• Flexible 'If It Fits Your Macros' eating gives you dietary freedom + great results.
  • Use simple macro nutrient calculations to optimise your physique nutrition.
  • Learn the benefits of whey protein pulsing through the day.
  • See how the Eacock Twins really eat to build muscle + get ripped!

Cut the hype – how do elite physique trainers and muscle models really eat and supplement their diets to build muscle and get ripped? In reality, while there are varied approaches to nutrition and supplementation, and a degree of personalisation is needed for optimal results – any trainer can eat like a pro when given the right information. Last week, we met-up with SCI-MX athletes, Jason and Kristian Eacock (AKA 'The Eacock Twins'), to bring you a genuine insight into how they build muscle and get ripped using scientific 'If It Fits Your Macros' (IIFYM) dieting............


The Eacock Twins are advocates of flexible 'If It Fits Your Macros' dieting, which enables weight trainers to develop and maintain a quality physique without excessive food restriction. Check out the 4 components of creating a simple but highly scientific IIFYM diet:

IIFYN component I - Goal-specific calorie intake:

1. Muscle gain > 20kcals/lb body mass
2. Maintenance > 15kcals/lb body mass
3. Fat loss > 12kcals/lb body mass

So, if you weigh 170lbs and want to gain muscle – your starting point would be a daily calorie intake of 3400kcals. For fat loss – 2040kcals. Monitor your results after 2 weeks and reassess.

IIFYN component II - Macro nutrient optimisation:

The Eacock Twins use weight-specific formulas to calculate their optimal macro nutrient requirements – emphasising a high intake of protein and carbs, with controlled fat levels. “We both focus on maintaining adequate fat intake while emphasising carbohydrates and protein to fuel performance and build/maintain muscle.”

Check out how to calculate your Macros and the reasons to consider eating 'Eacock style', later in the article.

IIFYN component III - Food choices for success:

Flexible dieting enables you to technically eat any food or meal, at any time, as long as it helps you 'meet your macros' at the end of each day. For example, Jason says he loves ice cream and cereal – so his post-workout treat is often 1-2 big bowls of low fat ice cream or cereal, along with an ULTRA WHEY™ PROTEIN shake. He says, “IIFYM is a strategy that lets you enjoy food while building and maintaining an awesome body – with a little thought you can eat out regularly without it sabotaging your physique, and eat delicious food while maintaining a 6-pack”. However, the guys are quick to point out that they do still focus on eating nutritious and healthy food 80% of the time, since it's essential to consume enough micro nutrients for long-term training health, recovery and physique development. Jason adds that keeping more nutritious food in your diet also helps with the 'fullness factor' – awesome for dieting!

IIFYN component IV - Supplementation:

Due to some evidence that protein timing and quality can contribute to muscle protein synthesis (MPS), the Eacock Twins follow the strategy of consuming ULTRA WHEY™ PROTEIN before/after training and between main meals. They quote an awesome scientific paper [15] by one of the world's most respected natural body-builders and researchers, Layne Norton, in which he summarises his understanding of using protein for maximum benefits:

“Leucine is responsible for most of the anabolic effects of a meal and current research suggests that 3g of leucine is required to maximize this response. The MPS response to a mixed meal is only 3 hours long despite producing elevations in amino acids for 5 hours, thus athletes maximizing MPS will require inducing this response multiple times throughout the day. Therefore consuming multiple meals per day containing 3g of leucine may be beneficial in maximizing MPS.”

Kristian says ULTRA WHEY™ PROTEIN is their preferred protein shake because it contains excellent levels of leucine, however this strategy can be employed using any SCI-MX shake – for example OMNI MX® HARDCORE or GRS 9-HOUR® PROTEIN.



The Eacock Twins are meticulous when it comes to applying the science of protein to physique development. Kristian says, “Most importantly you need to calculate your protein requirement, as this is the key macro nutrient for physique trainers. It is now widely accepted by researchers that weight trainers need to consume a high protein intake to maintain a positive nitrogen balance and tissue synthesis”.

Step 1: Calculate your 'lean body mass'...
Lean Mass (lbs) = Bodyweight (lbs) x [100 – Body Fat %]

Step 2: Calculate your protein intake Eacock style...
Protein Intake (g) = Lean Mass (lbs) x 1.2 (or x 2.6/kg)

For a 170lb trainer, this equates to a protein intake of 204g per day. So what's the science behind this macro level? The Eacock Twins explain that while significant research suggests that eating 1.2-2.2g protein per kg of lean body mass is effective for supporting training adaptations in athletes eating maintenance calories or above [1-5,7-10] – other studies indicate that even more protein may benefit serious trainers; “Research suggests that factors such as low body fat levels, intense cardio and calorie restriction may put lean muscle at risk, indicating that a protein range of 2.3-3.1g/kg of LBM may be more appropriate.”

The take home message is to ensure you're eating at least 2g protein per kg of lean body mass – but the Eacock Twins recommend going up to 2.6g if you're a hardcore trainer!


