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  • Writer's pictureMyles Jeffers

Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer : Why You May Wanna Use It & How I Use It

Greetings from Lift Tofino!

I am happy to announce that Lift now carries supplements! If you are in the area, you can purchase supplements on our website, and pick them up at Lift by appointment.

Please use this link if you’d like to check it out!

Today I received a big ol' shipment of Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer and I am stoked. I have personally been using this product for fifteen years, and have been recommending it to high performance athletes throughout my 10 year coaching career. In this post I am going to speak a bit about what this product is intended for, how I personally use it, and who I would recommend this for.

Why do I love this product?

I love this product for three main reasons.

  1. This Gainer almost exactly hits the 1:3 Protein to Carb Ratio which is the standard Protein to Carb Ratio for anyone who is training hard and looking to maintain or gain muscle-mass, and it also works well as a fuel source for high output athletes.

  2. Secondly, I try to not let myself or my athletes sacrifice food quality just to get in extra calories....#dirtybulkmyth. As an ectomorph, I have tried most, if not all, of the common Gainers on the market, and they are not all created equally and that boils down to the quality of the ingredients. With that experience behind me, the high quality ingredients in the Rival Nutrition Clean Gainer feel noticeably better in my gut, and do not lead to an energy crash like with other products that rely much more on SUGAR to get the cals up. Dozens of athlete's I have worked with have reported the same.

  3. This shake tastes phenomenal mixed with water, and is also great for baking!

Why would you take this?

Gainer is a great choice for you if you need a fast-digesting source of calories in the form of protein and carbohydrates.

Here are a few reasons to take Gainer!

To Gain Mass: Bodybuilders and ectomorphs unite! Anyone looking to gain muscle-mass should be taking a gainer shake! If you are trying to be in a caloric surplus, adding in a high calorie shake makes that journey a lot easier and more affordable.

To Recover & Perform!

Barbell Athletes: Amateur and Competitive Powerlifters, Olympic Lifters, and Crossfitters will all benefit from avoiding a caloric deficite. This high calorie shake, which is designed to be absorbed and digested fast, seriously increases your ability to recover from difficult training sessions. While training fasted has been shown to be beneficial for males with certain phyiscal or athletic goals, it is now widely held that in most cases female athletes should be pre-fuelling their workouts with a small amount of protein and carbohydrates. If a real-food source is not available, a 1/2 up to a single scoop of Gainer is a great option for both men and women as a pre-workout fuel.

Athletes in General: Athlete's of all domains who train really hard but struggle to eat enough, should be adding a Gainer. This is because it is a very fast absorping source of protein and carbohydrates which is very hard to mimic with real-food. A little further down the page, I have shared some scenarios where athlete’s who may not think of themselves as someone who should take a gainer, should/could take a gainer.

If you are unsure of whether or not you should have a bag of Gainer in your cupboard, please shoot me an e-mail and I can help you decide.

What About All Those Carbs?

99 grams of carbs may sound like a lot, and for some body-types and sizes that may be way too much. If you are obese, or pre-diabetic, this may not be the best option for you.

However, this post is geared more towards people who are training for a killer physique or high-end performance, and in those cases Carbs are essential.

The classic post work out shake has been a protein shake since I started out in this world. Certainly after training hard, we break down our muscle-tissues, and need to provide our body with adequate protein to build that muscle-back. So, a protein shake is part of post work-out recovery, but that is only half the battle. When we train we deplete the Gylcogen in our muscle cells, and we need carbohydrates after a workout to replenish the Glycogen in our muscle cells. This is why the recommendation for post workout recovery is generally 1:2 or 1:3 protein to carb ratio. And, this is also why the ‘post workout window’ is arguably the best time of the day to get in your carbohydrates.

99 grams of carbs is equivalent to about two cups of cooked white rice. So, if you are limiting your ‘simple-carb’ (rice, potatoes, oatmeal, pasta, bread, sugar, pastries) intake throughout the day and opting for complex carbs (think veggies) your overall carbohydrate intake can remain low, even while optimizing your post workout nutrition by enjoying this shake after your training which is the best time to ‘get your carbs in’.

How to take it?

A Gainer shake can be used in three ways.

  1. Post Activity Recovery Shake: This is the obvious one. If you train hard, you need to re-fuel post workout. And that is what Gainer is designed to do. This could be used as a recovery shake after a lift, a crossfit workout, a run, a surf, or a big hike!

What if I am cutting? In most cases if you are cutting, you still need some carbs. Personally, the last time I ‘cut’ for a weightlifting competition, I cut out all simple carbs from my diet (no rice, potatoes) and focused on vegetables and low glycemic fruit for a wee-bit of carbs throughout the day. But, I would still replenish my muscle cells with a Gainer shake in my post work-out window. This would allow me to get a tonne of carbs in during my post work-out window, while maintaining a low total daily carbohydrate intake under 150g, which is only a measily 600 calories. So, any athlete cutting, may want to seriously considering that big hit of liquid, fast-digesting carbs, while staying tight the rest of the day.

