Bill Pearl: Mr. Universe Diet

Born in Prineville, Oregan, and reared in Yakim Washington, Bill Pearl was Mr. America in 1953, Mr. U.S.A in 1956, and Mr. Universe in 1953, 1956, 1961, 1967, and 1971. Mr. Pearl is 88 years old and thus one of the eldest bodybuilder. Today he is retired but still active coaching, giving advices and helping young bodybuilders.

The above picture was taken when Bill Pearl was the age of 63! He is living proof that diet and weight lifting can stave off the debilitating effects of old age.

Here are Bill Pearl’s secrets! In short!

Bill Pearl used to train at 5:30 in the morning and before training he had 1 oz. liquid protein, some Vitamin E, plus 3 wheat germ oil capsules and 10 liver tablets.

This combination of supplements gave him sustained energy for his entire 2 hour workout.

Breakfast is basically meat and eggs plus a vitamin B tablet, 1 E. 10 liver, 3 C’s and occasionally he will include fruit and milk (no milk or fruit 8-10 weeks before important shows or exhibitions)

Lunch is meat, fish or fowl, plus salad, supplements are the same as breakfast.

Mid-afternoons: 1/2 cup of protein drink with milk (water instead of milk prior to shows), 2 E’s, 10 liver

Supper: a large serving of meat, fish or fowl, plus salad. Supplements same as lunch.

Before bed: same as mid-afternoon.

According to Bill you need plenty of protein. Medical authorities say that 100 grams of protein a day are needed for normal health. But Bodybuilders require 200 or more grams of protein a day for rapid muscle gains ( a gram is a unit of measurement such as ounces or pounds). It takes 440 grams to equal one pound.

Bill cited that one pound of steak has 132 grams, 1 egg has 6 gramms protein. Dairy protein products are easily digested so Bill suggested you rely on them heavily for your protein content.

Along with the protein emphasis, you need calories. In order to gain weight, the body must be supplied with more calories than the normal requirements. Here is a general guide

Bodyweight Carlories
125-145lb 3,000
145-165lb 3,400
165-175lb 3,850
175-195lb 4,300

Bill outlined the following gaining diet

“Don’t Skip Breakfast”
Tomato Juice with Brewers Yeast. Also two or more of the following:

1. 2 Eggs fried in butter or corn oil
2. Whole grain toast with butter (Rye, Pumpernickel, Whole Wheat)
3. Milk with hi-protein powder
4. Oatmeal with raisins, milk and honey
5. Cereal with several spoons of wheat germ, milk and honey
6. Wheat germ cereal with milk and honey
7. Pancakes or waffles made with whole grain flour, plus honey or jam
8. French toast made with whole grain bread, plus preserves
9. One half pound of broiled ground beef
10. Liver cooked in butter or corn oil
11. Cheese Omelet


1. If possible have hot lunch, include thick soups, stews, salads (containing vegetables, fish, shrimp, avocado, cheese, eggs, chicken,etc.)
2. Whole grain bread with natural cheese, avocado, lettuce
3. Roast beef
4. Chicken
5. Ham plus cheese
6. Bologna with lettuce and mayonnaise
7. Tuna (plus processed cheese if desired)
8. Peanut butter and honey or jam
9. Milk
10. Milk Shakes with raw eggs added
11. Bananas, nuts, dried fruits, such as dates, raisins etc.


Eat generous portions of protein foods listed, also plenty of fresh vegetables, salads, etc. For desserts use puddings, custards, ice cream, canned or fresh fruits, jello. Have the meat broiled or roasted rather than fried. Have baked or mashed potatoes.

Protein foods
1. Eggs
2. Beef
3. Chicken
4. Cheese
5. Duck
6. Fish
7. Turkey
*8. Liver
*9. Brains
*10. Heart
*11. Kidneys
12. Cottage Cheese
13. Milk
14. Yogurt
15. Soy Beans
16. Sun Flower seeds
17. Powdered Milk
18. Nuts

*Especially high in protein

NOTE: If you were intersted to read Bill Pearl’s full thought about diet then I would suggest to visit his homepage. He wrote books about training, nutrition and his life with over 300 pages. Have fun and keep lifting! – Mr. Berg


2 thoughts on “Bill Pearl: Mr. Universe Diet”

  1. Everything below “Bill outlined the following gaining diet” is word for word the diet out of an old York book they gave out with the weight sets in the 70s in Canada. Just thought that was interesting when I was reading the post. Bill Pearl is one of my favourites.

  2. Milk was Ok when cows were not injected hormones His time was way different Today we get all nonsense with the food Hormones Preservatives And So on


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