One of the common questions people ask is “Can I get ripped by following a Calisthenics program?” The answer to this question is yes, definitely…..but a Calisthenics diet plan will ensure you get the results you want.
Calisthenics is a great way to get ripped, improve flexibility, and improve full body functional strength. However, if you want to reap the maximum benefits of calisthenics training and get a truly shredded and aesthetic physique you need to understand nutrition.
I believe that a “clean” diet consisting of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean protein should be the foundation of any Calisthenics-training program.
I know many athletes who were able to radically transform their physique by combining their Calisthenics training program with a “clean” diet that consisted of preservative and additive free foods.
Now, just to clarify….by “clean” I’m not suggesting you go on one of those crazy diets that are often thrown out there by “experts”. All I’m suggesting is that you stay away from processed foods as much as possible.
Now, in this day and age, most foods seem to come in packets. Chances are, if it comes in a packet, it is probably processed. There are some exceptions to this rule but to be sure, just read the back of the packet.
I’m not suggesting you have to become a food “monk” or recommend counting calories etc. In my opinion, if you are training hard (and properly) there is nothing wrong with the odd treat. If you want to have a takeaway once a fortnight, go for it. Just don’t make it a regular thing.
What foods are “clean”…
A good rule of thumb is to eat fresh and this is what I do. For example, I stick to fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, brown rice and pastas. I eat other stuff to but these are some of the more common options.
A good way to ensure you are eating fresh is to shop around the “outside” of the supermarket. If you look closely, most supermarkets are setup with the “fresh” stuff on the “outside” while the isles are packed with processed foods.
Three important food categories are:
- Complex Carbohydrates
The added bonus of eating this way is that it will increase your overall health in addition to maximizing your physical potential.
If you are performing high intensity calisthenics training you need to make sure your muscles have the necessary fuel to complete the workout. This means that you need to consume complex carbohydrates throughout the day. This will keep you “full” throughout the day and will also give your body some valuable fiber and protein.
I look for high protein and high fiber complex carbohydrates such as lentils, black beans, whole-wheat pasta, and quinoa.
Did you know that a bag of lentils actually contains 130 grams of protein and 200 grams of carbohydrates? And better yet, they will only cost you a few dollars and go great in a soup.
Other choices on this list like black beans, whole wheat pasta and quinoa are also extremely healthy for you as they all contain a lot of quality calories, protein and fiber to keep your system running optimally.
Everybody knows that protein will help you build muscle. When you are training it is vital that you eat “clean” and “lean” sources of protein. This will help your muscles recover, increase protein synthesis and help you lower your body fat percentage which in turn will give your abs great definition.
There are many unhealthy and high fat protein options when grocery shopping. Try to stay away from fatty cuts of meat, processed sausages and meats including bacon, turkey sausage. Also avoid the processed deli meats, fried chicken and any other fried foods.
As I said earlier, the occasional treat is fine, just don’t make these foods your “go to” protein sources.
Some of the better sources of meat protein are skinless chicken breasts, fat free ground turkey, tilapia, salmon, grass fed beef, and ground buffalo.
For vegetable proteins, Lentils and Kale are both high in protein.
Many trainers and “experts” often advise that you are consuming “1 gram of lean protein per lb of body weight” for optimal muscle recovery and growth. Personally, I think this is rubbish.
Fact: A new born baby needs far more protein (lb for lb) than an adult. This is because they do (and need to) grow very fast and the aforementioned “expert suggestion” is excessive, even for a baby.
Many people overlook the importance of healthy fats, but consuming fat is one of the best ways to increase your overall health, lose weight, build muscle, and up your omega fatty acid intake.
When you training make sure you avoid processed fats and hydrogenated oils.
The best healthy fats that should be included in your diet flax seed oil, coconut oil, olive oil. Also fresh (i.e. not roasted) nuts such as peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, and Brazil nuts. Avocado is another great source of healthy fats.
Omega fatty acids are available from salmon, mackerel, tuna, and flax seeds. Omega fatty acids are important for optimal health and reducing inflammation which is why they are great to include in your diet.
So yes…..you can get ripped by following a Calisthenics diet. Just stick to the principles outlined in this article and you’ll reach your goals.
Remember, the occasional treat is o.k. (My family and I have a takeaway night once every two weeks). Just do so in moderation. If you feel like your “treat” is affecting your training, either cut it completely or find an alternative treat that doesn’t impact your training.
I know many athletes who were able to radically transform their physique by combining their Calisthenics training program with a “clean” Calisthenics diet and you can to.
I hope this article helps you reach your goals.
Please feel free to leave a comment or sign up to our free newsletter below.
Click here to return to the Strength and Stability homepage.