Bodybuilder Chris Bumstead’s 5,000-Calorie Day of Eating

The three-time Classic Physique Olympia champion breaks down what he eats to get in 5,000 calories per day.

Three-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Chris Bumstead is early in his very long off-season. The 2022 Olympia weekend is scheduled for Dec. 16-18, 2022 in Las Vegas, NV, which means there is a lot of time for athletes to improve upon the physiques they brought to the stage in 2021. Bumstead previously conveyed in a training video on his YouTube channel that a much longer off-season essentially creates expectations for the most noticeable year-over-year improvements in recent memory.

Those improvements involve more muscle and, therefore, more calories for the 6’1″ tall, 255-pound Bumstead. He recently got back into a diet following his bout with COVID-19 over the 2021 holiday season. That bulking diet consists of a whopping 5,000 calories per day. For reference, that is almost in range of what 2020 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Oleksii Novikov of Ukraine eats and more than what Open bodybuilder Nick Walker eats. Check out a full day of eating for Bumstead in the video below, courtesy of his YouTube channel:

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Chris Bumstead’s Breakfast — 1,344 Calories

Typically, Bumstead’s breakfast will involve pancakes. They are on his short list of favorite foods, often splurging on pumpkin pancakes as part of his cheat meals. On this particular day, Bumstead wasn’t in the mood to prepare the batter and make pancakes and instead opted for a shake consisting of oats, whey protein, and almond butter. He paired it with a bagel.

  • 70 grams oats
  • Two scoops of whey protein
  • Scoop of fiber
  • 19 grams almond butter
  • One and a half toasted bagels with ghee butter

It was apparent from Bumstead’s breakdown of his shake that texture is an essential aspect of his food. Many of the tips he offered about recreating his shake were considerations for texture. They included keeping the oats to 60 to 70 grams as any more than that would make the drink “taste like sand.” He also noted that adding a decent amount of ice to the blend will make it more enjoyable to eat. Bumstead filled his blender cup with ice just over halfway.

Meal Two — 890 Calories

The second meal of the day for Bumstead is a pre-prepped MegaFit Meal. It consists of seven ounces of black angus steak with two cups of white rice — as simple as it gets. It was listed as 980 calories in the video, but Bumstead said 890 calories while breaking down the nutrition label. Per MegaFit Meals’ macro calculator for their meals, 890 calories is correct.

Meal Three | Pre-Workout — 760 Calories

A second MegaFit Meal provides Bumstead with 760 calories right before heading to a mid-evening gym session. Again, there is a slight discrepancy with calories as Bumstead said 760, but MegaFit Meals’ macro calculator of the mentioned ingredients tabulates 770 calories. That’s a much more minor difference than meal two, but the basis for the meal is similar — it’s quick, simple, and efficient, allowing for Bumstead to maintain his brisk schedule balancing work and training. He adds some hot buffalo sauce to spice it up and then heads to the gym.


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Meal Four — 779 Calories

Bumstead throws down 500 grams of sweet potato with 165 grams of ground turkey with some hot sauce after his training session. He tacks on a banana to total 779 calories for meal four.

If you bake or air fry sweet potato, the volume of it becomes, like, a tenth of what it is.

Another nod to caring about texture in his food, Bumstead remarked how he cuts up his sweet potato, puts it on a baking sheet, and drizzles it in olive oil. After leaving it in the oven for approximately an hour, the sweet potato pieces come out crispy, making them easier to eat.

Meal Five — 682 Calories

The carbohydrates of choice pre and post-workout for Bumstead are rice before training and sweet potato after training. Bumstead again builds a meal of a carb and a protein with a vegetable add-on for meal five. This time around, it’s 170 grams of ground beef, 300 grams of sweet potato, and half an avocado. For reference, Bumstead weighs his sweet potatoes raw when doing his macro measurements.

Meal Six — 600 Calories

Bumstead bookends his day with another shake as his final meal. It is pretty close to what he had for breakfast, as it consists of 80 grams of oats, 32 grams of almond butter, and one scoop of whey protein. The difference between the breakfast shake and this late-evening shake is breakfast’s has more protein while late evening’s has more oats. He adds a scoop of glutamine to help with his digestion.

Focus on energy output and digestion and you should be good to go.

Bumstead shared that he has some anxiety about drinking his calories, but he is confident that he is eating enough whole foods throughout the day. Having shakes rather than more solid food helps with his digestion, which he believes is crucial while bulking as the sheer caloric intake is higher than usual. Additionally, having better digestion helps prevent making him feel bad during cardio, which he still performs four days a week despite bulking.

There’s not many secrets to bulking other than eating a lot.

In total, Bumstead said he ate 5,145 calories.  The math on the calories he listed throughout the video equates to 5,055 calories. Regardless of which number is correct, the fact remains that Bumstead is reaching 5,000 calories per day and is still 10 pounds shy of his heaviest off-season weight ever. As long as he is consistent, Bumstead doesn’t worry if he’s off by five or 10 percent of his calorie target.

Featured image: @cbum on Instagram