WWE superstar explains why he eats breakfast cereal after a workout
You might want to add Rice Krispies to your shopping list.
Breakfast cereal might not strike you as the healthiest of foods, but if you ask WWE superstar Tommaso Ciampa, he'll tell you the stuff has been crucial to helping him get in shape.
Take one look at Ciampa's Instagram account and it's awash with training footage. At first glance, you'd think you were looking at a professional bodybuilder, not a wrestler.
It's easy to see why.
Speaking to JOE ahead of the NXT Great American Bash, Ciampa said he has his training and nutrition monitored by bodybuilding coach AJ Sims, a.k.a 'Cement Factory'.
Ciampa trains and eats with a similar level of dedication and detail to the biggest names in the fitness industry.
Decades ago, WWE superstars had only one goal when they hit the gym - to get as jacked and as massive as possible.
300 pound monsters were the order of the day back in the 1980s and 90s, but that's not quite the case anymore. A lot more thought goes into training and nutrition.
Superstars are athletes, first and foremost.
"Improvement is the goal," Ciampa says about his own workout plan.
Injuries do occur in professional wrestling, where a high level of impact is expected each time you take to the ring.
Ciampa's training therefore involves a mixture of strength, size and endurance work - not least the preventative measures such as mobility drills.
The weekly workout routine of a WWE superstar
Ciampa admits his workout routine is "insanely detailed", but says Mondays and Thursdays are his biggest lifting days, primarily focussing on back and legs.
Heavy, compound exercises are high on the agenda - squats, deadlifts and the like.
Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are for "accessory lifts". Instead of focussing on energy-sapping compound lifts, these accessory days instead involve more isolation exercises designed to strengthen muscles involved in the bigger lifts.
Here is where you'll find your typical bicep curl.
Ciampa trains for 60 to 90 minutes each day, adding extra cardio in the run-up to pay-per-view events.
Why does a WWE superstar eat so much cereal?
Of course, with so much high-volume training, eating sufficient grub is essential.
Ciampa's diet resembles something you'd see World's Strongest Man competitors wolf down.
"My nutrition is so specific," he says. "It's six meals every day."
Asked why he wolfs down so much breakfast cereal when its connotations are unhealthy, Ciampa said:
"Inherently, not many foods are 'unhealthy' per se.
"I stay away from most fried foods, but as far as carbs go, there's a time of day when you want those fast-digesting carbs that go to use in your muscle cells."
There are still rules, Ciampa says, even within the realms of breakfast cereal.
"Rice Krispies are the number one in the sense that there's no fat in them. If I have anything else, like Lucky Charms, I have to watch the fat serving."
The main focus for Ciampa is on calories and their manipulation. His week involves:
- Two high-calorie days
- Three medium-calorie days
- Two low-calorie days
The highest-calorie days see the 36-year-old put away anywhere between 5-6,000 calories.
On these days, Ciampa eats:
- Breakfast bagels, with cream of rice and protein powder
- A box of cereal after training with protein powder
- Three meals follow, comprising jasmine rice with either ground turkey or chicken
- Meal six is generally low carb, ahead of a show, such as an egg white protein pancake
NXT's Great American Bash airs this Tuesday night at 1am on BT Sport