2. Pre-Workout & Intra-Competition/Event Fuel:


If you want to perform at your best, then you need to be properly fuelled for your training. The common prescription for pre-workout nutrition is a small amount of protein and a medium amount of carbs. This could be 7.5-15g of protein and 15-30g of carbs, for average sized humans.

As mentioned previously, for some males training fasted is a good option. However, this is not the case with females. So, a 1/2 or single scoop of Gainer is a great option to get in a small amount of protein and a medium amount of carbs.


You are in a surf competition, you entered two events. You just finished your second heat of the day, and find out you have two more heats to surf with only one heat of rest in between. You feel your body crashing but don’t feel like eating because you have to surf right away but you need fuel? Have a single scoop of Gainer. The high carbohydrate content of this shake is fast absorbing and very hard to mimic with real-food sources.

Meal Replacement:

Are you pinched for time, but don’t want to go into a caloric deficite? Sneak in a Gainer Shake!

You are hiking the North Coast Trail and are thinking of ways to pack in calorically dense food that won’t be too heavy in your pack. Of course we want the bulk of our daily calories to come from real-food, but adding 2 scoops of Gainer to each of your hiking days will help fuel you, and help you recover, all while being super easy to pack. Just add water, shake, and you’ve got 640 calories of deadly trail fuel ;).

Why do I personally use Clean Gainer all year?

Hearing that I take a Gainer shake may surprise people considering my build. I am not a body-builder, hypertrophy accounts for maybe 10% of my training volume, and I weigh around 162lbs. I do not want to put on excess bodyweight at this stage in my life as I wanna keep a high <power to bodyweight> ratio for olympic lifting and surfing. So, why would I take a Gainer? Doesn’t that go against my goals? It does not, and I’ll explain.


An average week for me involves burning A LOT of calories. My week generally includes 3-7 surfing sessions (obviously dependant upon the wave quality), and 3-4 lifting sessions. On top of that I coach around 25 sessions/week in which I end up picking up and putting down a lot of weight and moving a fair bit. Also, if there is no surf, I will perform aerobic training in the gym, and try to fit in a hike a week. In other words my furnace is lit and burning cals all day throughout most, if not all, days of the week.

Now remember…. my goal is performance, and I am not trying to lose or gain weight. So, a caloric deficit would not only be torture with this high of an output, but a caloric deficit almost certainly will increase chance of injury, and certainly decrease physical performance.

Alternatively, a caloric surplus may help in terms of my performance in terms of recovery, but then may lead to unnecessary mass gain which in turn may decrease performance in the activities that matter to me. I did a dirty bulk at age 18 after the Junior A hockey team I signed with told me I had to put on 20lbs that summer. I gained the weight (mostly fat), but it did not turn me into a better hockey player as it actually made me slower.

So, taking all that into consideration I try to keep my calories in and calories out about the same. And since I do not live in a lab attached to calorimeters and such things, I am working with informed estimates, not exact calories in/out. But, let’s bring some numbers in anyway, and I’ll be conservative here.

For example, I weigh 162lbs, at around 7% body-fat, this means that my lean body-mass is around 150lbs.

A conservative prescription for protein intake for a high output athlete would be 1.1 grams of protein per pound of lean-body mass. Based on this prescription, I will wanna hit about 165 grams of protein each day. Below I have included a quick table of how I may try to hit 165 grams of protein/day from real-food sources. And yes, that is a lot of food. And yes, it is expensive, especially if you live in Tofino.


Protein Source


6 Eggs (36 grams of protein) + 3 Tablespoons of Hemp Hearts (10 grams of protein)


1 Can of Wild-Caught Salmon (40 grams of protein) + 3 Tablespoons of Hemp Hearts (10 grams of protein)

Mid-day Snack

100grams of Chicken Breast (30 grams of protein)


150 grams of Extra Lean Ground Grass-fed Beef (45 grams of protein)`

Now… as I mentioned above, 1.1g/lb of lean-body mass is a conservative estimate. Based on the style of my lifting (very high muscular-skeletal load), and overall output, a more appropriate prescription would be 1.3g/lb of lean-body mass. This brings up my daily protein intake goal to 195 grams. It is worth mentioning that bodybuilders may eat far more than 1.3g of protein/lb of bodyweight each day to hit their physique goals.

For me to reach 195g of protein I could eat another meal, but that would mean I’d have to eat 5 meals/day, and I simply do not have time for that, or honestly, the funds.

Enter the Gainer Shake!

2 Scoops gives me 30g of protein and brings me right up to that 195 grams of protein/day. Shake it, sip it slow, enjoy.

That's all for today! Thank-you for reading and Happy Lifting!

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