Tony Sansone’s Weight Gain Diet


Born at the turn of the twentieth-century, Tony Sansone is perhaps one of the most famous physical culturists never to turn his hand to bodybuilding. Nevertheless his influence on bodybuilders and those seeking to get in shape was remarkable. Training under both Bernarr McFadden and Charles Atlas, Sansone developed one of the most sought after physiques in 1930s America.

He modelled, quite provocatively at times, wrote extensively on good nutrition and ran a series of gyms, which included a regular training spot for the legendary Steve Reeves. Shunning excessive bulk for definition and aesthetics, Sansone possessed a body that many men today would envy. Indeed, the renowned physical culture historian David Gentle once commented

If Sansone had been born in Greek antiquity, he would have been immortalized as a god.

With this in mind, today’s post looks at Sansone’s simple and effective way to build muscle mass while maintaining a relative level of leanness.


  • Fresh fruit
  • Medium serving of whole grain Cereal with cream and sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 pieces whole grain toast, buttered
  • 1 glass of milk


  • Steak, lamb, mutton or other meat
  • 1 baked potato with butter
  • 2 pieces whole wheat toast,buttered
  • 1 large leafy green salad
  • 1 large serving of berries or other fruit
  • 1 small piece of plain cake


  • 1 cup of bouillon or puree
  • 1 medium serving of meat
  • 1 large serving of cooked vegetables
  • 2 pieces whole grain toast, buttered
  • Pudding or custard
  • 1 glass of milk

To lose weight, Sansone recommended simply removing the starchy carbs from the diet and increasing fats. Effectively a ketogenic/low carb diet.

So what can be learnt from Sansone’s Diet?

Sansone in his prime

Well first and foremost, it’s clear that Sansone believed in foundational muscle building foods in their rawest possible form. Advocating raw dairy, vegetables and eggs, Sansone believed wholesome food to be key.  He was also found of organ meats such as liver, kidney and heart for muscle building and overall health.

To gain or lose weight, one simply added or reduced carbs as needed. Regarding weightloss, Sansone recommended losing no more than 2lbs a week as anything over this was likely to signal muscle loss. A recommendation that still holds traction for modern coaches and trainees.

To sum up: Eat simple, nutritional foods and patiently manipulate your weight until you reach your goal.

It doesn’t get easier than that!

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