By Anthony Ricciuto

Every once in a while a super star graces the powerlifting stages making spectators wonder where this power specimen came from. This teenage bench press phenom from Westside Barbell Club is none other then Mike Brown. When Anthony Clark set the 600-pound bench press mark in the late 1980’s as a teenager, powerlifters couldn’t believe what they just witnessed. Little did they know that from the Dungeon Pit Power Grounds of Westside Barbell would emerge a lifter so strong and so young it would amaze even the strongest of bench pressers. Mike Brown set the unthinkable mark on September 11th, 2004 when he not only eclipsed Anthony Clark’s teenage mark, but also destroyed it beyond all recognition. The super Bench Press Monster- Mike Brown brought a massive 730 pounds down to his chest and blew it off like it was a broomstick. This 19-year-old bench press superstar has set the new mark. To top this off even more Mike hit a full meet on November 21st, 2004 with a Squat of 850, Benched 735 and pulled a 715 Deadlift. This super teenage beast totaled an amazing 2300 pounds.

Not Your Average Teenager

Knowing what you have just heard above you would only expect that such a ”Monster” would come from Westside Barbell. No doubt it is the most hardcore powerlifting gym on the face of this earth. With the expert coaching from none other than Louie “The Living Legend” Simmons as his guide and mentor, what else can you expect but greatness? Westside is known for their Super Benchers including Kenny Patterson, George Halbert and numerous other 700 plus benchers. When Kenny Paterson did his 721 bench as a junior the powerlifting world witnessed something they never thought they would see again. But out from the shadows Mike Brown was waiting to unleash his furry on a record that most thought would never be possible. At a time when most 19 year olds are hanging out with their friends, going to clubs, chasing after naughty girls, and just being a menace to their parents and society, Mike is in the gym training to be the strongest powerlifter that ever lived.

Guidance from the Best!

With nothing but the best coaching and hardcore atmosphere available, Mike was ready to do some damage. All that was left was one area that he constantly read about in the pages of Powerlifting USA- that was his power nutrition plan. The nutritional sciences were something that intrigued Mike more and more. He tried to learn from different bodybuilding books and magazines but he knew that this was not going to be the ticket to powerlifting success. Bodybuilders, athletes, and everyday sedentary individuals nutrition plans were not going to help him bench press over 700 pounds. After reading through my column over and over and studying my writings, he was intrigued by my innovative approach to nutritional practices for powerlifters. With the numerous World and National Powerlifting Champions singing my praises of what my nutrition programs have done for them, Mike called me and told me that he wanted to be my new specimen. Mike had heard so many good things, but now he wanted to see what the Nutrition XP3 customized nutrition program could do for him. Since that day Mike hasn’t looked back and he has been destroying everything in his way.
One thing I like is taking on new clients that I know are going to tackle my nutrition and supplementation program with the same intensity and dedication that they do with their training program. When an athlete has the burning desire to succeed like Mike does, and when he is surrounded by the likes of Louie and the Crew at Westside over looking his training and I monitoring his nutrition end, then you are going to have a powerlifter that is destined for success.

Destined For Success

When Mike first consulted with me I will have to say I was impressed. Unlike a lot of my other clients he had been studying my writing and theories like they were sacred texts that were going to give him a new found strength. Well he was right in the fact that following my guidelines will improve your strength, energy, workload volume, recovery, and much more. I have to give him credit because I have not seen a 19-year-old as focused and dedicated to the sport of Powerlifting as Mike. In our first conversation the fact that he told me that he drove to Westside which took him an hour and a half each way really woke me up to his level of dedication. Just his driving time for each of his workouts totals over 3 hours. If that is not a serious attitude to be the best then I don’t know what is. The only thing most teenagers can do for three hours is play some X-Box or gyrate their bodies on some dance floor in some type of tribal frenzy while intoxicated on alcohol and who knows what. The other fact that he took the time to study my nutrition methodology month after month and then personally contacting me is not something your average teenager does. Mike wants to be the best bench presser in the world and when the time is right I believe he will one day hold the all time heaviest bench record. With a start like he already has it would be foolish to think that it is not in his future. Who knows what the next 10-15 years hold for this superstar? So with this introduction to Mike, let’s take a look at how he uses the Nutrition XP3 system to lift poundages other teenagers only dream of.

