Rich Gaspari’s Workout Routine and Diet Plan

Rich Gaspari is an American bodybuilder who was a prominent face in the sport of bodybuilding in the 80s. He is also an entrepreneur and proud owner of the famous nutrition and supplement company Gaspari Nutrition.

During his childhood days, Rich was a big fan of superheroes like Superman, Batman, and The Incredible Hulk. He used to admire their muscular physiques and dreamt of building such a kind of body after growing up.

His dream started becoming a reality when he started weight training at 15 years of age. He fell in love with bodybuilding and aspired to be a professional bodybuilder.

Rich earned the nickname Dragon Slayer at an age of 22 years when he was placed second to Lee Haney in the year 1986.

Now let’s get to have a detailed insight into Rich Gaspari’s workout routine and diet plan through this post that enabled him to build one of the most iconic physiques of all time.

Rich Gaspari's Workout Routine and Diet Plan

Rich Gaspari’s Workout Principles

You might be quite surprised to know that Rich wasn’t one of those bodybuilders who are blessed with elite genetics. His genetic dispositions were quite average but his determination to build one of the best physiques of his time was insane.

Owing to this reason, Rich Gaspari’s workout plan was all about training harder than everyone else. When he used to prepare for a competition he trained 5-6 days a week. However, in the off-season, he followed a ‘3 days on, 1-day off’ workout split.

Let’s get to know more about Rich’s training routine in the upcoming section.

Rich Gaspari’s Workout Routine

Rich stands tall at 5 feet 8 inches. His body weight during his competing days used to lie between 245-255 lbs. His physique exuded a great deal of mass and aesthetics.

To build such a physique, he relied on a training program that had plenty of exercises to target each of his muscle groups adequately. His exercise routine followed a high-volume training protocol and he performed 8-12 reps on almost all the exercises.

Rich used to train each of his muscle groups just once a week. But he kept the intensity of his workout sessions so high that it took his muscle groups one full week of rest and recovery to get trained again.

Now let’s get to know in detail about Rich Gaspari’s workout routine for the week:-


Rich Gaspari's Workout Routine

Monday- Chest 

  • Incline barbell/dumbbell press- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Flat bench barbell /dumbbell press- 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Incline dumbbell flyes- 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Parallel bar dips- 4 sets of AMRAP

Tuesday- Back 

  • Deadlifts- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Lat pulldowns- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Supinated grip pulldowns- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Barbell rows- 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Seated cable rows- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • One-arm dumbbell rows- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Hyperextensions- 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Wednesday- Legs

  • Leg extensions- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Hack squats- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • 45-degree leg press- 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Reverse lunges using a smith machine- 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Lying leg curls- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Stiff-legged deadlifts- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Seated calves raises- 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Standing calves raises- 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Thursday- Shoulders and abs

  • Dumbbell overhead press- 5 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Lateral raises- 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Front raises- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Bent-over dumbbell flys- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Wide grip upright rows- 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Barbell/dumbbell shrugs- 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Hanging leg raises- 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Rope crunches- 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Friday- Arms

  • Weighted bench dips- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Rope pressdowns- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Overhead cable extensions- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Skull crushers using an EZ-bar- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Incline dumbbell curls- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell preacher curls- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Concentration curls- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Reverse curls on a preacher bench- 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Saturday and Sunday- Rest

Warm Up and Cool Down

Rich used to perform a well-structured warm-up routine to prep up his muscles to bear the load of his brutal training sessions. He also performed a cool-down routine at the end of his training sessions. It primarily involved stretching out his muscles.

Going through warm-up and cool-down sessions assisted Rich in staying away from training-related injuries as well.

Rest Days

Rich Gaspari’s workout routine had elements of both high-intensity training and high-volume training. And to ensure that his body recovered well from such brutal training sessions, he used to have two rest days a week.

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Rich Gaspari’s Diet Plan

Rich Gaspari's Diet Plan

To ensure that he gets the most out of his intense training sessions, Rich followed a diet plan that fetched his body plenty of essential nutrients. Rich Gaspari’s diet plan was targeted to enhance his muscle gains by fueling his body with huge amounts of good calories.

Some of the most common food items in his diet plan were egg whites, peanut butter, brown rice, chicken, oats, fresh fruits, and green veggies. Rich also made it a point that the proportion of macros in his diet plan is in accordance with his training goals.

Now let’s have a look at Rich Gaspari’s daily meal plan that he relied on during his competing years:-

Meal 1

  • Whey protein shake
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter

Meal 2

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup oats
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • Whey protein shake

Meal 3

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 9 oz chicken

Meal 4

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 8 oz chicken
  • 1 cup asparagus

Meal 5

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 8 oz chicken

Meal 6- Pre-workout

  • Whey protein shake
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter

Meal 7- Post-workout

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • Whey protein shake

Rich Gaspari’s diet plan had the highest amount of proteins (421 grams), a moderate amount of carbs (244 grams), and the least amount of fats (57 grams). All in all his everyday caloric intake was 3283 kilocalories.

Staying Hydrated

Rich has always made it a point to keep his body adequately hydrated. Hence, he drinks plenty of water throughout the day to serve that purpose. Even during his off season, he used to do so.

Rich Gaspari’s Supplements

Rich’s nutrition plan didn’t have a lot of supplements. But in order to keep it as nutritious as possible he just included one supplement into it.

Rich Gaspari’s supplements stack included the following:-

  • Whey protein

Whey protein is a quick-digesting protein that serves as the best choice for post-workout nutrition. Rich also used to take 2-3 protein shakes a day to fuel his muscles with a quick supply of fast-digesting proteins that facilitated muscle recovery and growth.

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Wrapping Up

One of the most important things that we all must learn from Rich’s bodybuilding career is that we should always be willing to put in the work no matter what. Even though Rich wasn’t blessed with great genetics, he always posed as a strong competitor for some of the genetically blessed bodybuilders.

This happened due to the tremendous amount of hard work that he put into his training sessions. His dedication was simply unparalleled. And if you learn this quality from him, you will surely be able to get whatever you desire.

You can utilize Rich Gaspari’s workout routine and diet plan that has been mentioned in this post to structure your fitness regime as well. And make sure to follow it with as much dedication as Rich showed in building one of the best bodybuilding physiques of all time. The results that will come afterward will surely delight you.