The Zac Perna diet changes depending on his physique goals. As a natural bodybuilder, Zac goes through the traditional bulking and cutting phases. He will increase his calories during the off season, then cut them back when he is preparing for a competition.
Who is Zac Perna?
Zac Perna is a natural bodybuilder and fitness influencer. He is very active on Instagram and YouTube, where he has almost 1 million followers between the two platforms. Zac routinely shares his exercise tips and nutrition advice with his loyal fan base.
- Height: 5’7” (170 cm)
- Weight: 156 lbs (71 kg)
- Year of birth: 1995
Zac Perna Diet (Bulking)
Some people prefer dirty bulking, but Zac likes to eat clean, even when he’s in a caloric surplus. Eating junk food on a bulk can slow you down and negatively impact your workouts. Plus, when it does come time to cut, it will take longer – because you can gain more fat on a dirty bulk.
- 1st Meal: Tuna and rice (515 calories, 28 g protein, 66 g carbohydrates, 14 g fat)
- 2nd Meal: 2 pieces of fruit during workout (400 calories, 100 g carbohydrates)
- 3rd Meal: Rice flakes and crumpets (932 calories, 45 g protein, 160 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat)
- 4th Meal: Beef sugo and white rice (820 calories, 61 g protein, 80 g carbohydrates, 29 g fat)
- 5th Meal: Salmon and egg rice (722 calories, 40 g protein, 80 g carbohydrates, 23 g fat)
- 6th Meal: Chicken and sweet potato (500 calories, 46 g protein, 70 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat)
- 7th Meal: Protein shake (130 calories, 25 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat)
Zac’s Tips for Bulking
Start eating early
When you’re in a caloric surplus, it can be difficult to eat. After all, you’re eating more food than your body is used to. In order to make this process easier, start eating early during the day. Zac will wake up around 4:30am and have his first meal. This gives your body enough time to digest – which can be hard when you’re eating seven meals like him!
Find foods that work for you
Another tip for bulking is including food that you actually like to eat. For Zac, this food is rice. Rice sits well in his stomach and doesn’t make him bloated. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that rice will work for you. If you think rice is the only carbohydrate, you can try sweet potatoes or quinoa instead. Just remember to find foods you won’t get tired of.
Zac Perna Diet (Cutting)
Zac proves that you don’t have to eat plan and boring to get lean. His daily meals include cereal and ice cream – just to name a few. These foods are healthier versions, but they can still satisfy you’re sweet tooth and keep you in check. You don’t want to go crazy and destroy your diet when cutting.
- 1st Meal: Japanese style omelette (207 calories, 17 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 13 g fat)
- 2nd Meal: Post workout protein bowl (410 calories, 32 g protein, 56 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat)
- 3rd Meal: Chicken tenders and potatoes (433 calories, 48 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat)
- 4th Meal: Chicken thighs and mixed vegetables (412 calories, 38 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 28 g fat)
- 5th Meal: Protein ice cream (31 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat)
Zac’s tips for cutting
Eat tasty food
As I briefly mentioned above, you need to find food that actually tastes good. There’s no way you can stick to your diet by eating chicken and broccoli for every meal. Simple things like peanut butter and zero sugar maple syrup can add just the right amount of flavor your meal needs. When you eat satisfying foods, you won’t feel the need to binge on the weekends.
Have your meals prepared
When you have your meals prepared ahead of time, you are setting yourself up for success. It will take no time at all to grab your meal from the fridge, heat it up and eat. When you don’t have your meals prepared, you’re more likely to eat junk food. You might search the cabinets for chips, cookies, or anything else you can get your hands on. This can also lead you to overeat, because you won’t know when to stop.
Before each chest day, Zac will go through a chest activation warmup routine. This will help avoid straining the muscles when pressing heavy weight. Zac will do 2-3 sets of standing cable flyes to activate his chest – but there are other machines and exercises you can to to accomplish this.
- 1st exercise: Flat barbell bench press 4 x 8-10
- 2nd exercise: Incline dumbbell press 4 x 8-10
- 3rd exercise: Incline machine press 4 x 8-10
- 4th exercise: Standing cable chest fly 4 x 8-10
- 5th exercise: Ab rope crunch 3 x 20
Back and Biceps Workout
For pull workouts, Zac likes to use hand grips for a variety of exercises. These will help with deadlifts, lat pull-downs and many other movements. They offer more wrist mobility (compared to gloves) and will save your grip in the process. And you can do more sets when your hands have support.
- 1st exercise: Wide grip lat pull-down 4 x 12
- 2nd exercise: Rack pull 3 x 12
- 3rd exercise: Underhand pulldown 3 x 12 superset with reverse pec deck 3 x 12
- 4th exercise: Seated row 3 x 12 superset with dumbbell delt raise 3 x 12
- 5th exercise: Across the body hammer curl 3 x 10
- 6th exercise: Incline dumbbell curl 3 x 10
Similar to all of his other workouts, Zac likes to properly warm up before training. To accomplish this he will hold two light dumbbells and go through a variety of rotator cuff exercises. This will get the shoulder joints lubricated and loose, before the workout begins.
- 1st exercise: Seated barbell overhead press 4 x 8
- 2nd exercise: Rear/side/front raise x 3 working sets of 30 reps (10-12 each)
- 3rd exercise: Dumbbell shoulder press superset with bent over rear delt raise 3 x 12
- 4th exercise: Cable side raise 3 x 10 superset with cable face pull 3 x 10-12
- 5th exercise: Dumbbell shrug 4 x 10
Zac likes to start off his leg workouts by doing light sets of hamstring curls. He believes this movement warms up the legs more than any other exercise. The hamstrings are a large muscle group in your legs and you don’t want to pull them when doing heavy compound movements like squats.
- 1st exercise: Seated hamstring curl: 2 warm up sets of 10 and 2 working sets of 10
- 2nd exercise: Hack squat: 3 warm up sets of 10, 1 working set of 12 and 1 working set of 25
- 3rd exercise: Smith machine lunge: 1 warm up set and 2 working sets of 10
- 4th exercise: Seated leg extension with the last set a drop set
- 5th exercise: Single leg hamstring curl 3 x 12
- 6th exercise: Lying leg curl 3 x 12
Zac Perna diet
Zac Perna workout routine