High fat 'ketogenic' diets have gained popularity in recent times, but the Eacock Twins’ nutritional strategy is focused on consuming the minimum amount of fat required for health and performance:

Fat Intake (g) = Lean Mass (lbs) x 0.35

When asked about the impact of consuming a relatively low level of fat on testosterone and hormone synthesis, the guys have clearly done their homework! Kristian says that there's now significant research showing that when fat levels are dropped, the reduction in testosterone is outweighed by maintaining adequate carbohydrates and a small amount of natural saturated fats (e.g. from sources such as steak and coconut oil). Furthermore, he tells us that stacks of studies in weight trainers have demonstrated that carbs help weight trainers maintain muscle mass when put on calorie restricted diets, more effectively than low-carb, higher fat meal plans [12-14].

Keeping your fat under control needs a little due diligence (Kristian says make sure your ice cream is low fat not regular and only throw the odd whole egg in your omelette), but it's essential for success when doing things Eacock style! It's also important to make sure you get a daily dose of essential fatty acids – TRI OMEGA EFA™ is one of the guys' staple supplements.


Carbohydrates are back with a bang if you set your diet up as recommended by the Eacock Twins! Aside from massively enhancing food choice and satisfaction, the guys' method is supported by research showing the benefits of carb consumption on performance and muscle maintenance when dieting [12].

To calculate your optimal carbohydrate intake, subtract the number of calories you need from protein and fat, from your daily 'goal-specific' caloric intake:

Calories Remaining from Carbs (kcal) = Total Calories – [Protein Intake (g) x 4] – [Fat Intake (g) x 9]
Carb Intake (g) = Calories Remaining (kcal) / 4

Once you've calculated your protein and fat requirements, you'll be left with a fairly large number of calories to consume from carbohydrates – even when dieting down to single digit body fat! The Eacock Twins believe that maintaining a healthy carb intake can have a positive impact on your metabolic rate due to improved hormone responses, such as T3 Thyroid regulation, which research associates with calorie and carbohydrate consumption.


After his last photo shoot, Kristian 'reverse dieted' by incrementally adding 20g of carbohydrates per day, back into his nutrition plan, until he reached a calorie intake sufficient to maintain his weight (an awesome strategy to reset your metabolism after several weeks on a calorie restricted diet).

Whether you're looking to build muscle, get ripped or maintain your physique, following a flexible diet can have many benefits. For a pro approach to IIFYM nutrition – try out the Eacock Twins’ strategies in conjunction with intense training at least 4 times a week. Remember, with all those carbs – you should have the energy to train like a beast!


1. Lemon PW: Beyond the zone: protein needs of active individuals. J Am Coll Nutr 2000, 19:513S-521S
2. Phillips SM: Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to metabolic advantage. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2006, 31:647-654
3. Phillips SM, Moore DR, Tang JE: A critical examination of dietary protein requirements, benefits, and excesses in athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2007, 17(Suppl):S58-S76
4. Slater G, Phillips SM: Nutrition guidelines for strength sports: sprinting, weightlifting, throwing events, and bodybuilding. J Sports Sci 2011, 29:S67-S77
5. Tipton KD, Wolfe RR: Protein and amino acids for athletes. J Sports Sci 2004, 22:65-79
6. Phillips SM, Van Loon LJ: Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. J Sports Sci 2011, 29(Suppl 1):S29-S38.
7. Phillips SM: Protein requirements and supplementation in strength sports. Nutrition 2004, 20:689-695.
8. Tarnopolsky MA: Building muscle: nutrition to maximize bulk and strength adaptations to resistance exercise training. Eur J Sport Sci 2008, 8:67-76. Publisher Full Text
9. Tipton KD: Protein for adaptations to exercise training. Eur J Sport Sci 2008, 8:107-118. Publisher Full Text
10. Wilson J, Wilson GJ: Contemporary issues in protein requirements and consumption for resistance trained athletes.
11. Helms ER, Zinn C, Rowlands DS, Brown SR: A systematic review of dietary protein during caloric restriction in resistance trained lean athletes: a case for higher intakes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2013.
12. Mettler S, Mitchell N, Tipton KD: Increased protein intake reduces lean body mass loss during weight loss in athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2010, 42:326-337.
13. Walberg JL, Leidy MK, Sturgill DJ, Hinkle DE, Ritchey SJ, Sebolt DR: Macronutrient content of a hypoenergy diet affects nitrogen retention and muscle function in weight lifters. Int J Sports Med 1988,9:261-266.
14. Pasiakos SM, Cao JJ, Margolis LM, Sauter ER, Whigham LD, McClung JP, Rood JC, Carbone JW, Combs GF Jr, Young AJ:Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. FASEB J2013,27:3837-3847.
15. L. Norton, J.Wilson et al., Optimal protein intake to maximize muscle protein synthesis (2003).
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