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opinion, strength training

The YOCAD Diet

This one is so it shows up in Google when people search.

You’ve been duped. YOCAD stands for “Yard Of Cock A Day”. It’s an acronym I came up with when I was working in Informed Performance whenever people would ask me if the GOMAD (Gallon Of Milk A Day) diet was good. I would tell them to try YOCAD and come back to me, and string them along for a few minutes.

The reason I invented the YOCAD diet is because I was sick to death of people asking me about the GOMAD “diet”, since it isn’t actually a diet it’s just drinking more milk, and it isn’t sensible for anyone bar perhaps 15 or 16 year old kids who don’t cook for themselves and for whom mentioning buying whey to Mammy would mean a trip to a counselor. Anyone who chooses milk over whey protein is thick on several levels. Per serving, whey is cheaper, less fattening and easier to store and prepare. Adherence to milk for milk’s sake is just dogma.

Personally, with my teenagers who are on strength programmes, I recommend milk. The aforementioned Mammy factor is one reason for this, but the other is to steer them away from supplements in the early stages when plenty of gains can be made with modest changes or increased protein intake in the diet.

The Food Pyramid

Most kids (15-18) don’t need a whey supplement, they don’t need GOMAD or even YOCAD. What they need is a stable diet that includes protein at every sitting. When I take my teenage group’s diaries in, I would say that every single one of them miss breakfast at least twice per week. They don’t need squats and milk, they just need to rise 5 minutes earlier and make some eggs. They need to prepare something better than a crisp sandwich for lunch, and they need to eat meat that hasn’t been pounded, ground and covered beyond all recognition of the animal tissue it once was for dinner.

Simple Posterior Chain Exercise... and method for cleaning the gym floor

I see in the papers pretty much every week that kids are eating far too much and moving far too little. Well I also see the opposite- kids that move a lot and don’t consume enough to sustain it or grow new muscle.  I’m not a dietitian, but here’s what I recommend for young men who want to look bigger and want to do other stuff good too…

Breakfast: Consume 3 eggs whisked in a pan. I know you “have no time” and I will never change your rising habits, so I’ve made it easy for you. Crack the eggs in, whisk them as they’re cooking on high and they’ll be scrambled in 2 minutes. Don’t worry about what your Ma thinks about all these eggs she now has to buy, she’ll be just glad you’re off the Coco Pops. Are you finished? Good, now go and eat the Coco Pops too. Grab a few slices of toast, a bagel or a croissant on your way out too. This is the meal you don’t eat usually. We’re going to break the habit of a lifetime and we’re going to do it big time. Treat brekkie like a banquet where you are the King.

Mid morning snack: At about 11, consume 1 pint of chocolate milk and some fruit.

Lunch: “The Chicken Fillet Roll” has replaced the Breakfast Roll as the nation’s deli delight of choice. It’s not the worst meal in the world, but as regards bang for your protein buck, it’s not great. Processed chicken has far less protein per gramme as regular chicken, so if you must buy a deli meal, make it a chicken sandwich with whatever other filling is your favourite. Add another pint of milk. I’d say to treat yourself to a chocolate bar but you’re going to do that anyway.

Afternoon snack: I like nuts. There, I’ve said it. Nuts are protein rich and calorie dense. They are an ideal snack for a lad looking to bulk up.

Dinner: This is usually not in your sphere of influence, but I’m sure if you tell your Mam and Dad that increasing your strength and physique will help your confidence (parents love stuff like that) and hence your chances of going to college, marrying well and living a long and happy life, then they will cook you whatever you want. A simple rule here is that you can eat whatever you like, but that about 1/3 to 1/4 of the plate must be covered in lean, fresh meat. By lean and fresh, I mean not processed and reformed into shapes. Pretty much every other meat variation is gameball. As for the other 2/3 of the plate, you’re not 11 anymore so don’t push the green stuff to the side get it into you in great quantities.

Pre-bed: Drink some more milk.

That’s it. That’s all I tell them. I stress that this is at a beginner level and we go far deeper into diet the longer we are together. I encourage learning how to cook, learning how to shop for yourself and I also stress the imprtance of having critical skills in evaluating the “health” claims of products and supplements. I see strength training for young men as as much a life skills course as an athletic one.

See you on the mat… or at the dairy fridge.


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