Chris Bumstead Believes Eating Enough Calories Is More Important Than Meal Timing

The three-time Classic Physique Olympia champ gives a diet update five months out from the 2022 Olympia.

On July 9, 2022, Chris Bumstead is seen in a video on his YouTube channel holding an inverted spoon with a glob of almond butter slowly dripping off it into a blender cup on a food scale. As the flavorful fat source tumbles into the protein shake mixture, the camera cuts to the bearded Bumstead, who shares what a full day of eating looks like for him on July 6, 2022 — just over five months out from the 2022 Olympia weekend in Las Vegas, NV.

Bumstead will attempt to win his fourth consecutive Classic Physique Olympia title on Dec. 16-18, 2022. During his off-season, he follows a bulking diet of 5,000 calories daily. Bumstead is still in his bulking phase to pack more muscle mass for the Olympia, and his current diet reflects the caloric surplus to support that endeavor. Check out Bumstead’s full day of eating in the video below, followed by a breakdown of each meal:

[Related: Chief Olympia Officer Dan Solomon Suggests Derek Lunsford May Have to Move to the Men’s Open Division]


Bumstead’s day of eating starts by grinding up 120 grams of oats to a flour-like consistency, so it has a less granular texture once blended with the other ingredients. Frozen blueberries and raspberries are tossed onto the counter next to a cup of hot coffee. Bumstead eyeballs the number of berries rather than measuring specific amounts for his smoothie.

The Classic Physique champ adds ice and water to render a thinner consistency. Three scoops of a fiber supplement and two scoops of vanilla whey protein powder are tossed into the blender bottle. The finishing touch is that sensual 30-gram glob of almond butter. The macros of the morning protein shake are:

  • 931 calories
  • 72 grams of protein
  • 23 grams of fat
  • 114 grams of carbohydrates

Meal Two

Bumstead’s second meal is more typical of what many might expect from an elite bodybuilder’s diet. It consists of:

  • Chicken breast — 180 grams
  • Jasmine rice — 250 grams
  • Macadamia nut oil — 20 grams

While eating meal two, Bumstead clarifies that meal timing isn’t as critical to him as is ensuring enough calories are consumed to reach the desired goal. For example, he prefers eating two meals before his first training session of the day but suggests that if different meal timing works for someone else, they should do that. In his view, calories are more important than timing, and Bumstead’s success on bodybuilding‘s grandest stage is a testament to the likelihood that he’s correct.

Water consumption is also an essential part of Bumstead’s diet. While he doesn’t precisely track how much water he’s drinking, he approximates that it’s about six 20-ounce bottles worth — just shy of a gallon per day. All liquids combined, he consumes approximately 1.4 gallons per day.


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A post shared by Chris Bumstead (@cbum)

[Related: 3-Time Men’s Physique Arnold Classic Winner Ryan Terry’s Chest & Triceps Workout]

Meal Three

Although he eyeballed the amount of oil he poured on the meal, Bumstead’s third meal of the day was 750 calories, consisting of:

  • Bison — 180 grams
  • Jasmine rice — 270 grams 
  • Macadamia nut oil — 15 grams

Bumstead swapped bison for beef in his diet after receiving the results of his food allergy test. He prioritizes more omega-3s than omega-6s as the latter can lead to inflammation, which he actively tries to stave off via his diet choices and ice baths.

Meals Four & Five

Bumstead trained his arms at the gym on this particular day of eating. His post-workout meal consisted of the following for 850 calories:

  • Chicken breast — 180 grams
  • Jasmine rice — 280 grams
  • Olive oil — 20 grams
  • Half an avocado
  • Zucchini

Bumstead’s final meal of the day consists of:

  • Potato — 300 grams
  • Ground turkey — 180 grams
  • Ketchup
  • Sriracha 
  • Sourdough bread with peanut butter — two slices

The daily macros total 4,133 calories, 460 grams of carbohydrates, 140 grams of fat, and 264 grams of protein. Since Bumstead is still aiming to put on weight, if he finds the scale isn’t moving in a few weeks, he will tack on an additional 500 to 600 calories. Bumstead’s final note is that the calories he consumes are based on his lean body mass and are not influenced by the supplements he takes. He suggests that whether someone is “natty or not,” their calories should be calibrated off lean body mass.

Featured image: @cbum on Instagram