Building the perfect body
By MITCHELL DALE
FOR the 14 weeks before being crowned Mr NSW, Coffs Harbour bodybuilder Andrew MacLeod ate enough to feed a small army.
Four chicken breasts, about 500g of steak, 300g fish, a bowl of oats, 20 egg whites and enough vegetables to clean out the local green grocer was Macleod's approximate daily food intake.
But the 33-year-old wasn't just eating randomly, he stuck to a measured high-protein diet, aimed at stripping fat and helping to build muscle.
He tucked into nine meals a day, which, combined with six gym sessions and a daily walk, turned MacLeod into the lean ball of bulk you see pictured.
The rigorous routine had it's pitfalls ? notably a $300 weekly food bill ? but it was all worth it when MacLeod claimed his first Mr NSW Light-Heavyweight title in Sydney last month.
He then went on to finish third in the Mr Australia event.
"I have competed on and off since 1997," he said.
"The last time I competed was in 2000, but I took some time off to put some more size on.
"I finished third in the middleweight (in 2000), but I am 1.75m, so for my height I had to go up a weight division so I could put on more muscle and be more competitive."
Enter the high-protein diet, which was costly in both money and time.
"It was 24-7, it took a lot of time out of my day, I was preparing meals all the time," he said.
"I was cooking for about an hour in the morning and an hour at night.
"It was hard to juggle everything, my relationship, business, training and all the other stresses of life and it was an expensive exercise. Plus I was going to see a trainer at the Gold Coast every Monday.
"Spending eight hours in the car, the whole day was gone.
"Bodybuilding would have to be one of the most expensive sports to compete in."
But his sacrifices paid the ultimate reward.
"I wasn't surprised when I won, just relieved," he said.
"I was the best prepared of the NSW entrants, but the guy who won the Mr Australia had a better body structure than me."
Macleod admits maintaining the strict regime of diet and training wasn't easy.
"It was hard, we would go out with friends and while they were hooking into a piece of cheesecake, I had grilled fish," he said.
"There were a lot of things I craved in that time.
"Mud cake, KFC, beer... the body craves fats and sugars."
After claiming the title, his taste buds got what they wanted.
"After the competition we went to an Italian pizza restaurant and I ate as much as I could, then we went to an ice cream shop and I did the same, then I got a bag of chips, a meat pie and cheesecake," he said.
"I am still training about four or five times a week, but I am not dieting."
Andrew MacLeod's daily food intake in the lead-up to the Mr NSW bodybuilding championships.
7am - Bowl of oats and 10 egg whites, cooked.
9.30am - Two skinless chicken breasts (oven baked), potatoes and vegetables.
11.30am - Steak (300g), bowl of vegetables.
1.30pm - Two chicken breasts and bowl of vegetables.
3.30pm - Fish (300g), bowl of vegetables.
5pm - Plate of vegetables and tea spoon of powdered amino acids.
7.30pm - Protein shake after workout
8.30pm - Dinner (chicken, steak or fish) and plate of vegetables
9pm - ten egg whites, cooked.