Dissecting his Plan

When Mike laid out his nutritional journal to me a smile came across my face. It was if a student just laid a masterpiece of work in front of his teacher. Now it wasn’t that his plan was perfect, and I didn’t expect it to be. But it had my “trademark” methodology written all over it. There was no doubt that he studied my articles and did his best to apply the knowledge to his nutrition plan. There were still a lot of things that needed to be corrected but he was much better off then the majority of other powerlifters that seek out my guidance. Mike had the basics down from my writings but it now was my job to fine tune the plan and dial him in like I am known for doing.

Eat, Eat, and Eat Some More

Now one of the things that I was impressed with Mike with was the fact that he was eating 5 times per day. Hell that’s pretty good for a powerlifter. Most that I start working with barely get three square meals in per day let alone 5 meals in their daily routine. Even though 5 is decent, it wasn’t going to be enough for what I wanted to do with him. It was time to bump him up to 8 meals per day at least. Every two hours he was going to eat a solid meal or have a meal replacement shake to make sure that his body was getting the nutrients that he needed to be a power beast.

Feed the Machine

Now that we had his meals increased we had to make his meals more calorie dense. This doesn’t mean that I add in some chocolate chip cookies and ice cream to get them up. Since Mike weighs in at around 315 pounds its very important that he has enough calories to sustain his daily needs. The fact that he is young is another factor in how much food he will need. At the present time I have Mike’s calories ranging from 7-8000 calories per day. Yes you read that right. There is no way a 300-pound powerlifter is going to make much progress on a measly 3,000 calories a day! As I have said time and time again, “If you want to succeed you have to feed the machine!” The main thing to remember here is that the quality of the calories is very important. You have to remember that a calorie doesn’t equal a calorie. The way they affect your metabolic rate, fluctuation of hormones like testosterone, level of insulin sensitivity, glycogen replenishment, rate of recovery, energy level, and workload capacity is going to be completely different depending on what you shove in your mouth. If anyone tells you any different then I will tell you straight that they are full of shit and they most likely don’t know an amino acid from an antacid.

Where’s the Beef?

Next we had to address his protein needs. Mike was taking in a decent amount of protein as well. Now it wasn’t enough for what I had planned for him, but it sure was hell of a lot more than I am used to seeing with someone that is just starting out with me. It was time to double it up and also time to change the varieties around a little more as well. This would give him a different amino acid spectrum from the different sources in his plan. Next we had to address the bioavailability of his protein intake as well as its timing. Biological Value relates to how much protein the body can absorb from a specific source of protein. Whey for example is very high scoring 100 or more. Soy on the other hand scores in the 60 range or less. So first I had to change his protein sources around and next had to recalculate his protein timing. Now I haven’t discussed this much in my column but I will in the near future. Protein timing relates to how quickly the body absorbs different types of protein sources. This is very important because if you take in the wrong type of protein at the wrong time then you will make big decrement in your results. Now I know most of you probably think that this is complicated and why would anyone be so critical of this? But when you are looking for every advantage available, then you have to use the science behind the feedings to get the most bang for your buck. Since certain proteins can actually hit your bloodstream as fast as sugar this can play a major role in your rate of recovery, protein synthesis and post workout hormonal manipulation. Other proteins can take several hours to get into your bloodstream and will provide a slow time released dose of amino acids to your muscles. Knowing what types of proteins to take at the right time and how to match them according to their biological value and amino acid spectrum can most definitely make a big difference in your results. And you thought this whole nutrition thing was as simple as just wolfing down some chicken and rice and calling it a day. Boy I wish it was that easy then I would have a lot less work on my head!

Carb Countdown

Next off his carb choices were not in order as well. Carbohydrates much like proteins have different rates, at which they are absorbed, as well as the different qualities and how they affect your hormones. Eat the wrong ones in the meal before you train and you will bottom out when you need energy the most. I had to increase the amount of complex low glycemic carbs in his plan to fuel his massive frame. His Pre and Post workout plans were also in need of reconstruction. These were very important if I was going to keep him fueled up for his workouts and help him recover from benching over 700 pounds. Another thing that I had to fine tune was his macronutrient ratios. This area is looked at on a single meal basis but also his ratio totals for the day also have to come into play. This is a complex area of focus because each and every powerlifter I work with is different. The comprehensive blood work and glucose tolerance test protocol that is performed on a regular basis with all my athletes will help lay the groundwork for this. When you go as in depth as I do when working with a client you can understand a lot about the make up of an individual by looking at their blood profiles. This is very important for the lifter not only to maximize his performance but also to keep their health in tiptop shape.

