To this point I have introduced you to Luke Aubin, shown you how I formulated his diet, and detailed for you the specifics of a carb re-feed. The only question still left to answer now is, “what exactly is Luke eating?”
When I first gave Luke his calorie/macro guidelines, I provided him with a detailed list of “acceptable foods.” This is not a list that I initially created myself, but it is a list I have added to and removed items from over time. Luke’s instructions were simple – using the foods in the list, stick to your numbers, no more no less. The significance of the list is that it has common foods and the relevant macro information for specific serving sizes. It is a great tool for anybody tracking a diet.
Once we moved into contest prep mode, the instructions changed a little. I was not comfortable with instructing Luke to follow IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) for his first prep, especially as an individual that is predisposed to weight gain and had been classified as obese. I did however, allow Luke to experiment with IIFYM on re-feeds, as outlined in my previous article. Luke has enjoyed cereal, pancakes, and yes, even pop tarts, amongst other items. He has admitted to sneaking in a “fun size” candy bar – but I suspect there may have been more than one! Outside of the list, I don’t really tell Luke what to eat – I pretty much just tell him what not to eat. When he has doubts, he texts me a quick question and we take it from there. In general, I like to go by the Jason Kaiman standard: If it can be killed or harvested, eat it.
Processed food and sugars are the main food items we tend to stray from. Luke’s diet is full of veggies and lean meats. Outside of his reefed, his carbs mainly come from white and sweet potatoes, rice, and oats. I don’t give Luke guidelines regarding portion sizes. I find that attempting to restrict a diet to specific macros for each meal only complicates an already complicated task. As long as he gets his numbers in before bed, I am happy. I do recommend that he eat every three or four hours.
The final order of business once all of this was established was to create a team name. Team names are commonly used in bodybuilding, just as they are in other sporting, athletic, or competitive events. It isn’t uncommon for a team name to take the surname of the coach or trainer, or the organization to which they are affiliated. Much like with my sponsors, Top Secret Nutrition, JBT Labs, and Complete Nutrition, I am a “TSN Athlete” and a member of “Team JBT” and “Team Complete.” The only problem was Team Astorina is a mouthful. Since I didn’t want to use my surname, I wanted to come up with a name that had real meaning. Something that would conjure up an image that perfectly illustrated what the team was about. What better way to accomplish this than with the reference to a Greek god?
…and Team Kratos was born…
In Greek mythology, Kratos was the personification of strength and power. Contrary to what the gaming industry has falsely misled consumers to believe, Kratos is not the god of war.
Moving forward you can expect to see updates on Luke’s progress every Thursday. I will leave you with a quick picture update of Luke’s progress to date. Having only worked with Luke for a month so far, you will see he has already experienced great success. Luke’s face is visibly leaner, as are his arms and torso. You will see definition starting to appear around the ribcage, as well as a noticeable decrease in belly size. Luke is starting to develop a triangle shape, whereas before he had a solid “trunk” physique.
Luke is not starving, nor is he engaging in several hours of cardio every day. In fact, Luke reports greater feelings of satiety, increased energy, and increased strength. He performs cardio for 25 minutes, twice a week, and even takes two days off. Luke weighed a solid 190 pounds in the first picture. His most recent weight was 179.2!
Luke continues to amaze me and I look forward to sharing his future progress with you.