Food Plan

“What do I eat?”

I get a lot of questions about what kind of stuff someone should eat if they are trying to get 70’s Big. Well, recently I wrote out a food log for my pal Cliff. Remember, getting enough protein and calories is vital, especially when dealing with a guy that has been skinny his whole life. Cliff needed an extra boost to continue his novice linear progression, and here is what we did:


Cliff’s food plan

Here are a few things to note:

  • I immensely underestimated the calories for some of the snacks, especially the ice cream and magic shell combo
  • The “10 oz” refers to sirloin steak
  • The “8 oz” refers to chicken breasts
  • Notice he eats two of each per day
  • Cliff drinks a gallon of whole milk a day
  • Cliff was only eating almonds for a snack at work, now it is calorie dense trail mix
  • Cliff found ice cream and nutella to be a nice little combo at night

The most important points are that Cliff has increased his bodyweight from 185 to 215, improved his squat from 145x5x3 to doing 305x5x3 last night, and launched his deadlift from 225×5 to 405×5. All this in 2.5 months.

No, he is not fat. When you are skinny your whole life, not only is it hard to gain fat, but you don’t get to have an opinion on what fat is.

And he’s not done yet.
Let us know about any cool meals or snacks that have helped you recover. Remember, you can e-mail videos or pictures to


As promised, here is the fourth part of the 70’s Big Interview with Rip:

70’s Big Presents: Mark Rippetoe Interview Pt. 4 from 70s Big on Vimeo.


Tomorrow we will wrap up Doug Young week. A story will be told about how he was an imposing individual who was respected by the entire powerlifting community. This is why he is the co-captain of, and why he is our first entry into the “70’s Big Hall of Fame”.

25 thoughts on “Food Plan

  1. Hey guys, I think what you”re doing is great. I just got SS a few weeks ago and I love it. I have to confess that I”m a Crossfitter but I fully support your goals and think 70”s big is about as big as one can get (Bill Kazmier rocks.)

    Quick question… I”m a skinny f*$k and have been drinking a gallon of 2% a day because I don”t get whole milk down very well… is this going to be ineffective or just less so? Thanks for the help and keep up the good work.

  2. I hope I don”t get crucified for this, but will there be any discussion as to how to be 70s Big with as healthy a diet as possible? I realize that for skinny pricks like me it”s key to just eat whatever I can for now while I work through my novice gains, but long term what can we do to not only be 70s Big, but also remain healthy.

    Let the flaming begin… :)

  3. Since we”re talking food. I weigh 210-215 at 6”4″ (up from 165). What would be a goal weight for 70s big? I had a powerlifter tell 300+, I”m thinking more like 240-250.

  4. Teng – 2%, as you probably know, has less calories, and thus less potential to make you grow. You probably need to up your milk intake gradually so that you can digest it properly. Remember, milk is a formula that makes baby mammals grow, so it’s already designed to be perfect growth food.

    MAD – Be nice, brosif. Some people may have not lurked on Rip””s forum, so we have to educate.

    Paul – No one is suggesting you eat crappy for the rest of your life. With that being said, eating lots of calories for 6 months in order to gain 60 pounds of muscular bodyweight is not going to contribute to any horrible diseases. Eat to meet your goals, then eat to maintain. We all have a ways to go if that goal is 70’s Big though.

    Matt – Good question. We don’t necessarily have a formula yet for when somebody is 70’s Big. My friend Chris is 6 foot 1 or 2 and is 265. He’s close, but I don’t know if he is technically 70’s Big yet.

    Right now it’s kind of a “you know it when you see it”. Furthermore, the taller you are, the heavier you would probably need to be in order to exude the same presence. 265 is your minimum.

  5. Hey Justin, I definitely agree that 6 months of eating whatever isn”t nailed down is perfectly fine and I am aiming to do just that. I was wondering about once you get big what is the best course of action to maintain in a healthy way. I read the Dave Tate Project when he was looking to trim down to 250 lbs and eat healthier. I didn”t know if this was something that would be discussed at all. Granted I don”t need to worry about that for another 60 lbs, but just wondered if it would be worthwhile talking about.

  6. Tengukite, just drink whole milk, ESPECIALLY since you admit to being skinny, you need the fat, fat is good for you.
    Paul, weight gain is a temporary thing, no one is asking you to eat like a pig forever. After you reach a 70sBig weight, eat paleo or something to maintain.
    I”m 5 11 225#, and I am trying for at least 240#. Just focus on whole milk, protien, then whatever the hell else is needed to get enough calories to recover and grow. I coat everything in gravy, it is wonderful. Having some so called bad calories, is better than not enough calories, and stalling progress. If you are training hard enough, you wont turn into a fat ass, stop worrying guys.

  7. Teng: most people don”t realize that whole milk is actually about 3.7% milkfat (by weight). So it”s not 2% as opposed to 100%.

    It”s not necessary to have added milk fat provided you get it from other sources. When I was in a lighter weight class I drank 2% but also drank a lot of EVOO (for monounsat fat) and ate some coconut oil (for sat fat). Those are better sources for fat than milk fat, but most people can”t keep up with all that.

    Paul: you can achieve a good bit of size eating fairly clean (which, to me, is healthy). However, it is impossible to get 70sB on a completely clean diet. There is just not enough caloric density there, especially if you”re active. The CF prescription of Paleo/Zone will not get you 70sB.

    Once you”re bulked up, maintenance calories are slightly lower than growth calories, but you”ll still need to eat more than you do now. If you”re that concerned once you get there, you can look into IF or other meal timing plans to go for a protein sparing effect so you get a better yield, so to speak.

  8. Hand Shandy x periodically = fun

    Make sure you switch hit so your dominant arm doesn”t get 70”s Big while your other remains scrawny and useless, much like a T-Rex arm.

  9. A quick question for those of us who are budget-conscious — how much would this sort of diet cost (approximately) per week?

    I”ve found that the hardest thing isn”t eating enough – it”s being able to afford enough. Especially with a wife and kid to feed :)

  10. Drew:
    I did this when I was gaining weight earlier in the year. I would make a box of Kraft Mac&Cheese using 4tbsp of EVOO instead of the butter, added a can of tuna and half a bag of frozen broccoli/cauliflower. You will be full.

  11. Thanks for that recipe Adam, I”m gonna give that a try. I see it getting worked into my rountine as well because I always felt like mac&tuna was missing something.

  12. Cheers guys thanks for the input, I”m gonna give it a go and we”ll what happens. I think at 6,0 and 170lbs. I could used a bit of extra weight to get my numbers up. (maybe just a little ha ha ha ha)

    Keep up the good work.

  13. “When you are skinny your whole life, not only is it hard to gain fat, but you don’t get to have an opinion on what fat is.” That”s a great quote.

    I find anything with sunbutter added is awesome. Everyone should keep a jar at their desk/bedside/glovebox/bulky coat pocket.

  14. sergeant: Find a local rancher and see if you can buy half a cow from them. You”ll have meat for awhile.

    Hog hunting is also a great option. Not only are they fun to kill (because they can kill you back), you get lots of good meat for the price of a .308 round.

  15. Gant”s right, killing shit is the way to go. 70 something bucks for all the tags (or whatever it costs where you live) and some ammo, and you got a freezer full of good meat.

  16. “No, he is not fat. When you are skinny your whole life, not only is it hard to gain fat, but you don’t get to have an opinion on what fat is.”

    Love it

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