Hydrate to Dominate

Hydration was another area that we had to improve on. Most powerlifters don’t realize how important this is for your energy level and your strength output. Even a 3% dehydration level will cause a major decrement in your strength. Not to mention it will help flush out toxins, keep your blood pressure down, help prevent kidney stones, help reduce your body fat percentage and much more. I try to have Mike drink at least 6 liters or a gallon and a half of water per day. At his weight one gallon is not enough and with the amount of protein that he is taking in he has to make sure that he keeps himself well hydrated to keep him performing like a tank.

The Eating Plan of a Champion

Now after reading about this teenage powerlifting superstar you all must be wondering what fuels his young but powerful frame to the point that he can bench press over 700 pounds. Like I have said before, do not try to duplicate this because what you are about to see is what has been customized and designed specifically for him. So lets’ take a look at a 1 day nutrition plan that Mike followed prior to his latest contest victory. This is not what he follows day in and day out as I provide my athletes with variety to keep them from getting bored. At the same time it allows their body to get a wide spectrum of different nutrients from the many different foods that I have selected to be part of their plan. This will best suit their individual needs to make sure that they get maximum results in the shortest time possible.

Day 1 Mike Brown Power Meal Plan

Meal 1 Breakfast

16 Egg Whites
3 Yolks
2 Whole Wheat Pitas
2 Bananas
2 Tablespoons of Nutra Sea Herring Oil
16 oz of water

Meal 2

2 Cups of 1% Low Fat Cottage Cheese
2 Cups of Mixed Fruit
1 Trioplex Protein Bar
2 Tablespoons of Nutra Sea Herring Oil
16 oz of Water

Meal 3 Lunch

16 oz of Salmon
3 Cups of Brown Rice
2 Cups of Broccoli
3 Tablespoons of Udo’s Ultimate Blend EFA Oil
16 oz of Water

Meal 4

4 Scoops of Anthony’s “Proprietary Blend” Protein Powder
24 oz of Skim Milk
2 Cups of Rolled Oats
2 Tablespoons of Nutra Sea Herring Oil

Meal 5- Pre Workout

12 oz of Chicken Breast
3 Cups of Yams
2 Cups of Mixed Vegetables
3 Tablespoons of Udo’s Ultimate Blend EFA Oil
16 oz of Water

Meal 6- During Training

Anthony’s “Proprietary Training Formula”
32 oz. of Water

Meal 7 Post Workout

Anthony’s “Proprietary Post Workout Concoction”
24 oz of Water

Meal 8 Dinner

24 oz Lean T-bone Steak
3 Baked Potatoes
2 Cups of Broccoli
4 Cups of Mixed Salad
3 Tablespoons of Udo’s Ultimate Blend EFA Oil
16 oz of Water

Meal 9 Bedtime Meal

4 Scoops of Anthony’s “Proprietary Blend” Protein Powder
24 oz of Skim Milk
1 Cup of 1% Low Fat Cottage Cheese
2 Tablespoons of Nutra Sea Herring Oil

Supplements For that Extra Edge

Nutritional supplements are a big part of all my athletes’ plans and Mike is no exception. Below I have laid out some of the supplements that I have included in his nutrition plan to provide a synergistic effect. With his nutrition plan on track the natural supplement program that I have designed for Mike will give him that extra edge in helping him to reach new heights in his powerlifting career. Here are some but not all of what I have included in this beast’s plan to take him to the next level!

Protein Powder
Now with designing Mike’s new nutrition plan, his supplementation plan also needed a revamp to compliment his eating schedule. The first thing that I did was get a proper Protein supplement in Mike’s plan. Mike was using a protein shake in his regiment before working with me since he was trying to follow the advice in my articles but he was not using the right types or at the right times. The type of protein that you use, it’s amino acid spectrum, Biological value, Filtration process, Glutamine content, rate of absorption, and BCAA content all play an important role in your success. Its not as easy just running down to the local health food store and picking up a “Tub of Whey” that the pimple faced, 120 pound high school geek at the counter recommends. I have many customized formulas that I have designed for my athletes to get them the best result possible. Protein is not protein so if anyone tells you that then I am sure that they have a bridge in New York that they would also like to sell you.

Animal Pack Multivitamin/ Mineral Formula

Next I included a comprehensive multivitamin/ mineral supplement in Mike’s supplement plan twice per day. Making sure that you get a comprehensive spectrum of all your fat and water soluble vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes is very important. I cannot overemphasize this fact for the serious powerlifter. Vitamins and minerals have different function in the body and even having a deficiency in even just one will cause your body and performance to not be at 100%. The vitamin formula that I have put Mike on is called the “Animal Pack” by Universal Nutrition. This is one of my personal favorites due to its wide spectrum and high quality ingredients. This is one of the formulas that I have personally used for over 12 years myself dating back to my teenage competitive days. It fulfills the needs of the serious powerlifter due to the fact it is specifically made for the hard training strength athlete. I recommend this formula to all powerlifters looking to take their performance to the next level. This is because it can make a big difference in jacking up your strength, preventing micronutrient deficiencies, improving the digestion and absorption of your meals, enhancing your rate of recovery and so much more. I have used many different formulas and there are others that I recommend as well, but this is no doubt one of the best on the market for the hardcore powerlifter.

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fat is another area that Mike needed to improve with his plan. When I started working with him he had absolutely no healthy fats in his plan. I started him on two very important formulas. The first one that I put him on is called Udo’s Ultimate Blend. This is an EFA formula that has a balanced ratio of your Omega 3-6-9 fats to make sure that you are not missing out on any of them. This is one of my favorite EFA blend formulas out there. The taste is also good so for those of you scared to try it out there are no worries. The other EFA supplement that I put him on is Concentrated Herring oil from the company Ascenta. The Nutra Sea Herring Oil is the one that I mentioned in my column over a year ago when someone asked me about what EFA formula that I used with my athletes. Now just because I said herring oil you must all be thinking that it must taste absolutely horrible? This is the farthest thing from the truth, as it tastes fantastic. This is a pharmaceutical grade fish oil that has the fish taste removed and replaced with a lemon and thyme flavor. It actually enhances the taste of your protein shakes or it can be used on salads and veggies as well. This is used because it has a high Omega 3 concentration but most importantly the specific type and ratio of Omega 3’s present in this formula. This is the reason why it ranks highly in my books and why I recommend it to my athletes. This includes an excellent ratio of EPA and DHA, which in my opinion are the best fats that you can get. So make sure you follow Mike’s lead and get them in your plan as well.

Vitamin C

Another thing that I do is keep Mike’s level of Vitamin C in a range where he is going to get the most benefit. I have preached the many different benefits of this wonder vitamin in the pages of my column over and over. I keep it in Mike’s plan for many reasons. First off is to keep his testosterone on the up and up. Next this little wonder can help reduce his Cortisol Level from his hardcore training sessions that he does. Next it helps him recover from his workouts and helps repair his connective tissues that can take a real beating especially when you are bench pressing over 700 pounds. It is also a very potent antioxidant. This will help beat down those free radicals that will cause many different health problems down the road. With Mike I keep in 4000-6000mg of Vitamin C daily in his plan. I break this up in 1000mg dosages throughout the day. It is a water-soluble vitamin so taking too much at one time will not be as effective as spacing out your dosages.

My Secret Weapons of Mass Construction

Mike also uses my Secret “Training and Post Workout” formulas. I know you guys are dying to know what the hell they are but this is saved for my private and elite clientele. I will be the first to admit that they don’t taste pretty but they will get you results that is for sure. They consist of numerous different ingredients to take advantage of these critical post workout times. This is to maximize an environment that will increase strength and muscle mass, increase cell volumization, replenish glycogen stores, improve recovery, decrease body fat levels and much more. These result-producing formulas are included in the Nutrition XP3 Customized Nutrition Program.

The World is Ours!

With all that you have just read I am sure that you all realize that this young powerhouse has no doubt one very successful powerlifting future ahead of him. He has accomplished more in his teen years than most powerlifters can do in an entire career. Mike’s goal is to compete with the best of the best and come out the victor. With Louie and the crew at Westside guiding his training and with me taking care of all his nutrition and supplementation needs, Mike is going to be a major force to be reckoned with. So look out powerlifting world I have warned you about this teenage superstar that has just started his attack on Powerlifting World Records. Mike has just scratched the surface on what he can accomplish. With his determination, positive mindset, and dedication to his training and nutrition plan, there is nothing that is going to stand in his way from being the best!

For those of you interested in the Nutrition XP3 customized Nutrition System please feel free to contact me for availability at

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