled with fasting and keto between my prep and off season phases for the last couple of years to reduce those stresses I mentioned above on my body. But since my bicep injury I have been full time eating unconventionally.

I have been fasting for 16-18 hours a day at least 5 days a week. I am talking TRUE fasting. Nothing but water and black coffee. No gum, no aminos, nothing during that fasted window that the body can think is a nutritional substrate (even stevia can be seen as sugar by some people and this throws them out of the fast). Fasting has many benefits as promoting autophagy, detoxing the body, and has metabolic benefits.

On top of this I have been doing a TRUE ketogenic diet. I am getting 75-80% of my caloric intake from fats, 15-20% from protein, and trace carbs from veggies and things like nuts, nut butters, and avocado. I have also been on a 4 week experiment using the Carnivore diet where I am eating NOTHING but meat and animal based products. No veggies, no fibers, just meats, eggs, whey isolate, and some….well maybe a bit too many pork rinds because I love the crunch.

So far during this experiment I stepped on stage in Romania doing the fasting portion with a more traditional bodybuilding diet of protein and carbs and looked probably the best of my career. Then since this December I have been nothing but the keto and Carnivore and my body has maintained 240lbs and lean and my digestive issues are almost non existent especially while on Carnivore.

Life is a little wild on my end right now so I am not sure when I will hit the stage next, but I am going to continue this self experimentation and work on building tissue and doing contest prep while utilizing the fasting, keto, and Carnivore diet to show people that it can be accomplished and I know I will feel better. Don’t just follow trends, think outside the box and be a trend setter.

Brad Rowe
IFBB Pro Bodybuilder
Prep Coach
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