What are these similarities I hear you ask? The similarities are that just like the various strength programs out there the various diets for strength and muscle are all based on the same principles. Just like a true power and strength program is built on a few core fundamentals so are the diets. For example in the strength programs of any value they all have the following:
- Large multijoint exercises eg - Deadlift, Bench, Squat, Powerclean etc
- Rep ranges in the 1 to 5 range
- High volume low intensity moving to low volume high intensity when peaking for a meet
In the diet world I have found it is very similar. A few core fundamentals make up the best diets for strength atheletes. Here is my take on the core fundamentals of the supposed best diets for strength athletes:
- All start with a "zero" carb phase of roughly 2 weeks
- All are built on lean proteins and vegetables
- Good and essential fats are critical to each diet eg - Omega 3's, quality olive oils, avocado's etc
- Avoidance of carbohydrates consisting of breads, cereals, pasta's etc is essential
- Exception is a "cheat" period ranging from 1 meal a week to 3 hours to 2 days a week
- All the evidence of these diets shows that the "cheat" window allows for a firing of the metabolism and enables continual fat loss through your body utilising fat as the core energy source with this cheat meal fueling your metabolisms speed. Then when you stay strict on the high protein zero carb for the rest of the week your body continues to stay lean but you maintain your strength and wellbeing.
It doesn't matter if you are looking at the Paleo diet, the Neanderthal diet, the Metabolic diet or the Dukkan diet the thing is the fundamentals are the same as mentioned above. Don't make your nutrition plan so complex you need a PHD to stick to them. Keep things simple by sticking to the above plan and have a long term focus. Don't expect things to change overnight or you will be left dissapointed and likely rebound to bad habits. Build quality habits by following the above points, lift heavy and frequently and you will be on your way to a physique and strength level that will be the envy of those lacking your discipline!
For those of you who want to check out further info on these subjects try some of the following sites: