Food Bank of Delaware Executive Chef Tim Hunter’s formal culinary training has prepared him for more than just a career. It’s helped him commit to a lifestyle of good health and wellness.
Hard work in both the kitchen and gym paid off on Saturday when Chef Tim won second place in the heavy weight division at the NPC XCalibur Cup Competition at West Chester University. Eighty-seven men and women from across the country competed in the one-day competition.
He started his formal fitness journey 20 years ago with competitive body building before moving to the power lifting arena. In 2014, he won the power lifting world championship in the 242-pound weight class with a 760-pound dead lift and 700-pound squat.
Tim admits that being a chef has helped him with competitive fitness. “You have to be disciplined enough to meal prep,” he says. “Meal prep is very important – it’s the most important. Knowing food, how to prepare it, knowing which herbs to use – it’s all knowledge that has helped me.”
After years of competition, Tim’s body began to ache and he was ready for a break. The break was just what he needed, last year he was ready to get back on stage to compete.
Training for last Saturday’s competition began in December 2016. With the help of his cousin and International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Professional, Fred Smalls, Tim followed a strict diet and fitness regimen to prepare.
To start, Tim consumed 6,000 calories/day (unfortunately, cheeseburgers are french fries were not part of the 6,000 calorie diet!). As competition day approached, calorie intake dropped to 3,200 at eight weeks out and 1,800 calories one to two weeks out.
So what’s a typical 6,000 calorie day look like?
12 egg whites
1 cup of oatmeal
1/2 cup of grits
6 oz. chicken
1 cup of berries
8 oz. fish (salmon and cod)
cup of rice
8 oz. fish/chicken
1-1/2 cups rice
1 cup broccoli/asparagus
9 oz. turkey
10 oz. sweet potatoes
1 cup broccoli
Last meal (8-9:00):
10 egg whites
During this time, Tim drank 1.5 gallons water/day. All of the food was weighed out as well. Sunday and Wednesday meal prep ensured that all of his meals are weighed and packed for the days ahead. Thanks to his skills in the kitchen, meal prep was a breeze.
Outside the kitchen, Tim spent an hour doing cardio each day, in addition to his weightlifting routine. As competition day approached, the gym routine grew from once a day to twice a day. Tuesday nights were still reserved for Tim to train clients at a local gym in Dover.
For others interested in competitive fitness or overall good health, Tim encourages a clean, healthy diet and a good support system. He says he couldn’t have done it without his family, especially his wife.
Tim celebrated his second-place win with two slices of a pizza, but then it was back to good eating as he looks forward to training for a national qualifying competition in November!
Congratulations, Chef Tim!