It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Franco Columbu was one of the strongest bodybuilders who ever walked the earth. He was just 165 cm tall and weighed around 185-195 lbs but his strength levels used to put some of his contemporaries who were double his size to shame.
Apart from winning the Mr.Olympia title twice, he also earned numerous accolades in weightlifting and powerlifting competitions where he went on to clean and jerk 400 lbs, deadlift 750 lbs, squat 665 lbs, and bench press 525 lbs.
Franco Columbu was a super athlete who not only had elite-level strength but also the aesthetics that made him a bodybuilding legend. His diet plan contributed significantly towards his athletic excellence.
Through this post, we will be throwing light on Franco Columbu’s diet plan that earned him the nickname The Sardinian Strongman. Let’s get started.
Franco Columbu’s Diet Plan
Franco Columbu used to follow a simple and healthy diet plan that primarily consisted of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and sources of protein. Every single day he fed his body adequately to sustain his intense workouts and to promote strength and muscle gains. Franco Columbu’s diet plan was focused on promoting strength and vitality.
Franco Columbu followed a nutrition plan that was high in proteins and fats and low in carbs. He loved eating steak. He claimed that steak serves as a hardy meal that keeps oneself full throughout the day. With its high-protein content, it also feeds the muscles with adequate amino acids that promote their recovery and growth.
As opposed to many bodybuilders who used to consume carbs before their workouts, Franco at times used to have steak and eggs before going through his intense training sessions. He claimed that doing so helps him to be more energetic throughout his workouts.
To fetch his body adequate amounts of protein, Franco relied on consuming whole food items like eggs, yogurt, milk, and other dairy products. In his training days, he used to consume around 200 grams of protein in a day. Later after retiring from the sport, he brought down his everyday protein intake to 120 grams a day. He also kept his carb intake low and ensured to feed his body with all the necessary fibers as well as other nutrients.
Franco always ensured that his diet plan didn’t become boring and monotonous. To serve that purpose well, he included plenty of food items in his diet plan. He also used to cook some of them in different styles which allowed him to follow his diet plan with ease and that too without forcing himself to eat healthily.
The table given below will let you know more about Franco Columbu’s meal plan. It lists the number of meals he used to take in a day along with the food items that he ate in each of his meals. Let’s have a look at it:-
Franco Columbu’s Meal Plan
Meal 1- Breakfast
4 fresh eggs, 1 fresh fruit in season or a glassful of orange juice, homemade plain yogurt (made with raw milk) with granola cereals, vitamins, and minerals, and a glassful of water
Meal 2- Lunch
Large vegetable salad with oil and vinegar, 1-cooked fresh vegetable, a large portion of fresh broiled protein such as chicken, fish, prime cuts of beef, lamb, or liver, wine, or mineral water
Meal 3- Mid Afternoon Snack
A plate of selected imported cheeses, either a fresh fruit in season or nuts and tuna fish
Meal 4- Dinner
Same as lunch
Meal 5- Late Evening Snack
A small bowl of fresh yogurt
No fad diets
To build his elite-level physique, Franco never relied on following fad diets, some of which at times recommended food combining and even avoidance of eggs. He always used to have healthy and nutritious meals.
His favorite source of protein was eggs. He used to consume whole eggs. He claimed that the fats that are found in egg yolks have the potency to neutralize the cholesterol that comes from other food items.
Franco Columbu’s training routine used to have a lot of intensity. To get through his intense training sessions, he always made it a point to keep his body well hydrated. For that purpose, he used to consume plenty of water throughout the day and especially before his training sessions.
What does Franco Columbu eat?
To ensure that his body recovers well from his intense training sessions, Franco always ensured to eat plenty of whole food items. His diet chart had numerous food items loaded with essential nutrients that promoted muscle recovery and growth. They also contributed towards fueling his body with good calories.
Some of the most common food items of Franco Columbu’s diet plan are as follows:-
- Whole eggs
- Egg whites
- Cottage cheese
What food does Franco Columbu avoid?
All through his life Franco Columbu never believed in eating fad diets. But it didn’t mean that he could get away with anything. He was always very cautious about his eating habits and always made sure that his diet chart didn’t have any kind of food items that could mess up with his training goals.
The following food items found no place in Franco’s diet chart:-
- Junk food
- Processed food
- Chemical ingredients
Franco Columbu’s Supplements
In the 70s, the supplement industry was not as affluent as it is today. Still, bodybuilders like Franco made sure to avail themselves of a few supplements that made their nutrition plan more complete. Those supplements fetched their body with the nutrients that were otherwise quite challenging to be derived from consuming whole food items.
Franco Columbu’s supplements stack included the following:-
Apart from consuming whole eggs and milk, Franco also used to have whey protein to fetch his muscles with an instant supply of essential amino acids. The fast-digesting nature of whey protein also promoted muscle recovery along with keeping the body in an anabolic state.
A multivitamin supplement is rich in nutrients like vitamin A, C, D, E, B12, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. All these nutrients aid the body in maintaining bone and muscle strength. It also keeps one’s immune system in check.
Omega-3s supplementation positively contributes towards fueling muscle growth. It enhances the protein synthesis function of muscle cells. Omega-3s supplementation also aids in reducing muscle soreness that arises due to intense training.
So that was all about Franco Columbu’s diet plan. The bottom line of his diet plan is “eat clean and eat nutritiously”.
You too can follow his diet plan but you need to make certain modifications to it based on your training goals.
The effectiveness of old-school bodybuilding diets has always stood the test of time and the diet plan mentioned in this post is no different. Give it a try and you will surely reap great results out of doing so.