Posts Tagged ‘Off-season bodybuilding’

Cliché?  Sure…True?  Definitely yes!  Anything worth doing well will require proper planning.  A vacation, a project at work or school, and of course proper nutrition and training.

I am currently less than 2 weeks out from my next competition and while I’ve been planning all along, this is the time when I need to step it up a notch and make sure that I have everything set.  Hair, tan, suit, bag packed, and everything else in between.  But, what happens when the show is over?  Well, I plan for that too.

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Dieting and training for a show for many weeks or months can be very difficult.  But for most people, having a set meal plan and training schedule keeps them accountable and on track.  But if there’s no upcoming show or photo shoot, I don’t need to worry about a meal plan, right?  Sure!  Go ahead!  Eat whatever you want, rebound, gain 30 pounds in 3 weeks and look like a completely different person than those amazing photos from show day.  Nah, just kidding.  You definitely don’t need the same strict boundaries like when preparing for a show, BUT, you still need to monitor the quality and quantity of food you eat.  Competitions aren’t won and lost during contest prep, they’re won in the “off-season”.  The weeks directly after a show are when the body is primed and ready to make some amazing muscle gains (or fat gains if you don’t plan properly).  The months of training and eating at a “proper surplus” BEFORE you start your next contest prep is when you can gain lean mass, work on any lagging body parts, and even out asymmetries.

So, what’s my plan?  Well, I’m human so of course after the show, I will have my treats (pizza anyone? :-D).  I will also take a few days off from training to give my body and mind a rest.  After that time, I will go right back to a healthy eating plan (notice I said healthy eating plan and not DIET!).  I will “reverse-diet” as it has been called.  This will include SLOWLY increasing my calories over the weeks and SLOWLY decreasing the amount of cardio I will do.  If I eat at a major surplus and halt all cardio, that is a recipe for rapid weight gain.  Don’t get me wrong, I will include some treat meals (usually one and occasionally two per week – after all, the holidays are fast approaching).  I will also make sure that I continue to take my daily supplements.  Thank you Top Secret Nutrition! 🙂  When I’m not leaning out for a contest, my daily staples include ActiveXtreme Multivitamin, Fish Oil/CLA, 100% Whey, and Advanced Joint Support.  For training, Cardio Igniter, Pump Igniter, and BCAA Hyperblend Energy are always in my gym bag!

Just remember, health and fitness should be your lifestyle; not an on/off button that you push when you’re in contest mode or “off-season” (I don’t really like that phrase anyway).  Find the right balance for you!  For me, no foods are off-limits; I will enjoy the holidays, have a piece of cake on my birthday, but make sure that I fit these treats into my daily PLAN.